• Sun
  • Dec 21, 2014
  • Updated: 5:14pm
Occupy Central
NewsHong Kong

Cross your legs! Occupy Central organisers worry about toilet facilities for 10,000

Calls of nature as important as calls for democracy as organisers preparing for possible blockade of Central address practical concerns

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 24 August, 2014, 4:52am
UPDATED : Sunday, 24 August, 2014, 10:05am

Occupy Central won't just be about relieving protesters' desire for democracy; organisers say they also have to worry about the 10,000 participants relieving themselves.

Food, water and - most of all - toilets were occupying the minds of the organisers, founder Benny Tai Yiu-ting said yesterday, the first time he has discussed the practical issues Occupy faces.

And Tai was careful not to leak further details for fear of being charged with conspiracy or incitement to break the law.

"There are big and small things we need to consider," Tai said, ahead of a crunch meeting of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress on political reform in Hong Kong.

Tai and others have hinted that the committee's decision could trigger Occupy's plan to rally 10,000 people to block streets in the business hub.

"The big thing is which part of Central should be occupied so that the biggest possible crowd can gather," he told RTHK. "The small thing is people won't have food and water.

"They may be able to bear this for a period of time, but when it comes to toilets, they may just leave if they can't go to the loo."

Tai said the movement would need time to prepare, and would have to assess whether the public was sympathetic to its cause.

There are two public toilets near Chater Road, where a rehearsal for Occupy was led by students in July: one in the car park of the old Star Ferry Pier, and the other near Bank Street. Another seven are further away.

The NPC Standing Committee gathers tomorrow for talks on reform as the city discusses how to implement universal suffrage for the 2017 chief executive election. Its decision is expected to set Beijing's bottom line ahead of a second round of consultation by the Hong Kong government later this year.

At a forum yesterday, Tai said either of two rules the committee could set would prompt Occupy to take place. The first would be a requirement that candidates in 2017 win the support for more than half of the members of a nominating committee before being put to the public. The second would be a low limit on the number of candidates.

But fellow forum participant Lau Nai-keung, a member of the Basic Law Committee under the NPC Standing Committee, said Beijing was likely to limit candidate numbers; it would consider two or three a "safe" limit.

Meanwhile, the head of the Hong Kong government's Central Policy Unit said yesterday that it was reasonable to rule out any candidate who threatened national security - including that of the Communist Party.

"If the candidates go to the White House to meet someone and then go to London to meet someone, how can they gain the central government's trust?" said Shiu Sin-por, in a reference to recent attempts to win Western support by veteran democracy fighters Anson Chan Fang On-sang and Martin Lee Chu-ming.

But Shiu said Occupy would be acceptable as long as participants took responsibility for breaching the law and pleaded guilty to any criminal charges.

Additional reporting by Shirley Zhao


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What patent rubbish from Shiu Shin-por. Meeting people in Washington as a candidate is precisely what Xi Jinping did in Feb 2012. So that made him a national security threat? And the irony of this nonsense coming from a guy who spent many years in the States and graduated from U Wisconsin, Cornell and Harvard is evidently lost on him.
You deprive us of easy access to Central, and we deprive you of toilet facilities. Fair.
I think Occupy people should each be given a shovel and fight each other over the minimal land there is for the right to defecate. Because that's what Hong Kong would figuratively end up being like if these Occupy Central special snowflake brats get their way.
Good, let these scum drown in their own stink, I'll be looking down on them from the 27th floor with a cold drink in one hand amused.....
Jimmy Lai said in one of the disclosed emails that Benny Tai was "有智無謀", now turns out he is "有致無茅"...
Those toilets mentioned in the article are indeed very old and it's probably the right time for the Central district council to ask for upgrading the facilities. The sooner the better and if the repair/facelift work could embark in September or October time frame, that will be wonderful so that the general public and tourists to Hong Kong can enjoy better during Christmas time or new year eve count down activities.
Those organising anti-occupy Central have a much easier job than occupy central. They could stop occupy central with 30 elderly ladies and 50 elderly males. Give them $200 each per day (rice money).
A) Hand out free water and fruit to those at occupy central.
B) have the paid elderly occupy by bathrooms all day (in a rotation with each elderly person using the toilette every 15 minutes.
Those at occupy central will face long lines to use the toilette and would give up and go home.
If the protesters start public ally urinating in the street then some young punks can run up and start calling them ****s and take pictures of them. Then police can come and fine them for public deification. (They don't even need to arrest them).
Occupy central would fall apart in the matter of hours. Hong Kong people are not like protestors in Thailand. They are too used to being spoilt. Out of 10,000 only about 500 could stick it out for a day. +students are back at school and parents / kids will be focused on grades.
Many people I know used to talk about occupy cent real.mother have now moved to other topics.
If I were Benny Tai I would not worry about toilet facilities. I am sure the police have already taken care of that for them - at Wong Chuk Hang!
There will be plenty of water and toilets provided in Wong Chuk Hang I think...



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