Occupy Central’s celebrity backers should be punished for supporting the pro-democracy protest movement, according to a poll conducted by the Chinese Communist Party’s youth group. The poll gives four answer choices, none of which offered the possibility of leniency or no punishment.
The Communist Youth League of China launched the poll via Weibo, a microblogging service similar to Twitter, on Tuesday. More than 270,000 people took the poll since then, which is open until next week. The poll asks: “Which way would you choose to resist these unscrupulous artists?”
The most popular answer, with around 30 percent of the vote, was to ban the celebrities from performing or broadcasting in mainland China. It didn't offer a timetable for how long such a ban would be in place. Nearly one-quarter of voters said they would “resolutely not watch the works of ‘Occupy Central’ artists." Around 18 percent of voters said they wanted the celebrities’ names to be “scrubbed from the Internet,” and around the same percentage said they would delete their microblog accounts.
Some Weibo users were quick to criticize the poll for being too “one-sided,” and not offering an option for no punishment. Some said they would quit the CYLC over the poll. A movement to quit the CYLC and other Communist Party groups like it called the “Tuidang Movement” first became popular in the Chinese mainland in 2004 and have remained somewhat popular since.
The Occupy Central protests have divided many of Hong Kong’s celebrities. Actors like Chapman To Man-chak and singers Anthony Wong and Denise Ho Wan-sze have visited protests sites to offer their support. Another group of celebrities recorded a version of “Do You Hear The People Sing?” which quickly became popular among protesters.
Occupy Central is nearly a month old this week. Protesters, many of them students, want full democracy in the 2017 election for the city’s top position, but Beijing won’t budge.
The full wording of the poll:
“Call for ‘Occupy Central’ artists to be banned from performing or broadcasting in mainland China.” – 30 percent
“Resolutely not watch the works of ‘Occupy Central’ artists.” – 23 percent
“Call for ‘Occupy Central’ artists’ names to be scrubbed from the Internet.” – around 18 percent
“Delete the ‘Occupy Central’ artists’ microblog accounts.” – around 18 percent