lockade in Causeway Bay doing a world of good despite criticism, some Hongkongers say

Occupy Central protesters have held up traffic on major roads in Causeway Bay for more than two weeks – but to some commuters and pedestrians, the blockade is actually a welcome addition.

Over the past few days, residents and workers passing through the occupied parts of the district have enjoyed the fact they have more space to walk in, the air is cleaner and there are more activities that engage the public. Continue reading

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Something’s Gotta Give: A Banker Weighs In on Hong Kong’s Leader

As Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying denies he did anything wrong in receiving a $6.4 million payment as part of a noncompete agreement just before he took office, a banker’s comment that Mr. Leung will face calls to step down has drawn attention.

David Eldon–the former chairman of HSBC Holdings HSBA.LN 0.00% PLC’s Asia operation who is now nonexecutive chairman of HSBC’s Middle East unit—said on his blog: “Whatever the truth in this particular matter is, I am pretty sure that it will be blown up to the extent that, legal or not, C.Y. Leung will face calls to step down.”

Mr. Eldon said in his blogpost on Thursday titled “Hong Kong: The Light, the Dark and the Long Term” that such pressure could come from Hong Kong itself as well as from Beijing.  Continue reading

Hong Kong police remove barricades and gather at protest site

Police say pro-democracy demonstrators can remain on streets but officers mass in Admiralty district

Hong Kong police have removed some barricades erected by pro-democracy protesters, but said protesters could remain on the streets they have occupied for the past two weeks.

At the main protest site, near government offices in the downtown district of Admiralty, scores of student protesters faced off with police who were massing in the area, a witness said. Continue reading

Occupy Movement Demands Accountability from Leung Chun-ying

HKFS, Scholarism, OCLP’s Response to Leung Chun-ying’s Television Interview Today

Occupy Movement Demands Accountability from Leung Chun-ying


Today, Leung Chun-ying described the Occupy Movement as a mass movement that has spun out of control. In fact, it is our government that is out of control – a government that fires tear-gas at unarmed citizens and unilaterally terminated dialogue with the students.

Leung was ambiguous about whether it was his decision to fire the tear-gas. On the one hand, he said it was the decision of the commander on the scene, on the other hand he said he participated in the overall situation. What was his specific role? Could it be that he decided there should be a forceful crackdown, and then left it to the commanding officer to decide the specifics? How can he, as the leader of our accountable officials, try to muddle through without explaining the truth to the public, without punishing officials guilty of dereliction of duty? If the government refuses to account for its actions, we must assume Leung Chun-ying was solely responsible, and that he should take on the responsibility wholly, by stepping down.

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Hong Kong Protesters Appeal to Xi Jinping in Open Letter

HONG KONG — The standoff between Hong Kong’s government and protesters who have taken control of vital avenues entered its third week on Sunday with no signs of a resolution, as the student leaders of the demonstration appealed to President Xi Jinping of China to accept their position, which was then flatly rejected by Hong Kong’s leader.

Huge swaths of some of the world’s most expensive real estate remained blocked by hundreds of pro-democracy demonstrators on Sunday. In the past weeks, their numbers have swollen into the thousands each evening. Many parents have brought their children to witness a real-life civics lesson amid the surreal sight of a tent city expanding day by day on an eight-lane road in the heart of Asia’s most important financial center.

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Hong Kong leader says pro-democracy protests will not change Beijing’s stance

Chief executive Leung Chun-ying warns that protests have ‘spun out of control’ and police may use some force to clear streets

Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protesters have an “almost zero chance” of changing Beijing’s stance and securing free elections, the city’s embattled chief executive, Leung Chun-ying, has told a Sunday TV show.

Demonstrators calling for Beijing to grant full democracy to the former British colony have paralysed parts of Hong Kong for more than two weeks, causing widespread disruption and prompting clashes between protesters and residents who opposed road blockades.

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As a mainlander I’ll stand by Hong Kong’s protesters till the dawn of democracy

Letter to Hong Kong Students: Tonight I Picked a Side

As a mainlander in Hong Kong, I constantly feel the prejudice and ill will against us but also understand the helplessness that underlies these feelings. For many years, I have lived with the awkwardness of being stuck between two worlds; but tonight I picked a side. Tonight I stand by you, because you are doing what I never dared to dream. Continue reading

Hong Kong Government, Students Battle for Public Opinion

Frustration Grows as Neither Side Appears to Be Pushing to End Standoff

From truck drivers to newsstand owners to travelers staying in posh hotels, people in Hong Kong are struggling with the inconveniences caused by student protesters blocking roads across the city.

The Hong Kong government is banking on this discontent to turn public opinion against protesters and help get them off the streets. Students are fighting back, spending their money to support shops near the protest sites and distributing leaflets saying, “Why we are disturbing you.” Continue reading

Hong Kong protest: Thousands on streets for fresh rally

It comes after the territory’s deputy leader called off talks with student leaders scheduled for Friday.

