Hong Kong student leader Joshua Wong and two other democracy protesters were formally charged with illegal assembly Thursday amid cries of political persecution from their supporters.
Police pressed charges against Wong, founder of student activist group Scholarism, as well as Alex Chow and Nathan Law, former and sitting chairman of the Hong Kong Federation of Students.
They will stand trial in Eastern Magistrate’s Court on Sept. 2, accused of taking part in an unlawful assembly and inciting others to participate, according Apple Daily.
Supporters holding yellow umbrellas, symbol of last year’s street protests, chanted anti-police slogans as the trio arrived at police headquarters in Wan Chai for booking formalities.
Chow said the trial is an opportunity to reiterate the values of the Umbrella Movement.
But simply pleading guilty will cut short the civil disobedience campaign, he said.
Chow said they plan to illustrate in court the brutality of the government and how it failed to safeguard the peace and harmony of society.
“The Umbrella Movement started when the police unleashed tear gas bombs, which subsequently prompted hundreds of thousands of people to take to the streets,” Chow said.
He said those who ordered the use of tear gas should be prosecuted.
Benny Tai, co-founder of civil disobedience group Occupy Central, praised the student leaders for carrying on with the fight.
He said he is hopeful Beijing would one day reconsider Hong Kong’s democractic development as long as Hongkongers continue to pursue democracy.
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