POLITICS
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Occupy Central

Occupy supporters march to liaison office

Protesters demand Beijing's officials in the city set up talks with the central government

PUBLISHED : Monday, 10 November, 2014, 6:46am
UPDATED : Monday, 10 November, 2014, 5:50pm

Hundreds of yellow ribbons were tied outside the central government's outpost in Hong Kong yesterday after democracy campaigners marched from Central to the liaison office in Sai Wan.

Organised by the Civil Human Rights Front, the march saw hundreds of protesters demand that Beijing overturn its August 31 decision setting strict limits on nominations for the 2017 chief executive election. They also demanded a meeting between Beijing officials and the Federation of Students, as Hong Kong's leaders had failed to break the impasse that had left roads blocked for more than six weeks.

Front convenor Daisy Chan Sin-ying estimated the turnout at more than 1,000, while police put the figure at 740. Many carried yellow umbrellas and ribbons, two key symbols of the Occupy campaign.

Referring to plans by student leaders to head to Beijing, Chan said: "The students are not going to Beijing to beg to Beijing or to ask for their sympathy … we want to face the national power head-on, and reflect the demands of the Hong Kong public to them.

"Hongkongers are completely disappointed at the government in [failing to] find a way out of the current political dilemma."

Federation secretary general Alex Chow Yong-kang, who took part in the march, said the group would write to all 35 local delegates to the National People's Congress to ask them to help set up talks with Beijing. That included Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai, the only local member of the NPC Standing Committee, the body that took the August 31 decision.

"Fan … can request motions during the [Standing Committee] meetings. This is within what she can do," Chow said. "She has a duty to reflect the views of Hongkongers."

Lawmaker "Long Hair" Leung Kwok-hung, of the League of Social Democrats, managed to throw a yellow umbrella into the liaison office's forecourt, bearing the names of mainland activists detained for supporting Occupy.

The marchers faced a counter-protest by about 20 people from the Defend Hong Kong Campaign. The group urged those taking part in the Occupy movement to turn themselves in to police and accused them of destroying the rule of law.

Meanwhile, a group of Occupy activists released the results of a survey of over 1,300 people in the occupied area of Admiralty. Some 40 per cent had visited that protest zone on more than 21 days. At least 75 per cent favoured allowing the public to nominate candidates for chief executive, while 81 per cent favoured the abolition of functional constituencies in the Legislative Council.