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Occupy Central

Keep torch of democracy alive, Occupy leaders tell Hongkongers

PUBLISHED : Monday, 28 September, 2015, 6:40pm
UPDATED : Monday, 28 September, 2015, 8:04pm

Occupy organisers called on Hongkongers to stay the course and put their support of democracy into practice at the social level on the first anniversary of the civil disobedience movement.

Benny Tai Yiu-ting, one of the trio who launched the citywide campaign a year ago today, said: “We can imagine that if the central government continues to deny Hongkongers genuine democracy, the people of Hong Kong will come out again.”

Speaking on stage to hundreds of rally participants, Tai continued: “The year 2014 must be one of the most important pages in Hong Kong’s history. The ‘umbrella movement’ was testimony to the determination of Hongkongers, which surpassed the Occupy trio’s determination [to strive in] love and peace.”

He pledged there would definitely be “ongoing citywide direct” movements to fight for democracy.

READ MORE: No new Occupy Central on the horizon, movement founder Benny Tai says on first anniversary of protests 

Scholarism student activist Joshua Wong Chi-fung said September 28 should not turn into a day of festivities.

“A day that becomes a festival is one of ceremonies only, losing the focus on what can be done on the other 364 days of the year in civil society,” Wong said.

READ MORE: Joint photography exhibition recalls dramatic scenes of Occupy movement 

Occupy co-founder the Reverend Chu Yiu-ming said Hong Kong faced an “evil spirit” that tried to destroy the city by, for example, referring to the chief executive as transcending over the three branches of government, in an apparent reference to Zhang Xiaoming, Beijing’s liaison office chief in the city.

We need to stand up against those who deprive people of human rights,” Chu said. “Maybe the road is long and my body is weak, but we cannot lose our determination.”

Dr Chan Kin-man, also of the Occupy trio, urged rally participants not to be let down by current setbacks.