Hong Kong students vow to continue hunger strike as vomiting and weakness set in
Two more students joined the three Scholarism members already on hunger strike on Wednesday, as the group’s convenor Joshua Wong Chi-fung vowed to continue with their actions despite experiencing tiredness and uncomfortable symptoms.
Wong Chi-fung reiterated on Wednesday that their actions were an attempt to convince the government to open up and dialogue with students.
He vowed to continue the strike despite experiencing tiredness and uncomfortable symptoms, which began on Tuesday.
Chinese University Hong Kong student Gloria Cheng Yik-lam, 20, and Polytechnic University student Eddie Ng Man-hin, 20, joined the hunger strike on Wednesday, announcing their decisions at a rally.
"It's been 48 hours and still the government is unmoved. I'm joining to show support to my fellow members," said Ng.
Ng, an associate degree student in social policy and administration, said he did not inform his family about his decision for fear that they would be against it.
Cheng, a politics and governance student, said: "I believe without his push, the movement may be forced to end, so I have to join in. Or else the past two months will be in vain having achieved nothing."
One of the students, Prince Wong Ji-yuet, 17, vomited twice within an hour in the early hours of Wednesday.
“The medical team said perhaps I was not used to it yet,” she said, adding that the content she expelled might have been bile.
She was given two pills by her medical team, which includes doctors, and was not hospitalised.
“After some sleep last night, I feel better now,” she said.
Joshua Wong, 18, said the three would carry on with the plan, vowing to only drink water or consume a glucose solution if advised to by doctors.
“We want to let the public know that the hunger strike we’re on now is a serious one. We want to refocus the public attention on the umbrella movement,” he said.
The three students announced their plan to go on an indefinite hunger strike on Monday, a day after the Federation of Students’ failed attempt at escalating action.
As an alternative tactic, the trio wanted to use the hunger strike to press the government to launch a dialogue with students, Joshua Wong previously said.
Into the 39th hour of their hunger strike, the Scholarism convenor said his blood sugar level had dwindled to 2.9 millimoles per litre, with 18-year-old Isabella Lo Yin-wai’s also sitting at 3.4 mmol/l and Prince Wong’s at 3.27 mmol/l. They started out at around 5 mmol/l, he said.
Normal blood sugar levels are between 5 and 6 mmol/l before meals, and can go up to between 7 and 8 mmol/l after eating.
The trio were also experiencing dizziness and an increased heartbeat rate.
Joshua Wong said the medical team, which has been monitoring them, would now come four to five times a day instead of the originally scheduled two check-ups every 24 hours.
He reiterated that he did not think the movement’s leaders, including the Federation of Students and Occupy co-founders Reverend Chu Yiu-ming and academics Benny Tai Yiu-ting and Dr Chan Kin-man, were encountering a rift.
He also stressed that the government was the only party which could stop the hunger strike.
“If [Chief Executive] Leung Chun-ying and his government are willing to launch a dialogue in regard to rebooting the political reform, we will stop the hunger strike immediately,” he said.
The students read out an open letter to Leung on Wednesday afternoon.
“Don't blindly believe in the violent clearance by police. Nor should you think that the tactic of attrition is working,” Prince Wong said, reading from the letter.
"The government can't afford to pay the costly price of losing a generation of youngsters.”
The letter again called for the government to reopen dialogue, urging it to restart political reform.
On behalf of the trio, Lo hit back at an article published in Communist Party mouthpiece, People’s Daily, which described the hunger strike as "a road to the dark".
"We think we are finding light in the dark. We are seeking a turning pointing during the umbrella movement," Lo said.
Joshua Wong said he would not invite non-Scholarism members to join the hunger strike due to limited medical resources. But he said that more Scholarism members could join the trio.