Date
18 December 2017
Students march on the Government House, where they staged a sit-in outside the compound to wait for Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying. Photo: AFP
Students march on the Government House, where they staged a sit-in outside the compound to wait for Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying. Photo: AFP

Students camp outside Government House, call for people support

After Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying failed to show up for a dialogue, protesting students decided to go and see him.

The students, who have been boycotting their classes since Monday to press for universal suffrage, had demanded that Leung face them at 11 a.m. Thursday, Ming Pao Daily reported on Friday.

Leung did not show up and said through a spokesman at 10 a.m. that he respected the students’ pursuit of their democratic ideals, the report said.

Leung’s snub prompted the Hong Kong Federation of Students (HKFS), one of the organizers of the boycott campaign, to stage a march from their rally site at Tamar Park in Admiralty District to Leung’s official residence at the Government House on Upper Albert Road in the Mid-Levels, according to the newspaper.

Some of the student leaders said they intended to “arrest” the chief executive when he left for work in the morning, RTHK said.

The students, along with sympathizers, began walking toward the destination at 9:30 p.m., holding placards that say “Leung Chun-ying: Wanted”, Ming Pao said.

They did not arrive at the back of the Government House until 11:40 p.m. as they had to pass through narrow roads.

Police, who arranged and guarded the route for the protesters, estimated that between 3,000 and 4,000 people joined the march. 

As the march was unplanned with no application for a permit filed in advance, police rejected the federation’s demand to let the marchers go around the front door of the Government House and then return to Admiralty.

After a standoff lasting about half an hour, the marchers decided to stage a sit-in at the back of the compound. The federation said they would stay there to wait for Leung.

About 800 protesters were still outside the compound at around 1:30 a.m. Friday morning, according to the HKFS.

Alex Chow, secretary of the federation, called on the Hong Kong people to come to the site to support them and bring provisions.

Chow said Leung has failed to fulfill his promises as chief executive and has to repay the debts he owed to the people.

Chow stressed that the boycott campaign was just the students’ initial move to protest Beijing’s restrictive formula for the election of the next chief executive in 2017, and they were planning more moves to pursue their struggle, the report said.

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TL/AC/CG

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