The potential for a "mini-Tiananmen" movement to evolve from pro-democracy class boycotts at local secondary schools and universities worries the government, a former chief of the Security Bureau says. Suspicions have also been aroused in the corridors of power that the students are becoming a tool for Occupy Central to boost its fight for genuine universal suffrage, because it has failed to mobilise support from the middle class, according to executive councillor Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee. But she doubts the pressure will succeed in making Beijing cave in and retract a reform framework laid down on August 31 - ruling out a genuine choice of candidates for voters in the 2017 chief executive poll - despite the political tensions weighing on the Hong Kong government. Ip told the South China Morning Post of prevailing sentiments in the government last week while the class boycotts were in full swing, ahead of the formal launch of Occupy's first operation yesterday. "On the face of it, the students are voicing their demands for democracy and self-determination," Ip said. "I think the worry on the part of the Hong Kong government is, what if it becomes a mini-Tiananmen? Who is behind it?" That movement 25 years ago was initiated by students to push for a democratic China, but it ended abruptly when the People's Liberation Army moved in on protesters at Beijing's Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989. Hundreds, perhaps more than 1,000, were killed. Ip shared the view of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying in labelling the class boycotts as "political mobilisation". She described the young participants as "uncivil and uncivillised" for resorting to disrespectful behaviour and insults to run down government officials. "They remind you of Tiananmen - the protesters asking for dialogue with the chief executive and surrounding the Chief Executive's Office … If the police are driven to disperse them by force, it could turn sour and sinister," she warned. The Beijing-loyalist chairwoman of the New People's Party also accused Occupy of shifting its strategy and mobilising the young. The campaign had "failed" because it could not galvanise support from the middle class and politically neutral residents to join a mass sit-in paralysing Central, she said. "The organisers probably know it is hard to mobilise 10,000 people to occupy Chater Road … That is why the government suspects they are mobilising young and innocent students." Civic Party lawmaker Alan Leong Kah-kit rejected the idea. Leong, who has thrown in his lot with the Occupy campaign, said it was an insult to young people to suggest they could be used by politicians. "I wish I could use them, [but] I can't," he said. Ip, who withdrew her bid to join the 2012 chief executive race, said it was too early to say whether she would give it a shot again in 2017.