The manifesto of Scholarism members’ indefinite hunger strike: What we really want is a fair system. This arrogant and naïve courage is what we feel fortunate to have. [Image: Apple Daily]
Hong Kong pro-democracy student leader Joshua Wong announced that he and two other activists would be going on a hunger strike late Monday, after violent clashes broke out during a police crackdown on protest camps in Admiralty.
The 18-year-old leader of the student group Scholarism said that he and fellow members Lo Yin-wai and Wong Tsz-yuet are refusing to eat until Chief Executive CY Leung is ready to reconsider an electoral reform, according to Time
“We are disappointed by the government’s indifference to the Hong Kong public’s demand for universal suffrage, and we are saddened by the overuse of violence by the police,” read a statement posted on the group’s Facebook page, as translated by The Guardian. “In the past 60-odd days, Hong Kong has changed…The values that Hong Kongers hold so dear – equality, freedom and justice – have all been ebbed away and destroyed … we have no other way when facing a broken government but to let go our bodily desires.”
Violence erupted in Admiralty Center in the early hours of Monday when police began driving away protestors stationed around government headquarters. The clashes were said to be some of the most intense since the protests began two months ago. Reuters reports:
Hundreds of riot police scattered the crowds in several rounds of heated clashes overnight, forcing protesters back with pepper spray and batons.
Scores of volunteer medics attended to numerous injured, some of whom lay unconscious and others with blood streaming from head gashes. Police said at least 40 arrests were made.
The unrest took place as British lawmakers said they had been told by the Chinese Embassy they would not be allowed to enter Hong Kong as part of an inquiry into Britain’s relations with its former colony and progress toward democracy.
Alex Chow, leader of the Hong Kong Federation of Students, said that the protestors’ intentions to “escalate” the situation by surrounding government buildings “was a failure on the whole, given that even if some places were occupied, they were cleared by the police immediately,” according to the same report.