21:49 GMT26 January 2021
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    Hong Kong’s Occupy Central Protests (38)
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    Three leaders of the Occupy Central with Love and Peace movement, which along with several student organizations spearheaded protests in Hong Kong, have announced that they will “surrender” to police and urged participants of the movement to retreat and transform the protest campaign.

    MOSCOW, December 2 (Sputnik) — Three leaders of the Occupy Central with Love and Peace movement, which along with several student organizations spearheaded protests in Hong Kong, have announced that they “surrender” and are preparing to turn themselves in to police on Wednesday, AFP reports.

    They also urged participants of the movement to retreat and transform the protest campaign. "As we prepare to surrender, we three urge the students to retreat — to put down deep roots in the community and transform the movement," said Occupy Central leader Benny Tai, a law professor at the University of Hong Kong, during a press conference. Chan Kin-man, a professor of sociology at Chinese University, and Reverend Chu Yiu-ming were also present.

    The leaders stressed that surrendering “is not an act of cowardice” in a tweet posted on the movement’s official account. “[I]t is courage to bear responsibility,” they said, adding it “is not failure but denunciation of heartless government”.

    On Monday, the headquarters of Hong Kong’s government was temporarily closed after thousands of pro-democracy protesters and police clashed near the Admiralty Centre. This weekend saw some of the bitterest violence in China’s semi-autonomous region since protests started in late September.
    The protests were sparked by Beijing’s decision to vet candidates, who will participate in the election for Hong Kong’s chief executive, scheduled for 2017. Activists claim it is an infringement on democracy. Hong Kong, which became part of China on July 1, 1997, is governed according to a "one country, two systems" principle, meaning the 7-million region enjoys wide autonomy in all areas except foreign relations and defense.

    We Will Force the Government to Regard Public Opinion: Hong Kong Activist

    The demonstrations are estimated to have attracted as many as 100,000 people at the height of the protest movement, which has since lost its momentum.

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    Hong Kong’s Occupy Central Protests (38)

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    protest, Occupy Central, Hong Kong, China
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