Date
20 September 2017
Occupy Central organizers, along with 40 other pro-democracy activists, shaved their heads in a show of protest against Beijing's electoral roadmap for Hong Kong. Photo: HKEJ
Occupy Central organizers, along with 40 other pro-democracy activists, shaved their heads in a show of protest against Beijing's electoral roadmap for Hong Kong. Photo: HKEJ

Occupy Central leaders shave heads in pro-democracy protest

The Occupy Central group’s leaders, along with 40 supporters, shaved their heads Tuesday in a show of protest over Beijing’s unsatisfactory political reform framework for Hong Kong.

Signaling their determination to keep fighting for true universal suffrage, the pro-democracy group’s three convenors — Benny Tai, Chan Kin-man and Chu Yiu-ming – shaved their heads at a church in Tsz Wan Shan, along with some other activists, Apple Daily reported Wednesday.

Talking about the “No taking back and walking to the light” activity, Tai said there is no stepping back from the reforms campaign, and that they have given up their hair in the fight for democracy.

The activists would “give up their freedom in exchange for, and fight for, true democracy in the city, but we would never give up our dignity”, Tai was quoted as saying.

The 40 people who joined the head-shaving protest are said to include party members, scholars, merchants and ordinary citizens from various walks of life. Tanya Chan from Civic Party was one of the few female participants, according to the report.

The activity took more than two hours. The participants later walked from Tsz Wan Shan to Diamond Hill and handed out yellow ribbons to passers by.

Chan Kin-man, meanwhile, said schools should respect any decision by secondary students to skip classes. The students should be appreciated as they are seeking to protect the city’s future, he said.

A separate report from Apple Daily cited Chinese American historian Yu Ying-shih as saying that Hong Kong should press on with the fight despite the recent setback. Yu had once been a top official at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He now lives in the United States.

“Occupy Central movement should not be given up. If you (Hong Kong people) don’t do it now, wouldn’t the situation get worse?”, Yu was quoted as saying. 

Although there will not be immediate results, people should not give up, he said. “You should not say, ‘I have no choice and follow you (Beijing)’. This is bad as Hong Kong will not have any chance to fight back.”

Yu does not have faith in the assurances of the Chinese government. How can one trust Beijing after it “slaughtered people on strike during the June 4 movement,” he said, referring to the brutal suppression of the student protestors in Tiananmen Square in 1989.

Hong Kong is a role model for Taiwan, Yu added. If Taiwan supports Hong Kong, it would be harder for the mainland to get back Taiwan, he said.

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