Protesters at odds over pullback plan

HONG KONG — Hong Kong’s pro-democracy activists agreed Sunday to remove some barriers blocking roads and sidewalks ahead of the government’s deadline to scale back their protests. But the demonstrators appeared to be divided, and others refused to budge, with only hours to go.

ADVERTISING


HONG KONG — Hong Kong’s pro-democracy activists agreed Sunday to remove some barriers blocking roads and sidewalks ahead of the government’s deadline to scale back their protests. But the demonstrators appeared to be divided, and others refused to budge, with only hours to go.

An alliance of students said it had tried but so far failed to reach agreement with officials on a plan to begin talks on their demands for wider political reforms. The group vowed to continue protests until details of the talks might be worked out.

“If the government uses force to clear away protesters, there will be no room for dialogue,” Lester Shum, one of the group’s leaders, told reporters.

Earlier in the day, students occupying the area just outside city government headquarters agreed to remove some barricades that were blocking the building’s entrance, after the government said it would do whatever was necessary to ensure 3,000 civil servants would have full access to their offices on Monday.

The partial withdrawal appeared to be part of a strategy to regroup in another part of town, as protesters were urged to shift from other areas to Hong Kong’s Admiralty shopping and business district, a central location near the government’s main offices that has served as an informal headquarters for the protests.

Alex Chow, another student leader, said he was not worried about the crowd dwindling as people prepared to return to work and school on Monday.

“Because people need rest, but they will come out again. It doesn’t mean the movement is diminishing. Many people still support it,” Chow said.

ADVERTISING


Officials said they intended to have key streets open for schools and offices by Monday morning, but it was unclear whether they would act to clear the streets and other areas by force or just settle for a partial victory in clearing some roads. The government announced a reopening of schools and some roads, but indicated some disruptions were likely to continue.

“To restore order, we are determined, and we are confident we have the capability to take any necessary action,” police spokesman Steve Hui said. “There should not be any unreasonable, unnecessary obstruction by any members of the public.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Star-Advertiser's TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email hawaiiwarriorworld@staradvertiser.com.