Date
23 September 2017
Pro-democracy protesters have vowed to continue their campaign despite being evicted from their main protest site Thursday. Photo: Facebook
Pro-democracy protesters have vowed to continue their campaign despite being evicted from their main protest site Thursday. Photo: Facebook

Govt faces more headaches after Admiralty clearance

With the government’s second phase of consultation on political reform set to get underway soon, the civil disobedience campaign in Hong Kong is likely to take other forms after the setback suffered on Thursday.

Apple Daily cited sources from both within the government and outside as saying that the clearing operation at the Admiralty protest site will definitely not mean the end of the Occupy campaign.

If Beijing does not adopt a new way of thinking which can lead to a consensus on the universal suffrage system in Hong Kong, there could be an even larger scale occupation activity, the people warned.

Some pan-democrats pointed out that while the police action at Admiralty may have opened up the road, it has not dismantled the disobedience campaign. Many youth who left Admiralty said they will continue with their fight through other activities in guerrilla warfare style.

Both the Hong Kong Federation of Students (HKFS) and Scholarism have said explicitly that they will bombard government officials when the latter go to various districts during the second-phase of consultation on the electoral reform package.

Many government officials are worried that what will happen next will be smaller occupation of several sites, rather than concentrated activity in just a few areas.

Also, with the pan-democrats likely to work against the government at the Legislative Council, the government will find it increasingly difficult to execute its policies.

The pan-democrats, meanwhile, have salvaged some of the public support by successfully convincing the more aggressive protesters not to confront the police yesterday, Hong Kong Economic Times noted.

The central government’s bottom line for the handling of the crisis was not to give in and not making any compromises, while making efforts to ensure that there is no bloodshed, sources told the paper.

Beijing didn’t put undue pressure to clear the sites quickly, which enabled Hong Kong authorities to adopt an attrition warfare strategy against the protesters which has yielded results, they said.

The arrests of leaders of the more aggressive groups — such as Civic Passion founder Wong Yeung-tat — also helped lower the risk of confrontations during the clearing operation.

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EL/AC/RC

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