Ferocity of Hong Kong campus siege is written in the debris

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Random detritus left scattered at a besieged Hong Kong campus attests to the chaos and ferocity of clashes between protesters and police

Tear gas canisters, Molotov cocktails, and broken spectacles -- the sometimes random detritus left scattered at a besieged Hong Kong campus attests to the chaos and ferocity of clashes between protesters and police.

Hong Kong Polytechnic University became the focus of the city's pro-democracy movement a week ago, when dug-in demonstrators clashed violently with riot police until November 19.

A tense pause has since set in, with scattered holdouts still believed to be inside as officers refrain from storming the campus.

But the earlier savagery is written in the debris left behind on the normally tidy campus, just a stone's throw from Hong Kong's picturesque harbour.

Left on the campus, police weaponry mixed with the sometimes crude means used by protesters to both protect themselves and fight back.

Spent tear gas shells are widely scattered, as are bean bag rounds, rubber bullets, and sponge grenades.

But equally omnipresent are the primitive Molotovs used by protesters -- flammable materials contained in wine and beer bottles, as well as butane fuel canisters -- as well as umbrellas, hardhats, swimming goggles, and even a fencing mask for protection against police projectiles.

Scattered bottles of eye-drops -- a hasty remedy against tear gas -- can be seen, as well as a plastic poncho for defence against water canon.

But there is evidence not all of these measures worked, as broken pairs of spectacles and puddles of blood testify.