Date
18 August 2017
A file photo of Benny Tai (center) and the other co-founders of the Occupy Central movement. There is speculation that Hong Kong police are preparing to arrest the activists for organizing an illegal mass sit-in. Photo: Reuters
A file photo of Benny Tai (center) and the other co-founders of the Occupy Central movement. There is speculation that Hong Kong police are preparing to arrest the activists for organizing an illegal mass sit-in. Photo: Reuters

Benny Tai ‘ready to be arrested’ over Occupy protest

Benny Tai Yiu-ting, one of the organizers of the Occupy Central movement, admitted that he may have committed offenses such as organizing an unauthorized protest and obstructing the streets, Ming Pao Daily reported Wednesday.

“I’m ready to be arrested,” Tai told reporters. “Come and get me.”

He said that if he was arrested, more people would surrender themselves to the police.

The remarks came after a local newspaper reported that police are making arrangements for official arrest of five people involved in the civil disobedience movement.

The five targeted people are Tai, Chan Kin-man, Chu Yiu-ming, Jimmy Lai and Lee Cheuk-yan, according to the report.

Chan and Chu are the other co-founders of the Occupy Central movement, while Lai is the boss of Next Media, which publishes Apple Daily. Lee is a lawmaker from the pan-democratic camp.

Charges will include illegal protest, disturbing public security, obstructing streets and inciting the public, the report said.

Tai urged people to participate in the Occupy protests. He initially conveyed his message through the media and later made an official announcement of the launch of the sit-in on September 28. His two co-organizers, meanwhile, are both said to have played a key role in planning and commanding the protest on the scene.

As for Lai, he is accused of providing money and a propaganda platform for the protest and acting as an intermediary for “external forces”, the report cited unidentified sources as saying. Lee, meanwhile, will be charged with inciting the public and provided assistance for Lai, according to the report.

In other news, Tai has welcomed the government’s plan to submit a report to the State Council’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office to convey the public sentiment in Hong Kong on political reform, as well as the move to set up a platform for dialogue on constitutional development after 2017.

He said it was a good start but it will not be enough to resolve the current standoff on political reform as the plan would not be dealing with direct elections in 2017, RTHK reported. 

– Contact us at english@hkej.com

JZ/MY/RC

Freelance journalist

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