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Occupy Central

Hong Kong’s Occupy leaders on trial: who they are and what they’re accused of

  • Prosecutors have spelt out the allegations facing each of the nine key figures accused of organising the pro-democracy protests in 2014
PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 20 November, 2018, 11:02am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 20 November, 2018, 8:31pm

Benny Tai Yiu-ting, 54, associate law professor at the University of Hong Kong

Charges: One of conspiracy to cause public nuisance, one of inciting others to cause public nuisance, and one of inciting people to incite others to cause public nuisance

Allegations: Prosecutors said Tai joined the rest of the founding trio to hold a press conference on March 27 in 2013, when they began to talk about “Occupy Central with Love and Peace”. During the meeting, he read out the campaign’s manifesto.

“If the authorities concerned show no regard for the democratic demand of the citizens and bring up some election methods which do not meet the international standards of universal suffrage, we shall, at a suitable time, carry out civil disobedience in terms of ‘Occupy Central’,” he also said.

Tai continued to make public speeches with Chan and Chu in relation to the campaign in the months that followed, until the actual protests in 2014.

In the early morning of September 28, he took to a stage at a protest site in Admiralty to declare: “Occupy Central formally begins!”

Tai asked protesters if they were ready for the “banquet” – which prosecutors said was a code word for the movement – and urged others to “fortify the defence” at the protest site at Tim Mei Avenue.

The prosecutors said that in October, Tai was still urging protesters to come to the Admiralty and saying that he would stay for the demonstration.

Chan Kin-man, 59, outgoing associate sociology professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong

Charges: One of conspiracy to cause public nuisance, one of inciting others to cause public nuisance, and one of inciting people to incite others to cause public nuisance

Allegations: At the same 2013 press conference, Chan told participants not to put up resistance if they were to be arrested during the movement.

On later occasions, he went on to talk about the concept of civil disobedience. He described it as an “active refusal by the citizens to abide by unreasonable laws … without turning to violent means”.

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On September 28, when Tai declared the start of the movement, Chan told the crowd to take part in civil disobedience. He also told them if police resorted to tear gas, he and others would tell them where to gather next.

He was still involved in making announcements in October, the prosecutors suggested.

Chu Yiu-ming, 74, reverend

Charges: One of conspiracy to cause public nuisance, one of inciting others to cause public nuisance and one of inciting people to incite others to cause public nuisance

Allegations: When he met reporters on March 27, 2013 with Chan and Tai, Chu said that by breaking the law, one could show how unjust a system was. He turned up at other talks and press interviews, where he publicly discussed the movement with the other two founders. He said he was willing to take part in the civil disobedience act with others. In October, Chu took to the stage at the Admiralty protest with Chan and Tai, where he was praised by others for his role in the movement.

Tanya Chan, 47, lawmaker and barrister

Charges: one of inciting others to cause public nuisance and one of inciting people to incite others to cause public nuisance

Allegations: Chan hosted a protest with others on September 27, 2014 at Tim Mei Avenue, what was to become the occupiers’ stronghold, shortly before Tai kick-started the movement. After Tai announced that the movement had begun, Chan echoed his remark that the “banquet” had commenced and urged protesters to call for more people to come “so as to have 100,000 people taking part in the banquet together”.

Shiu Ka-chun, 49, lawmaker and social worker

Charges: one of inciting others to cause public nuisance and one of inciting people to incite others to cause public nuisance

Allegations: Shiu hosted the pre-protest with Tanya Chan and others, where they urged people to bring food and resources to the site. Following the commencement of the sit-in, Shiu took to the stage to make speeches and gave instructions, telling people how to “defend” different locations. He urged people to “counter-enclose” from outside the protest site so that police could not disperse the crowd easily. He also called on protesters to “over-cram Admiralty” and “occupy the carriageway”.

Tommy Cheung Sau-yin, 24, former student leader

Charges: one of inciting others to cause public nuisance and one of inciting people to incite others to cause public nuisance

Allegations: Cheung hosted the same protest in the run-up to the Occupy protests. After Tai announced the start of the movement, he called on protesters to stay to defend various “checklines” to avoid dispersion by police. He also urged protesters to call for more people to come.

Eason Chung Yiu-wa, 26, former student leader

Charges: one of inciting others to cause public nuisance and one of inciting people to incite others to cause public nuisance

Allegations: Chun was one of the hosts at the protest before the Occupy sit-ins. He joined Cheung to urge people to stand their ground and help boost the attendance following Tai’s announcement. Later, he hosted another session at the protest site with Shiu, during which he told protesters to “take root” at the site by performing various activities, from concerts to picnics.

Raphael Wong Ho-ming, 30, vice-chairman of the League of Social Democrats

Charges: one of inciting others to cause public nuisance and one of inciting people to incite others to cause public nuisance

Allegations: Wong was at Fenwick Pier Street on September 28. He used a loudspeaker to tell the crowd to stay on the carriageway and call on more people to come to cause further obstruction. Prosecutors said that as a result of the occupying crowd there, an ambulance was unable to pass through.

Lee Wing-tat, 63, former lawmaker

Charges: one of inciting others to cause public nuisance

Allegations: Lee ventured to the junction of Tim Mei Avenue and Harcourt Road during the occupation. He urged protesters at Harcourt Road to move toward Tim Mei Avenue, the major protest site. He also asked them to block all six lanes of Harcourt Road.