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  • Sep 22, 2014
  • Updated: 1:19am
Occupy Central
NewsHong Kong
POLITICAL REFORM

Occupy Central protest 'would need 20,000 participants for effective blockade'

Post study finds pro-democracy group may have to instead target specific junctions if it is to pull off threat of blockading business district

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 14 August, 2014, 12:05am
UPDATED : Thursday, 14 August, 2014, 11:10am

Organisers of the Occupy Central protest will need either to mobilise more than 20,000 protesters or strategically place participants at key junctions if they are to succeed in blockading the city's financial district, the South China Morning Post has found.

Occupy Central organisers have previously said their aim is to rally 10,000 people and use non-violent means in an effort to paralyse the district to pressure authorities here and in Beijing over political reform.

But a Post study found it would take more than 11,000 people just to occupy Chater Road. The number is based on protesters locking arms, as they did in a July 2 sit-in protest on Chater Road. That protest required two adults for each square metre.

Most sit-in protests require 1.67 people per square metre, according to Paul Yip Siu-fai, a University of Hong Kong expert who specialises in crowd counting. But that density leaves large gaps between protesters, making it easy for police to disperse them.

It would take at least 22,000 protesters to form a single, high-density crowd covering Chater Road and a main section of Des Voeux Road Central - two of the main arteries of Central.

Alternatively, organisers could split up the crowd and stage simultaneous sit-ins at critical junctions such as the intersections of Queen's Road Central and Wyndham Street, Connaught Road Central and Pedder Street, and Garden Road and Queen's Road Central.

While a police spokesman said the force would not comment on its operations, a source familiar with the issue said police believed this tactic was the most likely. "Police management has been thinking: if Occupy Central is to go ahead, will it take the same form as the Chater Road [protest]?" the source said.

On that day, a single crowd of some 500 protesters occupied a section of Chater Road. It took police more than five hours to remove the protesters.

The source said police believed the protest may not be limited to Central and were now trying to identify "choking points".

"The police are preparing for the worst: the Cross-Harbour Tunnel, Western Harbour Tunnel or major highways and landmarks may also be their targets," he said. "They will probably have a team of 100 or 200 just to occupy the tramway or a particular junction."

Occupy Central organiser Dr Chan Kin-man said: "If paralysing [Central] is our only aim, just a handful of people blocking the MTR train doors can achieve that. What makes civil disobedience truly powerful is that lots of people are prepared to sacrifice themselves for the common good."

 

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This article is now closed to comments

woop
Unlike the anti-occupy-central movement, which has the budget to hire tourists, school children, and part-time workers to do on-the-job supporters, the occupy-central guys don't have such budget. I guess unfortunately, they would need to rely on their own volunteers.
ngsw
Dont worry, citizens will fight back.
grosvenor2007
Shame on SCMP for soliciting chaos in HK. Another proof that SCMP works inline with CIA/MI6's objective to splitting up the city and turning it into another "Taiwan".
comuller
The SCMP providing the handbook for successful occupation of Central? That's a new role for a newspaper.
ngsw
HKers would donate money to suppoort them if they are doing that for the good of HK. One million citizens each giving out 100$ will amount to a 100 M and then they dont have to be funded undertable by Master Lie. Do they have mass and strong support?
hard times !
it is not surprising to learn that at least 22 , 000 participants are needed to occupy Chater Road and the main section of Des Voeux Rd.Central in the upcoming non-violent civil-disobedience campaign,'Occupy Central' ---to pursue or demand a geniune universal suffrage for the election of our chief executive in 2017 when the election will have to comply with the UN's International Covenant on Civil Rights and Rights which states that all citizens (permanent residents as in the case of Hong Kong) enjoy the right to nominate,to be voted and to vote in a universal suffrage and never just the right to vote on a bunch of candidates chosen by the authorities only ! Besides, our Basic Law article 26 states that Hong Kong permanent residents enjoy the right to be nominated in a universal suffrage.Furthermore, so-called 'loving one's nation/Party and Hong Kong' is never written in our Basic Law indeed !
mh0908
This one?
-
Article 25
Every citizen shall have the right and the opportunity, without any of the distinctions mentioned in article 2 and without unreasonable restrictions: (a) To take part in the conduct of public affairs, directly or through freely chosen representatives; (b) To vote and to be elected at genuine periodic elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret ballot, guaranteeing the free expression of the will of the electors; (c) To have access, on general terms of equality, to public service in his country.
-
No mention of the nomination process. And Hong Kong's Basic Law does guarantee universal suffrage (Article 45).
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HK Basic Law Article 26 -
Permanent residents of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall have the right to vote and the right to stand for election in accordance with law.
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Yes. You and I have the right to stand for election.
mh0908
SCMP trying to incite a riot in Hong Kong by giving tips to rioters on where to go and what to do? Will you only be satisfied if the riot squad comes out shooting rubber bullets at people and the Hang Seng Index falls 2,000 pts.? Gosh! Preach peace, not violence!
anitalui
革命无罪,造反有理。天下大乱,越乱越好。以CCP之茅攻CCP之盾。Damaged is badly done (by CCP) in HK. HK people lose out big once come to the negotiating table with CCP. CCP & its cronies have much more to lose in HK than the HK general public, 走着看吧!
53ca7d2c-531c-4020-8daa-74410a320969
@chuchu59. Actually, the organisers have talked about preventing violence many, many times and it's not accurate to say "they've done nothing" on this. You only have to Google to see this - here's one example: ****hongwrong.com/benny-tai/ (see video around 16mins). But you are right to be unforgiving about violence, from either side of the debate. Please let's also avoid comments like anyone is "lacking brains" - we should all strive to show respect our fellow HKers, not insult them.

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