Occupy Central

Four more arrested over Legco storming, including publication editor, Civic Passion members

Those nabbed in the action meant to further Occupy Central’s cause include a publication’s chief editor and radical Civic Passion members

PUBLISHED : Friday, 21 November, 2014, 3:10am
UPDATED : Friday, 21 November, 2014, 5:01pm

Police have nabbed another four men - including two from a radical political group and the chief editor of a free publication - over Wednesday's storming of the Legislative Council building.

The latest four arrested yesterday - bringing the total to 10 - include two Civic Passion members and Local Press chief editor Leung Kam-cheung.

They were held on suspicion of criminal damage, unlawful assembly, and accessing a computer with criminal or dishonest intent, police said.

Last night, police said the six men arrested on Wednesday would appear in Eastern Court today. Four are on holding charges of criminal damage and the other two are being charged with assaulting a police officer.

The news came as protesters who took part in the storming expressed disappointment at pan-democratic lawmakers who condemned their act, and warned that they might target other public buildings next.

Two protesters, a man and a woman who refused to give their full names, dismissed suggestions that they had been "misled" into storming the Legco building.

They knew exactly what they were doing and believed their action would further the Occupy Central pro-democracy movement's cause, they said.

At about 1am on Wednesday, a group of masked men, using bricks and metal railings, smashed two glass doors at the Legco building.

Hundreds of Occupy protesters flocked to the scene shortly after in a show of support for the masked men.

The ensuing chaos prompted police to charge at them with batons and pepper spray.

Later that day, three Occupy co-founders and 23 pan-democratic lawmakers "strongly condemned" their actions. Three radical pan-democrats, including "Long Hair" Leung Kwok-hung, urged the action's organisers to explain their motives.

The Occupy movement said some protesters had falsely claimed lawmakers would on Wednesday discuss a bill with implications for online freedom of expression. The bill will be discussed only next month.

But the woman protester said she had not been misled. She had gone to Admiralty on Tuesday night after seeing a post in an online forum implying that the forum users would be "doing something", she said.

"Do the pan-democrats think democracy will just fall from the sky?" she said. "We sat there for days but the government has not [made any concrete response]."

While she did not take part in smashing the doors, the woman said, she supported the action by tweeting from the scene.

"We were trying to increase the 'cost of governance' … And although we were unsuccessful, we caused some trouble for the police," she said, adding that she believed the streets of Central and other public buildings might be the protesters' next targets.

Her fellow protester said: "It's contradictory for the pan-democrats to slam us for staining the movement with illegal action, as blocking roads is also illegal."

Civic Passion leader Wong Yeung-tat said: "The timing was unwise strategically, but … I understand their anxiety that the movement has yet to bear fruit."

Meanwhile, Next Media founder and Occupy supporter Jimmy Lai Chee-ying said the protesters were just destructive.

"Obviously someone was creating false information to spark people off ... The objective was to paint this movement in a bad light," he said.

Watch: Alleged Hong Kong protesters attempt parliament break-in