24 August 2019
Student leaders are discussing a possible escalation of the Occupy protests. Photo: HKEJ
Student leaders are discussing a possible escalation of the Occupy protests. Photo: HKEJ

Students rule out surrender, mull escalation of protests

Leaders of the Hong Kong Federation of Students (HKFS) and Scholarism, two leading groups of pro-democracy protesters, said it is impossible for them to turn themselves in until the street occupation is officially over, Apple Daily reported Thursday.

In fact, they told the newspaper Wednesday, they are discussing methods and goals that will lead to the escalation of their campaign.

The students also asked the police to set free those arrested during the clearance of streets in the past few days and to explain their standards of law enforcement to the public.

HKFS secretary general Alex Chow declined to unveil details of their plan to upgrade the protests but said they are assessing the situation at the moment.

Meanwhile, Occupy Central’s co-founders, who had reportedly decided to surrender to police on Dec. 5, said on Wednesday they have yet to decide when to do so, as they need to see how things will develop after the police cleared the protest site in Mong Kok.

Chan Kin-man, one of the co-founders, said after a meeting with pan-democratic legislators that they will continue to gather more opinions about turning themselves in and that a press conference will be held as soon as a decision is made on the surrender date.

The newspaper quoted an unnamed pan-democratic legislator as saying that now he personally thinks the protesters should retreat in an orderly manner and resort to other methods. He feared that if the protests are escalated, they might end up out of control.

Democratic Party lawmaker Helena Wong Pik-wan said she had suggested at a meeting with representatives of the groups occupying the streets that the protesters retreat altogether on Nov. 30, but no consensus was reached.

Wong said she is against the idea of escalating the campaign, which should instead be transformed.

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