• Thu
  • Sep 18, 2014
  • Updated: 6:10am
Occupy Central
NewsHong Kong
POLITICS

Student leader warns of civil disobedience if 'referendum' ignored

PUBLISHED : Friday, 06 June, 2014, 4:06am
UPDATED : Friday, 06 June, 2014, 5:31pm

A student leader warned yesterday that at least 1,000 people could "occupy" public buildings or roads in the city centre if officials refuse to give a positive response to Occupy Central's unofficial "referendum" on June 20-22.

Federation of Students' secretary general Alex Chow Yong-kang also said that there is an "80 to 90 per cent possibility" that acts of civil disobedience could take place on or before the annual July 1 march, which organisers expect will attract at least 100,000 people.

Occupy Central threatens to mobilise 10,000 people to block roads in the financial district if the government does not deliver on a reform package that will give Hongkongers a genuine choice of chief executive candidates in 2017.

The campaign is planning a citywide poll on June 20-22 for voters to choose from three reform proposals, as well as to endorse whether lawmakers should vote down a reform package that cannot "allow genuine choices by electors".

While Occupy's organisers have said they will not take action before the government unveils its proposal by the end of the year, Chow told the South China Morning Post that students are unlikely to wait that long.

"Hongkongers will show their stance on June 22. If the government tramples on public opinion or simply ignores it … [It means] that there is no way for public voices to enter the establishment and push for reforms," Chow said. "Civil disobedience is then the only way to tell the government that they are wrong."

Chow said that starting from June 23, students might "besiege or occupy the Legislative Council, the government headquarters or the central government's liaison office … because these places are iconic and represent different [stances on political reform]". He added that blocking road traffic is also an option when the July 1 rally ends at Chater Road in Central.

He said the League of Social Democrats would likely join the action but student-led Scholarism had reservations as many of its members are still at school.

At a press conference yesterday, Civil Human Rights Front's convenor Johnson Yeung Ching-yin, the organiser of this year's July 1 march, said his group has no plans to undertake acts of civil disobedience after the march.

Yeung said the march will start at Victoria Park at 4pm this year, 90 minutes later than last year, to encourage marchers to stay and join the rally and listen to speeches on Chater Road.

The group has also picked "direct public nomination" as the main theme of this year's march, referring to the pan-democrats' call for the public to put forward chief executive candidates.

On whether the choice may alienate moderate pan-democrats and residents who don't want confrontation with Beijing, Yeung said: "We should never distinguish ourselves between 'radicals' or 'moderates', because we are in the same boat and face the same destiny … if not that many people take to the streets on July 1, Beijing could interpret it as Hongkongers not wanting genuine universal suffrage."

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This article is now closed to comments

daily
Go do your sit-in at your parent's home's toilet.............Other than that, there's not much good you kids can do.
ejmciii
Guys, here is a better idea. Forget Central. It is too much effort and actually quite big. How about just doing your sit in at the Chinese Consulate in Causeway Bay if those are the folks you want to make your views known to, or, even better, do it at Tamar. Nothing of moment gets done there now, so how bad can it be for there to be a sit in.
bitesize
If they block the roads, what will happen to the people who need urgent medical attention at a nearby hospital? There are better ways to achieve what we want. Causing chaos in the country is not one of them.
ejmciii
Are you for real? Come on.
syn
They get arrested which draws attention to the problem and clears up the road. Also, a civil disobedience movement will most likely move to allow an emergency vehicle to pass. I don't understand this argument.
syn
@chuchu 1) Any civil disobedience is, by definition, non-violent.
2) Anyone who sits on their duff and complains that their view isn't being represented while others stand up for what they believe in deserve what they get.
chuchu59
These kids are a disgrace. How are they different from the Kowloon Bay gunman who resorts to violence if he does not get his own way? The 3 proposals, I dare say, are not really what most HK people want so how are HK people going to show they don't endorse any one of them. Since the government is going to unveil its own proposal at the end of the year, the decent option is to wait and narrow down differences if indeed its a far cry from their own desired proposal. These threats should not be condoned.
ejmciii
OK, probably the most absurd comparison I have seen in months. It is freedom of speech. Get used to it. We are not on the mainland, thankfully, and the ministry of propaganda does not yet decide what we hear, read or think.
kctony
And you bought the government tactic. Students hold ideals. They are not stupid. Their goals may or may not work. The US pulled out of Vietnam due to the media pressure and the students' movements were a big part of it. I am still proud of being one of them
So don't think like a slave.
daily
If this kid wants attention, go do a video clip like Justin Bieber and put it on Youtube..........giving such childish threats is useless...........Go find a job and get a life kid.

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