Hong Kong protesters threaten talks boycott

By admin on 03/10/2014

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Leaders of pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong have threatened to call off talks with the government after demonstrators were involved in scuffles with angry opponents.

The government must prevent "organised attacks on supporters of the Occupy movement", they said.

The protesters, angry at China's plan to vet election candidates, have been occupying parts of the city.

They had earlier accepted an offer of talks from Hong Kong's chief executive.

In the commercial district of Mong Kok, on the Kowloon peninsula, opponents of the demonstrators dismantled tents.

Police linked arms to try to separate the opposing groups.

Later, more pro-democracy activists flooded the area and now vastly outnumber their opponents, says the BBC's Martin Patience in Mong Kok.

They began chanting: "Go back to the mainland."

 

Many local residents have been angered by the disruption caused by the protests, but activists say the opposition to them is being coordinated by the authorities.

 

"I don't support Occupy Central. We have to work and make money. Occupy is just a game," said a construction worker who gave his name as Mr Lee, quoted by AFP news agency.

"Give us Mong Kok back, we Hong Kongers need to eat!" another said.

Similar scuffles took place in Causeway Bay on Hong Kong Island, where residents tried to remove barricades put up by pro-democracy protesters.

The three main protest groups issued a statement blaming the authorities for the violence.

"If the government does not immediately prevent the organised attacks on supporters of the Occupy movement, the students will call off dialogue on political reform with the government," it said.

Government offices in the main protest-hit area have been closed, with the authorities urging staff to work from home because roads were blocked.

At the heart of the row is how Hong Kong elects its next leader. In August, Beijing imposed tight rules on nominations for candidates wanting to stand for election.

The protesters say this move means that the polls will fall short of the free elections they are seeking.

Several days into their week-long demonstrations, the protesters added the demand that Chief Executive CY Leung step down.

Mr Leung refused late on Thursday but offered talks with his deputy, which the activists accepted.

The central government in Beijing has thrown its full support behind Mr Leung, calling the protests illegal and "doomed to fail"

 

Source BBC

Posted on October, 3 2014

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