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Occupy Central

Is Scholarism over? Occupy group silent on future after report it will disband

No comment from core leaders as Facebook page states its ‘future direction’ is being assessed

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 16 March, 2016, 1:59pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 16 March, 2016, 3:10pm

Eyebrows were raised after student-led activist group Scholarism remained tight-lipped over a report suggesting the team that played a major role in the Occupy protests would be disbanded on Sunday.

In a statement issued early Wednesday on Scholarism’s Facebook page, the group said only that it was at present working on its future direction and would announce if it reached any decisions.

The saga emerged after online news outlet IBHK reported late Tuesday that the group, convened by Joshua Wong Chi-fung and catapulted to global fame after leading a campaign forcing Hong Kong authorities to shelve a national education curriculum in 2012, would be disbanded on Sunday.

READ MORE: From Occupy to ballot box: new Scholarism party could end up clashing with old guard democrats in Legco elections

The report also came weeks after Oscar Lai Man-lok, a former core member of Scholarism, revealed he, Wong and Agnes Chow Ting planned to form a political party and field at least two candidates to run in the Legislative Council elections in September.

Lai quit Scholarism to support Civic Party’s Alvin Yeung Ngok-kiu in the Legco by-election for New Territories East last month. Scholarism did not officially endorse a candidate in that race.

READ MORE: Hong Kong localist’s vote haul in by-election points to further splits in radical groups at Legco polls

Wong had said the new party, likely to be formed in April, would push for a referendum to enable Hongkongers to determine whether to split from mainland China in 2047, the year when Beijing’s promises under the “one country, two systems” principle were due to expire.

One concern relating to Scholarism’s possible disbandment was how the group would handle donations it received over the years. The group was said to have amassed over HK$1 million.