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  • Dec 20, 2014
  • Updated: 11:13am
Occupy Central
NewsHong Kong

Occupy Chater Road: Thousands of students plan overnight sit-in after July 1 march

Police will be out in huge numbers to keep the peace during rally and protest seen as rehearsal for Occupy Central's planned city blockade

PUBLISHED : Monday, 30 June, 2014, 2:47pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 01 July, 2014, 9:19am

Students plan an overnight sit-in after today's annual march for democracy as a rehearsal for Occupy Central's planned blockage of the city's business heart.

The Federation of Students and Scholarism announced their plan yesterday as police said they would assign 4,000 officers to keep order during the march.

It will be the largest deployment since the Korean farmers' violent protest at the World Trade Organisation's ministerial conference in 2005.

Businesses and banks, meanwhile, say contingency plans are ready and they will step up security measures if necessary.

A big turnout is expected today amid unrest over political issues including Beijing's white paper affirming its "comprehensive jurisdiction" over Hong Kong and following Occupy Central's unofficial referendum on universal suffrage that drew almost 800,000 voters.

[Marching] is not enough. We have to upgrade it to a civil disobedience movement

The State Council's Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office labelled the vote unlawful, while the central government's liaison office dismissed it as a "farce".

The students aim to draw 2,500 people for their sit-ins in Chater Road and outside the chief executive's office in Admiralty, to end at 8am tomorrow.

"We have gathered enough public opinion on public nomination. Now it's time to act," student federation secretary-general Alex Chow Yong-kang said. "It's not enough to repeat the march and the assembly every year. We have to upgrade it to a civil disobedience movement."

'Don't be kidnapped by radical opposition': State media warns Hongkongers against July 1 march

He spoke a day after the referendum ended with the proposal put forward by the federation and Scholarism coming second, behind that of the Alliance For True Democracy.

The Occupy movement plans to block streets in Central if the government does not deliver a blueprint for the 2017 chief executive election that guarantees voters a genuine choice.

The students said they differed from key Occupy figures, who have said the government must be given time to respond to the poll results.

"If we hold on until officials have finalised their decisions, it will be too late," Chow said.

Scholarism convenor Joshua Wong Chi-fung said members were prepared to be arrested but would avoid clashes with the police to keep the protest peaceful.

Occupy founder Benny Tai Yiu-ting said he respected the students' decision.

Organisers hope more than 500,000 will turn up for today's march, with a theme of universal suffrage. That would make it the biggest July 1 since 2003, when half a million took to the streets over plans to introduce an anti-subversion law.

As financial institutions in Central prepared to deal with any effects on their business, the Monetary Authority said it did not want to see normal bank operations disrupted.

It said that according usual practice, banks had been instructed to prepare a "business continuity" plan.

The Securities and Futures Commission has a similar plan.

HSBC would not comment directly on the students' actions.

A spokeswoman said the bank would step up security measures if necessary. These are understood to include allowing staff to work from home or other offices.

Last night, hundreds of metal barricades were in place around Chater Garden, while the front gate of HSBC headquarters was down.

A police source said if Chater Road was blocked by protesters, officers would issue a warning. If this was ignored, they would lift protesters and remove them.

The Police College in Wong Chuk Hang will be used for the first time as a detention centre if more than 100 protesters are arrested.

Qi Pengfei, vice-chairman of the Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macau Studies, said the room for moderate pan-democrats to engage in dialogue with the central government would further shrink if there was a massive turnout today.


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This article is now closed to comments

Kids like this are the norm in the US and Europe. What exactly is the problem in questioning the authorities, dare to say no when there are injustices. Instead, we should be proud because they are the products of the HK education system. After 5000 year of feudal authoritarian rules where Chinese citizens were subjected to unspeakable abuse, we finally have a generation that dare to speak up.
A Hong Konger
Its good to see the next generation being braver than their parents. If we had this sort of activism during the 80s these young guys might have inherited a future worth having instead of having to reverse the tide now. Anyone who came of age in the 80s should bow their head in shame that these young guys are fighting for our rights and future while the best the last generation could do was say "What can we do? Just make money!"

