Hong Kong police have announced that they will begin clearing one of the last remaining protest camps starting Thursday as pro-democracy protests lose momentum. But supporters of the cause based at the final major campsite located outside the Hong Kong government headquarters have vowed not to go down without a fight.
Dozens of activists and tents still remain on the normally busy multi-lane highway outside the government offices, where many have been camped out for the past ten weeks, according to a report by the Associated Press. “We will still resist till the last moment,” Alex Chow, the secretary general of the Hong Kong Federation of Students, one of the two main student groups that were crucial to the mobilization of the Umbrella Revolution movement, told the AP, adding that resisting to leave will “demonstrate our spirit” toward the cause.
The government said they will respond with force if protestors continue to refuse to leave when it comes time to clear the area. “For those who refuse to leave, the police will take enforcement action,” Cheng Tak-keung, a Hong Kong police spokesman said in a news conference, according to the New York Times. “We will not leave much time for protesters to pack up on Thursday morning.”
A confrontation between the police and protestors is expected to occur as tension ahead of Thursday mounts. While Chow says that they will continue to stand on their principles of peaceful protests, Hong Kong’s government says that their use of force will match the level of resistance exhibited by protestors.
Though the clearing of the site may mark the end of the protest occupation which gained international support and attention, many don’t consider it to be the end of the greater movement. “I’ll let them arrest me if it comes to that, and I think everyone here in this camp feels the same,” Jerry Lam, a 24 year old protestor at the site told CNN. “Before the Umbrella Movement, Hong Kong people didn’t really pay attention to politics. But now, everyone cares.”