Pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong are once again taking to the streets Friday in the Chinese territory a day after the government called off talks with protest leaders. The demonstrators, many of them students, are urging supporters of the Occupy Central movement to attend a “major rally” on Friday.
The talks between protest leaders and the government were supposed to come up with a solution to disband the protests and satisfy the pro-democracy supporters. The meeting scheduled for Friday was canceled by Carrie Lam, deputy to Leung Chun-ying, Hong Kong’s Beijing-aligned chief executive whom protester want ousted. They also want universal suffrage for the election to replace Leung in 2017.
Lam said talks were canceled because protest leaders called for demonstrations and the universal suffrage demand isn’t in Hong Kong’s constitution. “Based on the public remarks made by the student representatives ... the basis for a constructive dialogue between us and the students has been seriously undermined," she said, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
Hundreds of protesters were on the streets of central Hong Kong on Friday, Reuters reported. Some of the demonstrators brought tents, suggesting they’re planning to participate in the protests for some time.
"I've just set up camp here under the bridge and I will come down to occupy whenever I can," Wong Lai-wa, 23, told Reuters. "I may have to go back to school during the day, but I will make every effort to come back."
Pro-democracy protests have gripped Hong Kong since Sept. 28. The demonstrations fizzled for a bit earlier this week amid optimism over the talks. But a “major rally” was being planned for Friday. "For sure it will be jam-packed with people later today in Admiralty after people get off work and students finish school,” student Joshua Wong told ABC, referring to Hong Kong’s central business district.