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Hong Kong protest: Occupy Central founders call for protesters to retreat

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Occupy Central founders have repeated their call for Hong Kong protesters to retreat.

Benny Tai, Chan Kin-man and Chu Yiu-ming also said they would turn themselves in to police on December 3.

Occupy Central movement initially led the pro-democracy protests, but has receded as students continued with demonstrations.

Student leader Joshua Wong has begun a hunger strike to demand talks with the Hong Kong authorities over the movement’s ideas for political reforms.

Occupy and the students want China to scrap its plans to screen candidates for the 2017 election for the territory’s leadership. They want the Hong Kong government to renegotiate the arrangement with Beijing.

In a statement read out by Benny Tai at Tuesday’s press conference, where Chu Yiu-ming was seen weeping, the founders said they were handing themselves in to police to demonstrate “commitment and responsibility”.Hong Kong Occupy Central

The three added: “For the sake of the occupiers’ safety, for the sake of our original intention of love and peace, as we prepare to surrender, we three urge the students to retreat – to put down deep roots in the community and transform the movement to extend the spirit of the Umbrella Movement.”

Occupy Central plans to continue its work through public debates, community education and funding democracy groups.

Joshua Wong began his hunger strike on Monday night, along with two other members of his Scholarism group, in the hopes of reopening dialogue with the government and “restarting the political reform process”.

On December 2 he told reporters: “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 body to get public attention.”

“We are not sure if the hunger strike can put pressure on the government, but we hope that when the public realizes about the student hunger strike, they will ask themselves what they can do next.”


On Sunday night and early Monday, hundreds of protesters clashed with police as they tried to surround government offices in Admiralty.

The move was an escalation of protests in retaliation to authorities clearing the Mong Kok camp while acting on court orders. The protest sites at Admiralty and Causeway Bay still remain.

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