Hong Kong Occupy activists deliver upbeat message at second anniversary rally
Lawmaker-elect Nathan Law says people are regaining their energy in fighting for democratic change
Yellow umbrellas, pro-democracy banners and street booths reappeared in Admiralty as about 1,000 people commemorated the second anniversary of the Occupy movement.
A rally was held on Tim Mei Avenue on Wednesday evening, and many leaders of the pro-democracy movement returned to the site protesters occupied for 79 days.
Benny Tai Yiu-ting, one of the trio who launched the Occupy Central campaign, told the crowd not to forget what brought them to Admiralty two years ago.
“Two years ago, we came here to fight for democracy in Hong Kong,” he said.
Tai noted that since the Legislative Council elections on September 4, in which several Occupy activists were elected, he could see hope for the future of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement.
Another Occupy organiser, Dr Chan Kin-man, hit back at claims that the movement was a failure.
“Even if we cannot change the system immediately, if the movement provided more momentum for the fight for democracy, then it’s not a failure,” he said.
Demosisto’s Nathan Law Kwun-chung, one of the student leaders who was elected, said that since the first anniversary of the movement he had noticed that Hongkongers were regaining their confidence and energy in fighting for democratic change.
Student activist Joshua Wong Chi-fung called on participants not to give up the fight for democracy.
“We have experienced a lot of frustrations, but this does not mean we have to back down,” he said.
Amid the speeches, some activists also printed T-shirts and made handicrafts that symbolised the movement.
At 5.58pm, participants marked the moment riot police fired tear gas at protesters with a three-minute silence.
Tsoi Yee-chun, a 16-year-old student, said he came to the rally with hopes of encouraging more Hongkongers to speak out against injustice in the city.
“I also came to reflect on how we can build a more equal society,” he said.
Wong Wai-kwan, 35, said he felt the nature of political discussions in Hong Kong had improved since the Occupy movement.
The social worker had brought his daughter, who was born during the civil disobedience movement.
“My biggest wish is for my daughter to have real universal suffrage when she grows up,” he said.
Earlier on Wednesday morning, League of Social Democrats member Tsang Kin-shing said his group had placed a six-metre-long yellow banner bearing the familiar Hong Kong slogan “I want real universal suffrage” on the hillside opposite Lei Ye House on the Lei Yue Mun estate. But firemen quickly took it down.