Backing for democracy

Backing for democracy

Most students support Occupy Central's universal suffrage campaign, but are hesitant about joining next July's protest


News July 1 Protest_L
Photo: Dickson Lee/SCMP
Most secondary school students back the Occupy Central campaign - a non-violent protest due to be held in Central next July to support universal suffrage in Hong Kong.

However, a majority of the students questioned during an informal poll by the South China Morning Post during Monday's annual July 1 march said they would hesitate before taking part in next year's protest.

The survey took place as hundreds of thousands of people marched to the government's Tamar headquarters in support of universal suffrage. The protesters, marking the 16th anniversary of the handover, also called for the resignation of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying.

Up to 630 people, including more than 40 aged under 18, were polled at locations such as a concert in Kai Tak, shops offering special July 1 discounts, and while on the march.

People were asked if they would support and attend next July's Occupy Central protest. Up to 36 youngsters backed the movement; five said they did not know. But when asked about attending Occupy Central - said to be likely to break the law - only seven youngsters said they would take part. Another 22 did not know, while 14 others said they would not.

Scholarism, the student activist group, said its members had not yet made up their minds whether or not they would attend, and would hold further discussions on the topic.

Young marcher Lai Yuk-yeung, 13, said she was hesitant about attending next year's protest. "I'm afraid I'll get hurt if there are clashes with the police," she said.

"I need to know more about the organisers' actual plan. There is not enough publicity about what they've been doing."

The Civil Human Rights Front, organiser of Monday's march, said up to 430,000 people took part. Police put the figure at 66,000.

Many young marchers took part, including student Lai Seng-kit, 18. "I joined in because the government didn't do anything for the residents this year; we must change this."

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