Most Hong Kong people want the street occupation by pro-democracy activists to end, according to the latest survey from the Public Opinion Programme of the University of Hong Kong.
Of 1,005 citizens aged 18 or above interviewed between October 31 and November 5, about 70 percent were against continuing the street occupation while 24 percent were in favor, according to the survey which was commissioned by Ming Pao Daily.
Eighteen percent of the interviewees said they had participated in the mass sit-in. Of those who had participated in the Occupy campaign, 70 percent deemed it necessary to stay on in the streets.
In contrast, from the 82 percent who claimed they had never participated in the street protest, 79 percent said it was time to end the occupation.
The survey showed that people who are younger and have higher education degrees were in favor of continuing the occupation. They accounted for 55 percent of those aged between 18 and 29.
Comparatively, 79 percent of those aged 50 or above were against the idea. Among housewives, only one in ten supported continued occupation.
Among those who oppose the street blockade, 39 percent said the protesters must “switch to other means instead of occupation”. Nine percent said the campaign has already achieved its purpose while 31 percent said “there should have been no occupation in the first place”.
Leading groups of the Occupy movement, including the Hong Kong Federation of Students (HKFS), the Occupy Central and the camp formed by pan-democratic legislators, have all said that it is necessary to find a balance between public mood and the need to fight for democracy.
HKFS said it will engage with people from all walks of life to help the public understand the rationale behind occupation.
Chung Kim-wah, director of the Centre for Social Policy Studies at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, said HKFS’ effort to engage with the community is not a bad idea, though it is doubtful if it will have much impact.
The longer the occupation lasts, the more discontent citizens will become, he said, adding that it is hard to bring around people who have completely different opinions on street occupation.
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