Date
16 December 2017
Joshua Wong and two other Scholarism members are sitting on a hunger strike in a bid to pressure the government into restarting talks on political reform. Photo: SocRec
Joshua Wong and two other Scholarism members are sitting on a hunger strike in a bid to pressure the government into restarting talks on political reform. Photo: SocRec

Joshua Wong goes on hunger strike; HKFS doesn’t join

The Hong Kong Federation of Students (HKFS) and Scholarism, the two student groups that have spearheaded the two-month long Occupy pro-democracy protests, appear to be going separate ways after both admitted that their attempt to besiege the government headquarters in Admiralty failed.

Although both groups said on Monday that they would discuss their next moves, it looks like they have different plans in mind, Ming Pao Daily reported.

Scholarism leader Joshua Wong Chi-fung announced late Monday that he and two other members of his group will go on an indefinite hunger strike in a bid to get the government restart a dialogue on political reform and make the 2017 chief executive election process truly democratic.

Wong, who was confident that his act could prompt authorities to resume talks, said the hunger strike was planned before the clashes with police on Sunday night, after discussion with HKFS. However, the HKFS decided not to join.

The report noted that another activist, the 51-year-old Benny Mok, earlier this month ended a long hunger strike outside the government headquarters. Despite refusing to eat for 40 days, “Mr. Hungry” failed to make the government soften its stance, it noted.

Democratic Party chairwoman Emily Lau said hunger strike is not a new approach in voicing protest, but anyone who plans such action should think if it is necessary, while also taking into account the health issue.

Civic Party leader Alan Leong said students should now explore ways to retreat honorably, rather than escalate the protests. Pro-democracy groups should “temporarily” put a stop on the Occupy campaign, he said.

Political commentator Ivan Choy, who is a lecturer at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said as public opinion is now mostly against the street occupation, hunger strike may not earn much sympathy, but may only make people feel that it is just a move to compensate for the students’ recent setback.

As for the three co-founders of the Occupy Central movement, who were said to be considering to surrender themselves to the police this Friday, they intend to hold a press conference on Tuesday to reveal their latest plans, the report said.

In other news, the paper cited government sources as saying that it may take more than a week for bailiffs and the police to clear the protest site in Admiralty following a street clearance order from the court.

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TL/AC/RC

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