Hong Kong Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor is appealing directly to parents and teachers to help end the street protests once and for all.
Lam made the appeal as student leaders urged protesters to regroup and engage in non-violent civil disobedience after police clear the main protest site in Admiralty, Ming Pao Daily reported Thursday.
A court-ordered clearance began at 9 a.m., with thousands of policemen dismantling barriers. Full-scale demolition was to begin two hours later.
Lam said she is hoping there will be “no more street occupation ever”.
“But I am not naive to assume everything will settle down after the streets are cleared”, she said.
Earlier, Lam urged protesters to leave before the police arrive and those who intend to stay to refrain from violence.
At the same time, she appealed to parents and teachers to help persuade the students not to return to the Admiralty camp.
Student activist group Scholarism and the Hong Kong Federation of Students, which have been driving the two-month-old sit-ins, told their supporters Wednesday to hold their ground to the end.
Both groups said representatives will wait to be arrested.
However, Scholarism convenor Joshua Wong, who is free on bail, said he might be detained until January if he is arrested again.
The students’ call to regroup came as a new survey showed fewer Hong Kong people are opposed to the street occupation.
Less than half of 514 people polled by the University of Hong Kong said they are against continuing the occupation, down 8.9 percent from a November survey.
Three in 10 said they support it, up three points.
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