By Melissa Tsang
Hong Kong-Tens of thousands people demonstrated on National Day at Admiralty, Causeway Bay and Mongkok, demanding genuine universal suffrage and calling for Leung Chun-ying to step down.
The Hong Kong Federation of Students launched one-week strike since September 22. Student leader Joshua Wong Chi-fung guided dozens of students rushing into civil square at 10:30 p.m. on September 26. Then police moved to disperse protesters by using pepper spray, leading the beginning of “Civil Disobedience,” also known as “umbrella revolution”.
Inspired by the students, the leaders of Occupy Central started the movement in advance at 1:40 a.m. on September 28. Police fired tear gas 87 times in total to disperse demonstrators, booming the movement a peak on National Day as mountainous people occupy Admiralty, Central, Causeway Bay and Mongkok.
Hong Kong government denounced that Occupy Central is illegal, emphasizing Beijing will not rescind 2017 Hong Kong election frame proposed by NPC Standing Committee. While the Leisure and Cultural Services Department said on September 29 that the fireworks display will be cancelled this year due to the stalled traffic.
“We are protesting for genuine universal suffrage, we want One Country Two System, not one country one system,” said Cola Ho, a 16-year-old middle school student who is one of the 6 students participating the demonstrations in her school.
Kasey Chan, a 22-year-old clerk went to the assembly to support students with her friends, “Students are innocent, as a Hong Konger, I am obligated to support them.” When asked about whether she would also attend Occupy Central, she said “ I will not take part in that, not because I am not longing for freedom and democracy, but I do not think they organize an efficient movement. They even have inner divergences.”
Apart from assembly, a series of civil speeches are also held on scene, which will last till October 3. “I support the protest, and it is unbelievable the police used tear gas against the students. This makes the movement an international concern,” said a British photographer who attended the assembly in Mongkok.
As no substantive progress was made, yesterday the Hong Kong Federation of Students urged Leung Chun-ying to resign within two days otherwise they would step up the movement and occupy government agencies.