After Chinese state-run mouthpieces attacked Occupy Central for days, a large number of so-called Occupy Central opponents appeared in Hong Kong. They instigated many conflicts and used violence to attack protesters. Hong Kong’s chief executive Leung Chun-ying also spoke on TV, demanding protesters to retreat. Riot police were also dispatched on a large scale, and used pepper spray against protesters. Despite all of this, Occupy Central protesters did not step back. On the contrary, more Hong Kongers joined them. Famous democratic activists Chen Guangcheng and Wei Jingsheng, who both live in the U.S. now, told NTD that they believe Hong Kong people will win the battle if they can endure and persist.
According to Apply Daily, hundreds of civilians remained put outside the Office of the Chief Executive as of 8 p.m. Oct. 5. Those who had stayed there over days said they were not afraid of a pepper spray attack from police or even death. Other civilians said protesters should not easily retreat from their “battle field.”
On Oct. 4, Hong Kong’s chief executive Leung Chun-ying gave another TV address. Leung claimed student protesters had blocked the road to the government headquarters. He required all protesters to leave by Monday.
In response, Hong Kong Federation of Students (HKFS) made an announcement on Oct. 5, stating the entrance to the government building had always been left open. HKFS asked the Hong Kong government to stop making misleading statements; The public will not be convinced if protesters are required to leave without making any progress in political reform issues. HKFS hopes the government stops dragging on and shows some sincerity in beginning dialogue with protesters. HKFS said the precondition for any conversation is that the police have to properly resolve conflicts between pro and anti Occupy Central groups.
Chen Guangcheng, blind rights activist: “With justice on your side, you can go anywhere. I want to tell my friends in Hong Kong, ‘your demands are reasonable and legitimate, as they follow the right direction in social development. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) refuses to give us rights that we should have since birth, so it is reactionary and acts against the tide of history. We will win the battle as long as we endure and persist. The whole world is watching and supporting us.’”
On the evening of Oct. 3, some residents claiming to be opponents of Occupy Central violently attacked protesters. There were even hooligans focusing on sexual assault against female students. Global media has pinpointed many suspicious characters among the anti Occupy Central group.
The conflicts started by Occupy Central opponents also gave police the excuse to continuously use pepper spray against students. By 6 p.m. on Oct. 5, 165 were sent to hospital. Most of them had been discharged, but nine remained in the hospital.
After experiencing tear gas attacks, pepper spray and mafia-like groups, over 100,000 Hong Kongers gathered at Admiralty for protest on the evening of Oct. 4.
On the other hand, when asked about whether police will stop using tear gas or rubber bullets, the director of Hong Kong Police Public Relations Branch did not reply directly. Instead, he only said HK police would, “take proper action at proper times” and “have the determination to recover social order.”
Wei Jingsheng, democratic activist: “The conflicts mostly result from the CCP’s internal struggle. Otherwise it should have not been that bad. There are always a group of people stirring things up inside the CCP. They provoke public sentiment like what they did during the June Fourth Incident. Therefore we have seen street protests turning into such tough situations. But meanwhile the movement has also become a hot potato for the CCP. In general, I think if Hong Kong people can stick to what they are doing right now, we will see a good ending to the story.”
The question is whether HK police will use violence to drive protesters away. Many are concerned about this.
Chen Guangcheng: ”Hong Kong is not Tiananmen Square. In the modern world, you can no longer turn the light off and do whatever you want. The CCP is focusing on Hong Kong, but I think meanwhile it is also guarding over those awakened Chinese citizens. If the party really does something to Hong Kong people, Chinese people may not sit it out.”
Wei Jingsheng:”I believe there are conscientious CCP leaders who do not want to witness another June Fourth Incident. After all, the world has changed. If another June Fourth Incident occurs, the CCP will probably not survive that. Last time it muddled through as the global society still needed it to resist the Soviet Union.”
Tsai Ing-wen, Chair of Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party, said Hong Kong’s Occupy Central movement could teach the Taiwanese a good lesson. That is, when people unite together they can change their lives.
HKFS secretary-general Chow Yong-kang apologized for inconveniencing Hong Kong people’s daily life due to Occupy Central. Chow said that the movement is not a revolution, and today’s inconvenience will serve to clear the road for future democracy.