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How is the newest “Occupy” Hong Kong ?

  • Author:Lisa
  • Source:www.tigloncn.com
  • Release on :2014-10-20
“Occupy” Hong Kong entered its 16th day on Monday with no sign that the students leading the peaceful civil disobedience movement were prepared to end their campaign for more political rights in the Chinese territory.

Hong Kong police started removing some of the barricades blocking entry to the main protest zone on Monday but said the action was intended to ease traffic congestion in the Asian financial hub and not a move to clear the demonstrators.

The number of protesters has dwindled over the past week – aside from a spike on Friday – but Harcourt Road, a crucial artery through the commercial district, has remained closed to traffic because of the student sit-in.

The pro-democracy demonstrators oppose a move by China to introduce restricted universal suffrage for the election of chief executive in Hong Kong. While the move to give 5m people a vote provides more political rights than under British rule, China included tough measures that make it impossible for a critic of Beijing to run.

CY Leung, Hong Kong’s embattled chief executive, on Sunday repeated his demand for the demonstrators to clear their street camp near government headquarters, saying the students had “zero” chance of changing Beijing’s mind.

Early on Monday, police started dismantling unmanned barricades near the protest area. In a statement, the police urged protesters to “remove the road barriers as soon as possible and leave the scenes peacefully and orderly”.

The Hong Kong Federation of Students – one of three groups spearheading the pro-democracy movement – and the government planned to hold talks last Friday. But Carrie Lam, head of the civil service, cancelled the meeting after the protest leaders urged demonstrators to ramp up their occupation. She said the leaders had “seriously undermined” the basis for talks.

The students responded by calling a rally for Friday night that led to a spike in the number of protesters at what has been dubbed “Umbrella Square”, a reference to the umbrellas people used to protect themselves from tear gas two weeks ago.

The area around government headquarters resembles a student campground, with protesters doing everything from making food for demonstrators to creating works of street art to criticise the government. One common image has police confronting Paddington Bear, who is carrying a yellow umbrella, and calling him a “thug”.

In mainland China, censors have blocked people from accessing information about the protests in Hong Kong, the only place in China where people can demonstrate freely without fear of retribution. But Chinese state-run media have run a series of articles and editorials castigating the “illegal” Occupy movement and its leaders.

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