Three of the founders of Hong Kong’s protest movement have called for an end to street demonstrations to prevent further violence and to take the campaign for democratic reforms to a new stage.
Professors Benny Tai Yiu-ting and Chan Kin-man and Pastor Chu Yiu-ming said they plan to surrender to police today to take responsibility for protests that have shut down parts of the Asian financial centre for more than two months.
Instead of street protests, the three hope to continue the campaign through networking among civic groups, community organising and education in democracy and human rights.
The three are founders of the Occupy Central movement to force China’s central government to scrap its requirement that candidates for the semi-autonomous region’s chief executive be approved by a panel chosen by Beijing. However, they represent only one faction of demonstrators, most of whom are students. It was not immediately clear whether students would heed the call to end the protests which began in September.
Joshua Wong, a prominent student leader, said on Monday that he and two other members of his group would go on an indefinite hunger strike.
“We admit that it’s difficult in the future to have an escalated action, so besides suffering from batons and tear gas, we would like to use our bodies to direct public attention to the issue,” he said.
“We are not sure if the hunger strike can put pressure on the government, but we hope that when the public realises the student hunger strike, they will ask themselves what they can do next.”