Occupy Central

Another banner day for Occupy supporters as banner hung from Kowloon Peak

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 01 November, 2014, 4:25am
UPDATED : Saturday, 01 November, 2014, 10:12am

First it was Lion Rock. Now Kowloon Peak has been bedecked with a huge banner reading, "I want real universal suffrage".

More than a week after a group of climbers hung the first giant banner from one of the peaks on the ridge behind urban Kowloon, the second appeared yesterday.

While the banner on Lion Rock was removed after a day, its appearance triggered a pennant frenzy among Occupy Central supporters, with smaller ones soon fluttering from university buildings and students sticking miniature ones on their foreheads.

The group of climbers, calling themselves Hong Kong Spidie, released video last week showing them hanging the six metre by 28 metre banner from Lion Rock. No one claimed credit yesterday for the Kowloon Peak banner. Hong Kong Spidie members could not be reached for comment.

In the Legislative Council, meanwhile, lawmakers blocked two attempts to set up special investigations of the Occupy protests and of the tactics police used against some of the protesters.

After almost 14 hours of debate over two days, a motion proposed by Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen to set up a select committee to explore the "large-scale unlawful occupation of roads in a number of districts since September 28" fell foul of the chamber's split-voting mechanism.

Despite receiving 32 votes in favour to 24 against, it was defeated because it failed to secure majority support from both functional constituency lawmakers and those representing geographical constituencies.

"It is inappropriate to conduct an investigation of the students or general public based on their different political backgrounds, otherwise the legislature is acting to suppress opposition views," said Ip Kin-yuen of the education sector, opposing the motion.

Legco select committees have the power to summon witnesses and demand documents.

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A second motion, proposed by independent Wong Yuk-man, to launch an inquiry into the police handling of attacks on the sit-in in Mong Kok by anti-Occupy protesters on October 3 was voted down by 32 votes to 23.

Secretary for Security Lai Tung-kwok said the government opposed investigating police because it could impinge on criminal investigations.

Up to Monday, 332 people aged 18 to 82 had been arrested for offences relating to the protests, Lai said. They were suspected of crimes including assault, indecent assault, criminal damage, dishonest use of computers, intimidation and attempted arson.

He said the government would cooperate with lawmakers if they sought further information about the arrests in meetings of Legco panels.

As for the future of the protests, Lai told lawmakers that police would take "appropriate measures at an appropriate time" to restore order.

He did not elaborate and would not take any questions from the media.