Date
13 December 2017
Civil Human Rights Front, which has organized the July 1 democracy rally every year since 2003, will hold a march on Oct. 1 to demand genuine universal suffrage. Photo: HKEJ
Civil Human Rights Front, which has organized the July 1 democracy rally every year since 2003, will hold a march on Oct. 1 to demand genuine universal suffrage. Photo: HKEJ

Confusion surrounds timing of Occupy Central protest

Confusion has emerged over the timing of a planned sit-in protest by Occupy Central after conflicting statements from some key figures.

The protest could take place after a march on Oct. 1, China’s national day, Ming Pao Daily reported Tuesday. 

The march is being organized by Civil Human Rights Front to demand genuine universal suffrage when Hong Kong people elect their next leader in 2017.

However, Occupy Central convenor Chan Kin-man said the group will join the march but refused to say if its planned blockade of Central will follow.

Chan said the group will assemble after the march but stopped short of saying whether it will stay around longer.

Some pan-democratic legislators said the timing of the sit-in will be similar to the one that immediately followed the July 1 democracy march wherein protesters occupied Chater Road overnight.

The impact of the occupation on business, finance and traffic will be minimal given that Oct. 1 and 2 are public holidays, the report said, citing some legislators.

Occupy Central co-founder Benny Tai said the civil disobedience movement is aimed at reminding the public about the fight for democracy, not to create havoc.

And the movement will not be easily dismissed as more people are joining it, he said.

Meanwhile, a police tactical unit is stepping up crowd control measures including the use of tear gas and rubber bullets in preparation for the protest, the report said.

Officers have been told to cancel day-off and work double shifts in Central and nearby Wanchai district.

Separate arrangements are being made to ensure public order during the national day fireworks display.

Organizers expect 50,000 people in the Oct. 1 march which will start at 2 p.m. in Victoria Park in Causeway Bay district and end in Chater Road.

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