Occupy Central is a proposed civil disobedience protest which would take place in Central, Hong Kong in July 2014 for universal suffrage. The movement is initiated by Benny Tai Yiu-ting, an associate professor of law at the University of Hong Kong, in January 2013.
Democratic Party takes Occupy Central message into the streets
The Democratic Party has set up a working group to bring the Occupy Central democracy campaign to the man in the street through its district network.
The group is being formed ahead of Occupy Central's second deliberation day, set for autumn and designed to forge a consensus on the democratic principles for universal suffrage.
Comprising 10 district councillors and community officers, the group will run electoral constituency deliberation days from mid-October, said Democrat vice-chairman Lo Kin-hei.
"We hope to reach out to the average layman who is outside the conventional pan-democratic supporter network," Lo said of the first deliberation day, to be held in Kowloon East for a group of 100 participants.
Through a strategy of constituency-level promotion, the Democrats hope to boost Occupy, co-founded by University of Hong Kong associate law professor Benny Tai Yiu-ting to push for genuine universal suffrage.
"In August, we staged a D-Day rehearsal with 12 residents from Hong Kong Island," Lo said. "Tai was present and gave us some recommendations on how to guide the discussion.
"One significant problem is that we are too used to the standard arguments supporting the Occupy Central campaign. We need to prepare more material to engage the public."
To prepare for the deliberation days, the group will organise five or six constituency forums next month and launch a campaign featuring 200 banners to spread the Occupy agenda. The Democratic Party is providing HK$400,000 to support the work.
Lo dismissed concerns that the Democrats would be seen as "hijacking" the movement.
"We have discussed all our planned activities with the Occupy Central secretariat," he said. "We can complement the secretariat in spreading the movement to every corner of society."