Occupy Central could face full police force
The city's entire 30,000-strong police force could be mobilised to contain an Occupy Central campaign next year if required, Commissioner of Police Andy Tsang Wai-hung said yesterday.
His remark came days after lawmaker Christopher Cheung Wah-fung sought clarification from Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying about whether the People's Liberation Army would be deployed to the scene if the campaign of civil disobedience goes ahead.
Leung sidestepped the question and said he had "total confidence" that the police would professionally undertake their law-enforcement duties.
Tsang said the force was confident in its ability to handle Occupy, which aims to mobilise 10,000 protesters to block roads in Central from July next year in a last-ditch attempt to win universal suffrage.
"We will follow [Occupy Central] closely, and if necessary, the whole police force will be mobilised," he said, citing the handling of protests by Korean farmers at the World Trade Organisation meeting in Hong Kong in 2005.
"The police have experience of handling mass protests."
Benny Tai Yiu-ting, a University of Hong Kong associate law professor who is among those advocating the civil-disobedience campaign, said the protest would be non-violent and participants would not resist if police took action.
"I believe the police would not require much manpower to handle our protest," he said.