Medical volunteers forced to retreat from HQ under rumoured threats from police

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Medical professionals who are volunteering during the current protests were forced to relocate manpower and supplies last night when rumours circulated saying police would arrest them as rioters if inside the controlled zone.


Medical volunteers for the Occupy Central protests, including nurses and medical officers, were forced to relocate their headquarters from the Academy for Performing Arts (APA) building after rumours that the police would treat them as rioters. The threats were not confirmed to be emanating from the police but seemed credible enough for the volunteers to move out of the space. HT sources confirmed they would have preferred to stay at the APA, but felt they had to move to avoid possible arrest.
On Sunday afternoon, the police began clearing protesters out of the area next to the government complex with tear gas. Medical volunteers stationed inside the premise were forced to move as well, relocating to the APA facility with permission from the academy to be stationed there 24 hours a day. The location was used as headquarters for volunteers as they were sent out on shifts, and to store supplies. Protesters were not treated at this operational HQ.

A source who volunteers with the group revealed a message was circulated later that night that the police would clear out the area and treat volunteers as rioters alike without discrimination. Without police confirmation, the volunteers were shocked at the possibility as they emphasised neutrality in the current protests. The source disclosed that the volunteers on the scene had made arrangements with their lawyer in case they were arrested. The same lawyer was trying to contact the police for confirmation of details, but the volunteers chose to shut down for the night to be safe. They later chose to leave the building for new premises due to their concerns.
They have requested that their location remain undisclosed to the general public to avoid further problems with the police.