Occupy Central’s Benny Tai
Benny Tai Yiu-ting, co-founder of Occupy Central with Love and Peace, the pro-democracy group that threatened to occupy Hong Kong’s financial district, said its strategy to win concessions from China on election reform had failed and that support for the sit-in was waning.
China’s uncompromising stance means “the number of people joining us will not be as big as we expect, because of the very pragmatic thinking of Hong Kong people,” Tai said in an interview.
While Occupy Central plans to proceed with its protest, Tai said he doesn’t expect that the movement will be able to change the “political reality” made clear by China’s ruling that candidates for the city’s first planned popular election must be screened.
Hours after the Aug. 31 ruling, Tai told supporters at a rally outside the office of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying that it marked the start of an era of civil disobedience.
“Beijing refused to back down,” he said. “So the strategic part should end. Now the thing we want to achieve is more about the civil awakening.”
Photographer: Jerome Favre/Bloomberg
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