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  • » 09/28/2014, 00.00


    Occupy Central launches civil disobedience. Solidarity with arrested students

    Paul Wang

    The announcement was made at 1.45am by Benny Lai, one of the leaders. Supporters present include Card. Joseph Zen, the Catholic politician Martin Lee, the entrepreneur Jimmy Lai. Three students, one 17 years old, remain in detention without aby charge. The governor Leung Chun-ying refuses to meet with students. Fears of police raids. Demonstrations in nine cities in support of democracy in Hong Kong. Silence of Xinhua news agency.

    Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - Thousands of people have occupied the area around Hong Kong's parliament buildings this morning after the official launch of the campaign of civil disobedience by Occupy Central. The announcement was made by Benny Tai, a leader of the nonviolent movement, 1.45am this morning (see photo). In front of a crowd of thousands of people gathered in the Admiralty zone, he said: "I ​​have long-awaited news: Occupy Central starts now ... Students and people who support democracy are beginning a new era of civil disobedience".

    The campaign was scheduled to begin October 1, but was brought forward in solidarity with students who have been striking for a week and who clashed with police in Civic Square around government buildings in the night between 26 and 27 September, in an attempt to force the governor Leung Chun-ying to talk to them.

    Police blocked 61 students surrounding them with metal barricades, not even allowing them to leave to use the toilet. Other groups of students were charged with pepper spray and batons. Three students are still being detained: Joshua Wong, 17, a leader of the Scholarism group; Alex Chow and Lester Shum, leaders of the Students Federation. There are no charges against them and Joshua's parents claim police are holding their son as a political move.

    Originally, Occupy Central had no intention of involving school and university students in the civil disobedience, because of their young age and a certain tendency towards anarchism, but police violence has prompted a change.

    Card. Joseph Zen, bishop emeritus of Hong Kong, who is taking part in the civil disobedience, has urged everyone to remain united in their demand for full democracy for the people of the territory. Politician Martin Lee, a Catholic Democrat, has also come out in support of this people's movement as has entrepreneur Jimmy Lai, a Catholic too, under investigation for corruption for having supported the democratic movement for years with generous donations.

    Occupy Central has two demands: first, that the Chinese parliament, which has ruled out universal suffrage for Hong Kong, overturn its decision from August 31; the second is that it relaunch the process of political reform in the region.

    In the past, Beijing had promised that democratic elections would be held by 2017,. Last August, the National People's Congress - China's parliament - decided that the entire population of Hong Kong would be allow elect the new governor, but only three candidates would be put forward chosen by a pro-Beijing committee.

    The first stage of the campaign of civil disobedience is to occupy the area in front of government offices. The current governor, Leung Chun-ying has been singled out as responsible for the deteriorating situation. First of all, months ago, meeting with Chinese leaders, he failed to present the real situation in the territory, keeping his mouth shut about the real desire for democracy, manifested by an unofficial referendum, which gathered more than 800 thousand votes. Secondly, in recent days he has refused to meet with students, indirectly contributing to the tensions and clashes between students and police. So far he has cancelled all public events, for fear of being challenged.

    Thousands of people are visiting the sit-in of the students and Occupy Central even bringing the participants food and drink.

    The police, in an attempt to curb these protests, announced that "any public meeting of more than 50 people and marches with more than 30 participants will require our permission. Without this, they will be considered unauthorized and therefore unlawful".  Thus everyone is waiting for more clashes and charges from the police.

    Nine cities around the world have marched in support of democracy in Hong Kong. Xinhua, China's official news agency, has not published one word about Occupy Central.


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    See also

    29/09/2016 09:50:00 HONG KONG - CHINA
    Card. Zen to Umbrellas Movement: The Church must denounce injustice. Undeterred

    A Mass in front of Hong Kong parliament to commemorate the pro-democracy demonstrations two years ago. In the city and in particular in Admiralty (where hundreds of thousands of people gathered) another moment with Benny Tai. All demonstrations were conducted at 6 pm, when two years ago the police first launched tear gas. Hopes for the future.


    10/09/2014 HONG KONG - CHINA
    Card. Zen: With Occupy Central we may have provoked the Emperor’s ire
    The democratic movement is not a threat to the Territory’s survival. Beijing’s "three slaps in the face" of the local population. "When the imperialists attack, they only do damage, but when it is our fellow Chinese who want to enslave us, then our heart is wounded. There is no other option for those who do not want to be enslaved except resistance". The reflections of the bishop emeritus of Hong Kong.

    23/06/2017 14:02:00 HONG KONG – CHINA
    President Xi Jinping visits Hong Kong for the 20th anniversary of its return to the fatherland

    Xi's full schedule includes a visit to the PLA garrison, the swearing in of the Hong Kong cabinet and infrastructure projects, but no meeting with the population. Security will be tight in view of possible terrorism. Beijing’s anti-democracy steps have also raised fear of protests. Aircraft carrier Liaoning is set to visit Hong Kong harbour.

    02/10/2017 11:49:00 HONG KONG - CHINA
    Hong Kong, thousands march for democracy on Chinese national holiday

    A day not for celebration, but for "national sadness" for the "status of the rule of law in Hong Kong." The memory of the three young Occupy Central activists sentenced to months in jail by will of the city government. "Political persecution" also for co-founders of umbrella movement. Demonstrators call for the resignation of justice secretary Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung, branded Beijing’s "puppet".

    08/11/2017 11:50:00 HONG KONG-CHINA
    Alex Chow released on bail. His thanks to Card. Zen for visiting him in prison

    Chow, along with Joshua Wong and Nathan Law, may appeal against their prison sentence. His "thank you" to secretary for justice Rimsky Yuan for "the trip" to prison, which has taught Chow the (double) standards with which justice is implemented in Hong Kong. Restoring the democratic movement. Card. Zen visits Pik Uk Prison twice a month. Every year he collects funds to give the prisoners "moon desserts", symbolic of familiar unity. 

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