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Hong Kong Student Protesters Mull Over Retreat

© REUTERS / Bobby YipProtesters protect themselves from being sprayed with "tear spray" during a confrontation with riot police at Mongkok shopping district in Hong Kong
Protesters protect themselves from being sprayed with tear spray during a confrontation with riot police at Mongkok shopping district in Hong Kong - Sputnik International
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Hong Kong student groups have announced that they were considering retreat since they failed to win public support and did not achieve their goal of forcing the Chinese government to abolish its Hong Kong 2017 election policies.

The demonstrations are estimated to have attracted as many as 100,000 people at the height of the protest movement. - Sputnik International
Occupy Movement Leaders in Hong Kong Announce ‘Surrender’
MOSCOW, December 4 (Sputnik) – Hong Kong student protesters have announced that they were mulling over retreat since they failed to achieve their goal of forcing the Chinese authorities to reconsider its policy of vetting the city's leadership candidates.

"The protesters have few options left after rallying supporters in a failed bid earlier this week to surround government headquarters that resulted in a night of violent clashes with police armed with batons and pepper spray. Public support for the protesters has fallen as the government has stuck to its apparent strategy of waiting them out," the Associated Press reported.

A pro-democracy protester blocks a riot policeman during a clash outside the government headquarters in Hong Kong - Sputnik International
Hong Kong Administration Warns of Possible Crackdown on Protests
The Hong Kong Federation of Students, and Scholarism, another student protest group, underscored that they would decide whether to halt the movement during the next week.

"Some people wish to stay until the last minute and we respect that — but we cannot occupy without meaning. We will decide within the next week whether to stay or retreat," Yvonne Leung, the Federation of Student's spokeswoman, told local radio, as cited by Reuters.

The Federation and Scholarism are two of several protest groups, which have participated in the Hong Kong protest movement lasting over two months. The leaders of the anti-government "Occupy Central" movement, which capitulated on Wednesday, December 3, called upon student groups to finish the campaign.

Pro-democracy protesters move barricade reinforcements up onto an escalator near the government headquarters in Hong Kong's Admiralty district December 1,2014 - Sputnik International
China Bans Senior British MP From Hong Kong Amid Clashes With Protesters
However, Joshua Wong, 18, the leader of the Scholarism group, along with four other members of his team have started a hunger strike this week aimed at forcing the government to continue negotiations over the students' demands.

China's authorities have repeatedly denounced the protest movement as illegal and unreasonable. The Wall Street Journal stresses that "rising violence at the sites has further eroded fading public support" of the Occupy Central campaign. "Expressing views on constitutional reform through illegal and confrontational means is bound to be futile. We hope the students who are undergoing hunger strike could take good care of their health," Hong Kong's chief executive's office stated on December 3, as cited by the media source.

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