Scholarism leader Joshua Wong begins hunger strike

Scholarism leader Joshua Wong begins hunger strike

Joshua Wong starts his hunger strike, but the government is in no mood to talk as Occupy leaders begin to back down


Joshua Wong hopes a hunger strike will force the government to talk.
Joshua Wong hopes a hunger strike will force the government to talk.
Photo: AFP

Scholarism leader Joshua Wong Chi-fung said he was feeling fine yesterday, as he approached the end of his first day on hunger strike.

Wong announced on Monday night that he had begun a hunger strike that won't end until Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Yuet-ngor agrees to discuss the protesters' demands for political reform.

Two other members of Scholarism, Prince Wong and Isabella Lo, will also join Wong in the hunger strike. They will only consume water, although will take a glucose solution if ordered by a doctor.

"Carrie Lam said earlier the door to dialogue was always open," Wong said. "Our humble demand is to ask for dialogue to discuss the possibility of withdrawing the current reform proposal and relaunch the five-step reform process."

But when asked about the hunger strike, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said that he hoped students would look after their health now the weather has become cooler. He added that any struggle against Beijing's plans would be "futile".

Meanwhile, the founders of the Occupy movement, Benny Tai, Chan Kin-man, and Chu Yiu-ming, said they would surrender to police at 3pm today.

"We urge the students to retreat and take the spirit of [the movement] into the community," said Tai at a news conference, which was reported on the group's Twitter feed.

The move comes after student leaders admitted failure in their attempt to besiege the Central Government Offices in Tamar.

Police and protesters clashed violently on Sunday night when hundreds of people tried to break through police lines near the complex. Officers used batons, pepper spray and high-pressure water hoses to stop them. Police said 40 people were arrested.

Federation of Students' Secretary General Alex Chow said: "The plan did not achieve its original objective … which was to paralyse government."

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Scholarism leader begins hunger strike


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