Battle for the soul of Occupy after vote on reform plans

Tony Cheung, Tanna Chong | 10 May 2014 | SCMP

Locking down a city’s business heart might seem like a radical action but a political middle path has been on the mind of Benny Tai Yiu-ting since he initiated the Occupy Central idea.

In a column in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on January 16 last year, the University of Hong Kong legal scholar and Occupy Central co-founder Tai wrote that those who joined the pro-democracy civil-disobedience movement “should include social opinion leaders, especially those who have never broken the law, or non-radical political leaders, former officials … and academics”.

Their participation would create a “powerful” call to society, Tai wrote. Sixteen months later the movement has endorsed three political reform proposals that all include the right for the public to nominate chief executive candidates in 2017. That result has drawn accusations that Occupy has been led away from Tai’s planned middle path by more extreme elements.

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