Carrie Lam said the students’ refusal to end their protest had made “constructive dialogue” impossible. Continue reading

In a Reversal, Hong Kong Scraps Talks With Protesters

HONG KONG — The standoff between Hong Kong’s government and pro-democracy protesters intensified Thursday as the democrats demanded that the city’s top official be impeached over a multimillion-dollar payment from an Australian company and the government pulled out of talks with the protesters.

The talks, which were to have begun Friday, were the only active avenue for resolving a dispute that has led to sit-in demonstrations that have closed roads and disrupted life for nearly two weeks in Asia’s most important financial center.

The cancellation of the talks came after an afternoon news conference by the protest groups and their political allies in which they pledged to continue the protests and start a new phase of civil disobedience to maintain pressure on the government.

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Hong Kong government calls off student talks

Hong Kong’s government has called off a meeting on Friday with student leaders of the pro-democracy movement.

Chief Secretary Carrie Lam said it would be “impossible to have a constructive dialogue” after protest leaders called for an increase in efforts to occupy main protest areas.

The protesters want a fully free vote in elections due to be held in 2017 for the post of chief executive.

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Hong Kong Cancels Talks With Students

Hong Kong Chief Secretary Says ‘Foundation for Talks’ Shaken

By JASON CHOW And CHESTER YUNG

HONG KONG—This city’s government scrapped negotiations with students a day before they were scheduled to take place, a sign the administration is taking a harder line with the protesters, whose numbers have dwindled in the nearly two-week standoff.

The government’s unilateral decision Thursday appeared to double-down on its strategy of letting the protesters continue their sit-ins until they wore out or public opinion turned against them. The move puts pressure on the students to justify their occupation, which has choked traffic and dealt a blow to local businesses. Continue reading

Hong Kong protests: Sharp divisions ahead of talks

Hong Kong’s government and student leaders at the forefront of ongoing pro-democracy demonstrations have agreed to sit down for landmark negotiations on Friday, but the two sides appear to be sharply divided.

Two weeks into the mass sit-in, the crowds have dwindled to just hundreds in Admiralty, Causeway Bay and Mong Kok, prompting questions over whether student activists have lost bargaining power. Continue reading

Hong Kong Enters a Standoff Over Barricades as Protests Ebb

HONG KONG — The pro-democracy demonstrations that paralyzed blocks of downtown Hong Kong for nearly two weeks have dissipated to a few hardy thousand, but for reasons many residents cannot comprehend, the streets are still impassable.

The battle for territory between the student-led pro-democracy demonstrators and the Beijing-backed city government has come down to a strange standoff over the metal barricades themselves, set up on the streets and then virtually abandoned by protesters. Continue reading

Hong Kong Protest Groups Show Strains Ahead of Talks

Students and Government Officials Remain Far Apart Two Days Before Formal Talks

HONG KONG—Students and government officials in Hong Kong sniped at one another on Wednesday, a day after agreeing to formal talks, as strains showed among protest groups that have paralyzed parts of the city for 11 days.

With formal negotiations set to begin on Friday, the two sides are far apart, with students demanding changes that the government has said are impossible to agree to. Even if there was a deal to end the protests, some of the protesters say they would reject it, showing the difficulty faced by both sides in reaching an agreement.

http://online.wsj.com/articles/hong-kong-protest-groups-show-strains-ahead-of-talks-1412786297?KEYWORDS=hong+kong

Behind a Gate, Hong Kong Chief Tries to Make a Deal With Protesters

Leader Criticized for Being Out of Touch Keeps Out of Sight

HONG KONG—The man who governs Asia’s most important financial center spends most of his time these days holed up in his official residence—a former British governor’s mansion—with stewards catering to him as he tries to negotiate an end to protests that have gripped Hong Kong for 11 days.

The city government, led by Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, appeared to be headed for confrontation with protesters as recently as Sunday night, after he publicly demanded that streets be cleared for the workday Monday morning.

http://online.wsj.com/articles/behind-a-gate-hong-kong-chief-tries-to-make-a-deal-1412621422

Hong Kong’s activists know they must act now if democracy is ever to happen

After years of delays and broken promises, China’s proposals to vet election candidates are the final straw.

The Hong Kong people are considered the world’s most polite protesters. We queue, recycle and clean up after ourselves. Our protests have always gone without a hitch. Not any more. A lot of people I’ve spoken to this week are in disbelief.

On Friday night the police arrested and attacked many of the students present with pepper spray after a few tried to climb a fence to reclaim what many consider a public space in front of government headquarters. Then, on Sunday, when adults joined the students in their protest, not only did the pepper spray return but the police unleashed canister after canister of teargas into the densely packed crowd. It was at this point that I noticed many Hong Kong people saying: “This isn’t supposed to happen here. This isn’t the Hong Kong I know.”

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Hong Kong Worker Sees Little Reason to Abandon Protests

Kevin Ko, a 32-year-old insurance agent, reluctantly went back into work on Monday, “sleepy, tired and with a pair of heavy legs,” he said. “I’m in the office, but my mind is still in Causeway Bay.”

Over the past week, he volunteered at the supply tents, braving jeers from critics of the city’s pro-democracy protests, at a major shopping thoroughfare in the heart of Hong Kong.

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