World

Hong Kong democracy protesters defy police in tense standoff

  • Media mogul Jimmy Lai wearing goggles appears outside the government headquarters to join a protest in Hong Kong, Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014. Hong Kong activists kicked off a long-threatened mass civil disobedience protest Sunday to challenge Beijing over restrictions on voting reforms, escalating the battle for democracy in the former British colony after police arrested dozens of student demonstrators. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

    Media mogul Jimmy Lai wearing goggles appears outside the government headquarters to join a protest in Hong Kong, Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014. Hong Kong activists kicked off a long-threatened mass civil disobedience protest Sunday to challenge Beijing over restrictions on voting reforms, escalating the battle for democracy in the former British colony after police arrested dozens of student demonstrators. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)  (The Associated Press)

  • Police officers stand guard the streets surrounding the government headquarters in Hong Kong, Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014. Hong Kong activists kicked off a long-threatened mass civil disobedience protest Sunday to challenge Beijing over restrictions on voting reforms, escalating the battle for democracy in the former British colony after police arrested dozens of student demonstrators. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

    Police officers stand guard the streets surrounding the government headquarters in Hong Kong, Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014. Hong Kong activists kicked off a long-threatened mass civil disobedience protest Sunday to challenge Beijing over restrictions on voting reforms, escalating the battle for democracy in the former British colony after police arrested dozens of student demonstrators. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)  (The Associated Press)

  • Protesters gather behind barricades used to occupy the streets surrounding the government headquarters in Hong Kong, Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014. Hong Kong activists kicked off a long-threatened mass civil disobedience protest Sunday to challenge Beijing over restrictions on voting reforms, escalating the battle for democracy in the former British colony after police arrested dozens of student demonstrators. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

    Protesters gather behind barricades used to occupy the streets surrounding the government headquarters in Hong Kong, Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014. Hong Kong activists kicked off a long-threatened mass civil disobedience protest Sunday to challenge Beijing over restrictions on voting reforms, escalating the battle for democracy in the former British colony after police arrested dozens of student demonstrators. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)  (The Associated Press)

Hundreds of Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters are locked in a tense standoff with police who are warning they will crack down on a mass civil disobedience movement outside government headquarters in the former British colony.

The protesters have been camped out on the streets outside the government complex all weekend. Students started the rally but by early Sunday leaders of the broader Occupy Central civil movement said they were joining them to kick off a long-threatened mass sit-in.

The protesters reject Beijing's recent decision to restrict voting reforms for the first-ever elections to choose the city's leader in 2017.

Police have warned those involved in what they call illegal gathering to leave the scene as soon possible or else they would start clearing the area and making arrests.