More than 80 percent of Hong Kong residents want the pro-democracy Occupy protests to cease, and over two thirds support the authorities taking action to clear the protest sites, according to a new survey.
The survey, conducted by the University Of Hong Kong's public opinion program, interviewed 513 Hong Kong residents between Nov. 17-18.
While 13 percent of respondents said they wanted the protests to continue, 82.9 percent said they wanted them to cease immediately. Sixty-eight percent of those surveyed said that Hong Kong's government should clear the protest sites, while 25 percent said they were happy with the “status quo,” according to a South China Morning Post report.
Hong Kong's government and the Occupy protests groups have been at a stalemate for weeks, following one round of talks, after which the government branded the protesters' demands unrealistic. Demonstrators have now been occupying key parts of the city for eight weeks.
There have, however, been some significant developments in the last few days that put protesters under significant pressure. Bailiffs, guarded by Hong Kong police officers, successfully cleared a small section of protesters for the first time on Tuesday, after commercial groups in the city obtained court injunctions demanding their removal.
Furthermore, in the early hours of Wednesday, a group of protesters attempted to violently break into Hong Kong's government headquarters, prompting police to use batons and pepper spray in violent confrontations with the attackers.
The scenes of protesters engaged in seemingly unprovoked violent action has not helped to enhance the movement's credibility in the city. Hong Kong's Pan-Democrat lawmaker bloc, which has been supportive of the movement up until now, condemned the actions of protesters who attacked the parliament building.
Further confrontation is expected as early as Friday, as up to one tenth of Hong Kong's 30,000-strong police force is expected to be deployed to help bailiffs clear protesters from an area of Mong Kok. The site has seen the most frequent clashes Occupy protesters have had with police and anti-occupy groups.