Co-founder says protesters must ‘press ahead with civil disobedience campaign’
Thousands of Occupy Central supporters took to the streets of Hong Kong on Sunday, accusing Beijing of breaking its promise that the city can enjoy democracy.
Defying the scorching heat, the protesters – many of them dressed in black – marched from Causeway Bay to Central.
“Beijing has failed to fulfil its promise that Hong Kong people can have democracy,” said Benny Tai Yiu-ting, co-founder of the Occupy Central movement.
“What can Hong Kong people do? We need to press ahead with a civil disobedience campaign.”
Another Occupy Central co-founder, Dr Chan Kin-man, said: “We have been fighting for democracy for 30 years, and we will not give up. We are doing this for the next generation.”
Unlike at past pro-democracy demonstrations in the city, the protesters did not chant any slogans. They remained silent to show that this was a “solemn” protest against Beijing.
On August 31, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress approved universal suffrage for the 2017 chief executive election, but set down a restrictive framework designed to screen out candidates that Beijing does not want on the ballot paper.
As the protesters arrived at Admiralty, Occupy Central co-founder, Reverend Chu Yiu-ming, said that about 4,000 had taken part in the march.
Police later said 1,860 protesters took part.
Some pro-Beijing protesters gathered at Causeway Bay’s Canal Road flyover, where they carried out “villain hitting” – traditional folk sorcery which they used to curse Occupy Central supporters.
“Occupy Central will die soon,” the pro-Beijing protesters chanted. They also referred to a proposed week-long student boycott of classes to protest Beijing’s electoral restrictions.
“Students who join the school boycott will be beggars forever,” they chanted.
The pro-Beijing protesters said Occupy Central organisers should bring their own children to the civil disobedience campaign instead of encouraging other youngsters to attend.