A co-founder of the Occupy Central movement said late yesterday that the group is planning to change tactics because of “unrealistic” expectations.
Sociologist Chan Kin-man, a former professor at Chinese University of Hong Kong, said in an interview with TIME that Occupy organizers want “the people to stay out until at least Oct. 1,” (the start of China’s National Day holiday) and after that, “we will announce a new stage of the campaign.”
Chan is concerned that prolonged occupation in the city’s financial hub could result in a violent crackdown, and said that the goal for universal suffrage is ultimately unrealistic. Instead, he said the movement should aim to oust the city’s leader, Leung Chun-ying.
“Once he steps down, we can start over,” Chan said to TIME.
Protesters in Hong Kong have been widely applauded for maintaining a peaceful and respectful strategy throughout the sit-ins (as with most protests there—several publications posted photos of students staying behind to clean up dried wax in Victoria’s Park after the massive June 4 vigil in June). Protesters were even seen holding up signs apologizing to workers for causing an inconvenience.
— Amro Ali (@_amroali) September 29, 2014
Some demonstrators, however, didn’t necessarily agree with Chan’s viewpoints, including 21-year-old student Nicholas Ng, who told TIME that “Many adults feel like they cannot do anything to change the situation, but young people have a dream”.
Hong Kong students launched a mass sit-in earlier this week ahead of the Occupy movement, which was originally slated to begin on October 1.
Wall Street Journal reported not long ago that leaders from the pro-democracy movement appeared together for the first time demanding that Leung step down, and were still pressing demands for China to withdraw its recent ruling that only allows Beijing-vetted candidates to run in Hong Kong’s 2017 elections for chief executive.
You can follow coverage of Occupy Central at the WSJ liveblog or watch a live stream from Hong Kong via Apple Daily.
— Tom Grundy (@tomgrundy) September 30, 2014