Alex Chow, secretary-general of the Hong Kong Federation of Students, said protest leaders will continue discussions in the coming days on whether to retreat from the occupied zones, even as some of the stalwarts of the movement have surrendered to the police, Ming Pao Daily reported Thursday.
Most of the protesters believe that their continued protest action may not force Beijing to change its decision on electoral reform, but nothing has been decided on what they will do next, Chow said.
As for the decision of the Occupy Central founders, together with dozens of their followers, to turn themselves in on Wednesday, Chow said protesters manning the protest sites do not feel pressure to follow suit, adding that various groups have different strategies on how to pursue the campaign for genuine universal suffrage.
He said surrender is not an option for HKFS at the moment, adding that the next move will depend on the decision to be made by the Legislative Council on political reform schemes.
He also said the government’s attitude of ignoring the protesters’ demand will only spur them to continue with the street occupation.
Dr. Au Yiu-kai, convenor of the Occupy movement’s medical team, said all of their volunteers will remain at their posts, adding that their presence is now more needed as several students have gone on hunger strike, he said.
A survey by the Hong Kong Policy Institute showed that a third of the 195 protesters interviewed were against the idea of retreat, while nearly 30 percent said they prefer to use more aggressive strategies to pursue the campaign.
Asked if they will be willing to retreat if the leaders of HKFS and Scholarism do so, about a third said they will while an equal proportion said they will not.
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