Occupy Central

Civil disobedience movement to launch next month after 'disappointing' reform report

Organisations intend to launch a civil disobedience movement next month after NPC makes its final decision on electoral reform

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 16 July, 2014, 2:29am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 16 July, 2014, 11:02am

Watch: Students respond to Carrie Lam's report on universal suffrage for Hong Kong in 2017

The Federation of Students, Scholarism and the Civil Human Rights Front say they will launch a civil disobedience movement next month.

The action will take place after the National People's Congress makes a decision on electoral reform, they said, adding that they would organise a series of demonstrations and protests before that.

The groups said the government's reports on the reform consultation had not reflected Hongkongers' requests for direct nomination of candidates for election as chief executive and had sidelined views expressed in Occupy Central's unofficial referendum last month and on the July 1 march.

The front's convenor, Johnson Yeung Ching-yin, said action must be taken next month and expected the scale of the civil disobedience to exceed the participation in the July 1 march. The front claims 510,000 marched.

He said if the NPC decided to stick to the current nomination process, they would start the movement. "We can't wait until the government's second round of consultation," he said. He believed future action could still influence the Beijing government.

In Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor's report summarising the first phase of consultation on political reform, direct nomination was not completely ruled out. This showed the march and vote had put pressure on the government, Yeung said.'

READ: 'Ambiguous and unscientific': critics pour scorn on electoral reform reports

More than a dozen members of Scholarism and the federation watched the report presentation at the Legislative Council.

The Alliance for True Democracy said it would wait for the NPC's decision before deciding whether it would launch any civil disobedience action, but would prepare for it. It said it was "terribly disappointed" by the government's report.

Professor Joseph Cheng Yu-shek, of the alliance, said the report was "unfair and biased" as groups, such as the alliance, that call for civil nomination, had not been consulted.

The alliance plans to meet the Civil Human Rights Front and the students next week to discuss their plans. They also hope to meet Lam, Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Raymond Tam Chi-yuen and Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung.

"We still want to show our greatest sincerity and patience," Cheng said. "But if the NPC has made a decision and it has become definite that there won't be any real universal suffrage, we will support the Occupy Central movement."

Occupy Central movement co-organiser Benny Tai Yiu-ting said the report did not express the opinion of some legal experts that civil nomination would not go against the Basic Law.

He agreed there was a mutual distrust between the central government and Hong Kong people but said those with the power should be the first to trust those who are powerless.

"Now is the time for political leaders to express their trust towards the people," said Tai.

He hoped there would be an opportunity for pro-democracy groups to meet central government officials. Tai also agreed, as civil nomination had not yet been ruled out, that it was unnecessary to launch Occupy Central immediately.