Date
22 October 2017
A pro-democracy demonstrator reacts on hearing Chief Secretary Carrie Lam has called off talks with students while protesters block areas around the government headquarters. Photo: Reuters
A pro-democracy demonstrator reacts on hearing Chief Secretary Carrie Lam has called off talks with students while protesters block areas around the government headquarters. Photo: Reuters

Protest set to escalate after Carrie Lam calls off talks

Student leaders have called on protesters to bring their tents for “camping” at Admiralty today after Chief Secretary Carrie Lam called off talks set for this afternoon.

Lam said yesterday it would be impossible to have a constructive dialogue with the Hong Kong Federation of Students (HKFS) after protest leaders called for an escalation of the civil disobedience campaign, Apple Daily reported. Lam was to lead a government team for the talks on ending street occupation.

Her move came after leaders from HKFS, Scholarism and Occupy Central as well as pan-democratic legislators jointly announced they would launch a new round of civil disobedience activities if the government did not make concessions on political reform.

The activities may include another class boycott by middle-school students and lawmakers blocking government requests for fund appropriation.

Lam said she is disappointed that demonstrators continue to use citizens’ welfare as a bargaining chip and hopes people understand the government’s decision to cancel the dialogue.

Protest leaders had called for citizens to gather on Harcourt Road today to watch the live broadcast of the talks, a move that Lam said is an excuse to incite more people to join the occupation.

Street occupation and universal suffrage are two separate things, Lam said, adding that the illegal occupation must stop. The dwindling number of occupiers show that some demonstrators realize their act has caused inconvenience to others, she said.

While urging the authorities to return to the negotiating table, Alex Chow, secretary-general of HKFS, called on people to bring their tents to join the occupation and a rally tonight. 

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TL/AC/JL

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