Occupy Central

Political groups sign no-violence agreement

But loyalists refuse to apologise for stoush at forum, threaten to gatecrash future events

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 23 July, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 23 July, 2013, 3:44am

A radical pro-establishment group has promised in writing not to use violence against people with different political leanings, after some of its members clashed with pan-democrats at a public forum on universal suffrage on Sunday.

Caring Hong Kong Power signed a joint declaration yesterday with student group Scholarism and forum organiser the Association of Young Commentators.

However, it has not apologised for a fracas in Cheung Sha Wan in which members scuffled with the pan-democratic group People Power. Punches flew and a Scholarism member was taken to hospital with a bruised knee.

"I don't think waving the national flag on a table is wrong," member Oscar Ng told RTHK. "It was People Power that initiated the conflict. It was not our sole responsibility [that the forum broke up]."

Ng said Caring Hong Kong Power was willing to apologise if People Power did the same.

The event included guest speakers from Caring Hong Kong Power, Scholarism, People Power and the Occupy Central movement for democracy.

Occupy Central has condemned Caring Hong Kong Power's for violent actions and repeated disturbances of the discussion. Occupy co-founders Benny Tai Yiu-ting, Chan Kin-man and the Reverend Chu Yiu-ming said they would boycott any events that included Caring Hong Kong Power speakers.

They also urged all political groups in the city to blacklist it.

Earlier yesterday, Scholarism convenor Joshua Wong Chi-fung condemned Caring Hong Kong Power for trying to stop Scholarism members from speaking in the debate and was disappointed the group refused to apologise.

Wong urged Caring Hong Kong Power to sign a declaration promising to respect people with different political opinions and not to engage in violence at public forums.

Scholarism member Oscar Lai Man-lok, 19, who was sent to hospital after being kicked by a man, said he had sought legal advice and collected photographs taken by various witnesses.

"We have identified the attacker and will pass the evidence to the police," he said.

Forum host Dominic Lee Tsz-king, of the Association of Young Commentators, said 10 chairs had been damaged and that the venue provider, The Good Lab, had demanded compensation.

Lee said the association would probably not invite the group to any of its forums in the near future.

Caring Hong Kong Power convenor Chan Ching-sum said they did not care if forum organisers boycotted them.

"We might still attend upcoming forums even if we are not invited as guest speakers," she said.