I'm proud just to know these young people are fighting for us, I will support them any way I can, they have earned my respect. As for their detractors who curse them, know that you reek of cowardice, bullying teenagers online... Pathetic, I wouldn't spit on you if you were on fire.

These young guys are ready to risk their entire future, to risk serious injury and go to jail for all of us. What are the miserable cowards who insult them willing to do? Nothing, but grunt as they glance up from their trough or suckle on their Mainland master's teat. Such pathetic scum are barely fit to call themselves human, yet alone Hong Kongers.

I urge you all, if you can, to support these guys during their sit-in and offer them your protection. How could you face your own children if you knew these young students were in physical danger and you did nothing to support them?
These kids are suppose to be part of "Scholarism"?............Yeah, right........After all this little fiasco is over, they will still have to run home to dad and mom and ask for their monthly allowance and whatever they still need to live off at home...............So maybe these kids should grow up first, work in the real world, understand what politics is, before they continue to make a fools of themselves.
A Hong Konger
******: Such disgraceful arrogance. Did I say I want them to 'run the government'? No, I said they have the courage to fight for what is right, for our self determination, unlike the coward I imagine you are. And what have you done for HK? What are you willing to risk for your fellow HKer? Insulting teenagers than in their short lives have done more than you ever will.
Clearly the united front and their sympathisers are pulling a late shift. The real HKers have gone to bed to get ready to march later today. Which is what I'm going to do, and when I do I will remember it is people like you who encourage me.
A Hong Konger
Whymak: You like to show off to your foreign 'friends' that you can name a few 'brilliant' people from history, and you show off to us how schooled you are in western history (without knowing the cause of French unrest) in an attempt to link your patchy understanding of the history world to suggest the pro-democracy camp has a slavish desire to seek western approval.

However, it's plain to see that (unless you are an imposter) it is you that has an inferiority complex. It is you that judges yourself inferior to westerners, but it would be too uncomfortable to face so you project this inferiority complex onto others. Your issues with not being western and seeing the world through an ethnic lens have nothing to do with the bravery of students to whom you arrogantly turn your nose up to.
They are selflessly sacrificing for us, for you, for the right of HK self-determination. It has nothing to do with your (or the CCP's) ridiculous fantasies about seeking western approval owing to some deficiency in your (or the CCP's) thinking, and the desire to overcompensate your 'Chineseness'. The west is irrelevant, in fact they would rather HKers didn't cause trouble or destabilise the CCP, an organisation that keeps 1.3bn people in check. This movement is ours entirely, albeit based on Lockean (yes, I know a few names too) principles, all good people would support it.
But since you're so acquainted with Chinese culture, why don't you tell us what it means to be Chinese?
Once these sit ins spread, the gov and protesters will need to compromise on political reform. The alternative is unthinkable.The Exco chief was already hinting at that today.Great to hear.It is a noble cause.
If the 2017 election is carried out the same way as in 2012, HK will be ungovernable. This is in nobody's interests. The CE needs a widely supported mandate, not that of 1200 and we need a real choice of quality candidates. All the smart stakeholders can see it. All the great civil rights movements across the world never got results handed to them. It was earned.
A useless generation who never felt hardship who want to complain like a whining 7 year old wants to go to disneyland. Make too much noise and see what you can do without sustenance. Its this kind of useless generation that is asking for another hardship, like what is happening in the middle east.
What are you even talking about, you want these stupid kids to run a government? Maybe you're quite stupid yourself.
Lots of words but no real message. Terrible English. Excessive nonsensual use of adjectives. I feel like reading some Communist Party manifesto.
This is HK, not mainland china, what kind of abuse are these kids being subjected to that you are aware of?



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