Occupy Central

Hundreds join march against Occupy Central

PUBLISHED : Monday, 14 July, 2014, 5:57am
UPDATED : Monday, 14 July, 2014, 9:27am

A group that marched through Causeway Bay yesterday in protest against Occupy Central claims to have collected 5,000 signatures from the public - but its petition has been rejected by a fellow pro-Beijing group.

The Voice of Loving Hong Kong claims more than 2,500 joined its march yesterday from Paterson Street, Causeway Bay, to the police headquarters in Wan Chai - though police estimated the turnout at just 340.

It also claims that prior to the start of the march at 3pm it collected some 5,000 signatures opposing the civil disobedience movement.

It had planned to pass the signatures to the Alliance for Peace and Democracy, a fellow pro-Beijing group also planning a protest petition against Occupy Central.

The alliance aims to get 800,000 signatures to outnumber the 780,000 people who voted in Occupy Central's unofficial referendum

However, alliance spokesman Robert Chow Yung said yesterday it would not use the 5,000 signatures collected by the Voice of Loving Hong Kong as it had used a different methodology.

"It is impossible for us to accept the signatures they collected. Our petition won't start until July 19, and we will use standardised forms and check people's ID cards."

Chow, a former RTHK radio host, added that his group had no monopoly over signature collection, and that the chairman of Voice of Loving Hong Kong, Patrick Ko Tat-pun, could submit his petition to the government separately if he wished.

The alliance was criticised after saying at a press conference last Thursday it would accept signatures from people under 18, tourists, foreign domestic helpers and residents on working visas.

Yesterday, the methodology employed by the Voice of Loving Hong Kong also came under fire, when Ko admitted that not all of those signing its petition had been made aware the group planned to hand their names and phone numbers to the alliance.

"Not all volunteers [who asked passers-by to sign] were briefed properly," Ko said, when asked whether his volunteers may have breached the privacy ordinance. According to the government's Data Protection Principles "… data subjects shall be informed of the purpose for which the data are collected".