- Title: HONG KONG-CHINA/STRIKE REAX Hong Kong protesters sceptical of hunger strike plans
- Date: 1st December 2014
- Summary: HONG KONG, CHINA (DECEMBER 1, 2014) (REUTERS) **** WARNING CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY **** PROTESTERS' CAMP IN ADMIRALTY DISTRICT TENTS IN RAIN / PROTESTERS STUDENTS LISTENING TO PROTESTER SPEAKING VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS LOOKING ON PROTESTER SPEAKING (SOUNDBITE) (English) PRO-DEMOCRACY PROTESTER, STEPHANIE CHOW, SAYING: "So I don't think this time the government will still respond, have (a) response to this Umbrella Revolution, or what they want the government to answer (to), so I don't think it's a really effective action for them." HONG KONG, CHINA (DECEMBER 2, 2014) (REUTERS) POLICE WATCHING FROM OVER PASS PRO-DEMOCRACY PROTESTERS BLOCKING POLICE OFFICER FROM WALKING UPSTAIRS POLICE OFFICER LOOKING DOWN AT STAIRS PRO-DEMOCRACY PROTESTERS LOOKING ON PROTESTERS PUSHING POLICE OFFICER INTO WALL / POLICE OFFICER TRYING TO WALK UP STAIRS PROTESTERS WALKING DOWN STAIRS VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS REBUILDING ROADBLOCK AT BOTTOM OF STAIRS VARIOUS OF TENTS IN RAIN (SOUNDBITE) (English) PRO-DEMOCRACY PROTESTER, JOHN LO, SAYING: "Actually, I'm not very encouraged (by) the hunger strike since I don't think it would be very effective. It is only a symbol of the movement. Since we can just see that whatever we have done to the government, just we have (done) too many things in these two months, but the government never give reply, never gave any reflections or any response to our actions. So I don't think that this hunger strike would give any reply." TENTS IN RAIN / PROTESTERS WALKING AND HOLDING UMBRELLAS UMBRELLA ON GROUND READING (English): "WE DON'T NEED ANY TEAR GAS, WE'RE CRYING ALREADY"
- Embargoed: 16th December 2014 12:00
- Location: China
- Country: China
- Topics: General
- Reuters ID: LVABJ4D174KDZW4QO04V502QY9AS
- Story Text: Pro-democracy protesters expressed doubts on Monday (December 1) over a plan by student leaders to proceed with a hunger strike to pressure Beijing to grant Hong Kong full democracy.
Speaking on a stage on Monday night in the heart of the Admiralty protest site next to government headquarters, student leader Joshua Wong said he and two others, including a secondary school student, would start a hunger strike to further pressure the government into giving into the students' demands.
But Stephanie Chow, a recent university graduate, expressed doubts over the plan.
"So I don't think this time the government will still respond to this Umbrella Revolution, or what they want the government to answer (to), so I don't think it's a really effective action for them," she said.
Wong made the announcement after chaos erupted as commuters made their way to work, with hundreds of protesters surrounding Admiralty Centre, which houses offices and retail outlets, in a stand-off with police.
The central government offices and the legislature were forced to close in the morning, as were scores of shops.
The latest flare-up, during which police charged protesters with batons and pepper spray, showed the frustration of protesters at Beijing's refusal to budge on electoral reforms and grant greater democracy to the former British colony.
The same evening, a police officer who removed a protester-made barricade on a pair of escalators leading to government offices in Admiralty was tackled by protesters.
Police said that the officer did not sustain any injuries. On Monday evening police presence in Admiralty remained tighter than usual.
Protester John Lo said that occupying further roads, rather than going on a hunger strike, would add pressure to the government.
"I don't think it would be very effective. It is only a symbol of the movement. Since we can just see that whatever we have done to the government, just we have (done) too many things in these two months, but the government never give reply, never gave any reflections or any response to our actions. So I don't think that this hunger strike would give any reply," he said.
The democracy movement represents one of the biggest threats for China's Communist Party leadership since Beijing's 1989 crackdown on pro-democracy student protests in and around Tiananmen Square.
Hundreds of riot police scattered the crowds in several rounds of heated clashes overnight, forcing protesters back with pepper spray and batons.
Scores of volunteer medics attended to the injured, some of whom lay unconscious and others with blood streaming from head gashes. Police said at least 40 arrests were made.
Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule in 1997 under a "one country, two systems" formula that gave it some autonomy from the mainland and an undated promise of universal suffrage.
The protesters are demanding free elections for the city's next leader in 2017 rather than the vote between screened candidates that Beijing has said it would allow.
The Hong Kong rallies drew more than 100,000 on to the streets at their peak. Numbers have since dwindled and public support for the movement has waned.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2014. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None