23 February 2019
Benny Tai (L) and Alan Leong (R) have vowed further action as they campaign for electoral reforms in Hong Kong.
Benny Tai (L) and Alan Leong (R) have vowed further action as they campaign for electoral reforms in Hong Kong.

Occupy Central plans major rally on Sunday

Occupy Central movement co-founder Benny Tai said on Wednesday that the group is planning to hold a major rally in Hong Kong on Sunday, RTHK reported.

The pro-democracy group plans a procession from Causeway Bay to Central to alert the public about the course of action it will pursue before it stages its final act of blockading the streets in the Central financial district later, Tai was quoted as saying.

The participants will hold a 500-meter-long black cloth as they march towards Central to express their opposition to Beijing’s restrictive framework for Hong Kong’s 2017 chief executive election.

The organizers will soon disclose more information, through the group’s website and Facebook posts, about the date of the Occupy Central protest, and inform participants about the preparations.

The purpose of the movement is not to “paralyze” Central, but to send a message to authorities, Tai was quoted saying during a radio program. If many citizens join the rally, it will create “social impact”, he said. 

In addition, the group intends to hold more rallies from time to time in November, to let the world know of Hong Kong citizens’ desire for genuine universal suffrage.

Tai said there is still a chance that Beijing may change its mind on the framework it has set out for political reform in Hong Kong, if locals show strong determination for genuine universal suffrage through their actions.

“I think the main purpose is to, through the action, to make a call to Hong Kong and tell people that Beijing has failed to honor the promise that’s been made to Hong Kong people,” Tai said.

Alan Leong Kah-kit, leader of the Civic Party, pledged to join the Occupy Central campaign despite the risk of losing his barrister license, the report said.

Pan-democrats will confront the government in the Legislative Council and boycott all activities in the second-phase consultation on political reform, Leong added.

However, pro-establishment lawmakers are opposing the movement. Lawmaker Ip Kwok-him warned that Occupy Central may induce social disorder and give rise to violence. He urged the organizers to put the interests of Hong Kong first.

Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee, member of the Executive Council, said the movement might hurt business if the group decides to launch action on October 1, the report said.

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Freelance journalist

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