• Thu
  • Nov 20, 2014
  • Updated: 2:05pm
Occupy Central
NewsHong Kong
POLITICS

Mainland customs impounds Occupy Central voting booths and ballot boxes

Movement vows to go ahead with opening new polling stations; art students snub Carrie Lam

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 26 June, 2014, 6:13pm
UPDATED : Friday, 27 June, 2014, 5:42pm
 

Mainland customs officers have confiscated a shipment of materials intended for use in Occupy Central's unofficial referendum, disrupting the preparation of nine new polling stations.

The materials had been shipped from a mainland printing firm and were to be used to make ballot boxes and voting booths for nine extra stations - which the movement plans to open on Sunday, the last day of the poll, in a final push to encourage more people to vote.

Occupy said the stations would open, but the number of booths might be cut. Locations include Cheung Chau, Tin Shui Wai, Fanling, Yuen Long and the Chinese University, Sha Tin.

"The printer told us on Wednesday night that mainland customs had seized the [shipment]. We were so nervous, trying to figure out what to do to make sure we could still open the stations," Dr Chan Kin-man, co-organiser of the movement, said.

No logos were attached to the shipment, but the University of Hong Kong's public opinion programme, commissioned to conduct the poll, was the addressee.

"I suspect our activities have been monitored by the authorities. They know which printer we approached," Chan said.

In total, 21 polling stations will open on Sunday. As of 11pm yesterday, 748,417 people had voted.

The referendum asks people to choose from three shortlisted electoral proposals - all of which call for the public to have the right to nominate chief executive candidates, an idea Beijing rejects.

In a call for more people to vote, Chan, his co-organisers and pan-democrats stood in silence in Central for an hour during lunchtime yesterday.

Support for Occupy Central was expressed at a graduation ceremony at the Academy for Performing Arts, when some graduates walked past Acting Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, officiating the event, without bowing. They also sang the movement's theme song, an adaptation of Do You Hear the People Sing? from Les Miserables, as Lam left the stage. Lam kept smiling throughout.

Meanwhile, organisers of the annual July 1 pro-democracy march had an application to widen their route rejected. The Appeal Board on Public Meetings and Processions agreed that three lanes of Hennessy Road would open to the marchers, instead of the six requested.

The Civil Human Rights Front expects 150,000 people to join the protest.

 

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This article is now closed to comments

ianson
No doubt, we shall be told that the goods were impounded for some sort of technical customs regulation infraction but, of course, we shall know that it was a formal act of state directed from the very top of the Party machine. So what has happened is direct, formal state suppression of the freedom of speech in Hong Kong, a shocking fact going far beyond the mere accusations of illegality we have heard from Beijing in recent days. Words have transformed into action. The Party is ready willing and able to take concrete steps to suppress our liberties and impose its dictatorship on Hong Kong.
HK-Lover
Leading by example is such a difficult thing for China. Almost daily they preach the world not to interfere into China's "internal" affairs but China cannot follow its own preaching and laws but interefere into Hong Kong's internal affairs such as the private iniative of an opinion poll.
Paradox314
And further more - Occupy Central is NOT a 'covert group' - You have completely twisted the reality whole situation to suit your personal opinion of OC.
Paradox314
NO HK-Explorer - The US would not. And if they did they would be challenged in court.
hkhk
So incredibly childish
rpasea
Man, the CCP really has its panties in a twist over OC. The more they pull this kind of stuff the more they come across as clueless thugs.
Paradox314
Another demonstration of the similarity between the Chinese Government / CPP's way of operating and the ways criminal gangs work. Here they are breaking / over-riding / twisting and using legal mechanisms to steal the belongings of a political group that they don't like. Neither morality nor any other higher principles guide their actions. There was a time when a political vision (a kind of adapted Marxism) was the guiding principle that stood above the CPP - but not anymore. There is no guiding principle beyond pure selfish protection of power. They will commit any act they deem to be in this perceived self interest. And this amoral agent is the 'rock' upon which HK rests - the 'sole' source of power and authority 'upholding' HK's Basic Law and 'democratic' government.
sylvainh
Weak. So weak.
vincent.chow@en-trak.com
HK is becoming a joke! All in the name of democracy!
HK-Explorer
Technically any country can ban any item / goods it want to leaving their country. This is the same in the whole world.
US bans many technologies from leaving its shores. It also bans many parts and pieces from going to other countries.
China just stopped some printouts that could be re-created in any photo shop in HK and in most peoples homes.

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