Date
21 August 2017
Organizers say protests will be staged weekly, although they are not saying when exactly they will occupy the Central business district. Photo: Bloomberg
Organizers say protests will be staged weekly, although they are not saying when exactly they will occupy the Central business district. Photo: Bloomberg

Occupy Central likely to start on September 1

The National People’s Congress could make a ruling on Hong Kong’s political reform as soon as Wednesday, and is likely to tighten the central government’s grip on the process of choosing the next chief executive in the 2017 election, Apple Daily reported Wednesday.

The Occupy Central movement and other groups in the pan-democratic camp, meanwhile, plan to kick off their civil disobedience campaign on Sept. 1, the day when Li Fei, deputy secretary general of the NPC Standing Committee, is set to announce Beijing’s decision on electoral reform.

Organizers said protests will be staged weekly, although they are not saying when exactly they will occupy the Central business district.

NPC Standing Committee chairman Zhang Dejiang was involved in reviewing the proposals for Hong Kong’s political reform on Tuesday, and the emerging consensus is those seeking the chief executive position must secure the support of more than half of the election committee members in order to qualify as a candidate.

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying joined Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference member Rita Fan in slamming Occupy Central movement founder Benny Tai for working against the introduction of universal suffrage in Hong Kong.

According to Benny Tai, the police may attempt to arrest the movement’s three founders on charges of inciting the public to commit a crime, which is why organizers will be more careful in making speeches during gatherings.

Tai said he does not fear being arrested, but he definitely does not want to be kept out of the action.

Civil Human Rights Front convenor Johnson Yeung said the strategies for Occupy Central will be adjusted and finalized during a general meeting on Aug. 31, but the organizers will think of ways to disseminate the news without risking arrest.

Hong Kong Federation of Students chief secretary Chow Wing-hong said the government is expected to play deaf to their demands during the first two weeks of civil disobedience in September. The education sector may consider a five-day school strike towards the latter part of September, Chow added.

Related articles:

NPC decision on electoral reform out Sunday, HK briefing set

Stephen Lam on universal suffrage: Miracles do happen

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