Date
21 August 2017
Queensway (left) is deserted after being closed to traffic for the past two weeks. At right, Civic Square remains off limits. Photos: AFP, Reuters
Queensway (left) is deserted after being closed to traffic for the past two weeks. At right, Civic Square remains off limits. Photos: AFP, Reuters

More groups back Queensway swap for Civic Square

A proposal by demonstrators to vacate Queensway in exchange for the reopening of Civic Square is gaining traction, with more protest groups supporting the idea, Ming Pao Daily reported Monday.  

Occupy Central and student group Scholarism are backing the Hong Kong Federation of Students in calling for talks with the government regarding the reopening of the square outside government headquarters, ground zero of the student protests.

They want the government to respond by 5 p.m. on Tuesday.

The protesters are proposing to reopen Queensway, allowing vehicular traffic to Central, Wanchai and nearby areas, and the resumption of tram services.

However, some demonstrators are accusing the protest leaders of capitulation, saying they are abandoning the civil disobedience movement.

Scholarism leader Joshua Wong said it is time for the government to act after the protesters showed sincerity in resolving the situation.

Occupy Central founder Benny Tai urged the government to carefully consider the proposal.

And People Power leader Erica Yuen said they will not evacuate Queensway unconditionally.

One protester, who has been camped out in Admiralty for two weeks, said pressure is mounting from ordinary residents whose lives have been disrupted by the street occupation.

Meanwhile, transport groups are threatening to surround the occupiers and remove roadblocks if they are not gone by Wednesday.   

Hui Chun-tak, chief superintendent of the police public relations branch, said officers will start removing any obstacles on the road to ensure public safety, the report said.

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