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Hong Kong protesters won't "surrender," reject leaders' calls to leave

Tuesday, December 02, 2014 - 01:51

Members of Hong Kong's Occupy Central movement refuse to stand down after the protest group's leaders call for demonstrators to leave the city center. Mana Rabiee reports.

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Near Hong Kong's government headquarters, a protester's tent encampment is calm on Tuesday. Just the day before, thousands of pro-democracy activists clashed with police, defying orders leave. A weeks-long democracy movement that's occupied key streets of Hong Kong is now deeply split over tactics. Protest leaders are calling on student members to surrender … over fears of further violence. The clashes, they say, have undermined the movement and its peaceful beginnings. But the students themselves vow to continue their occupation (SOUNDBITE) (English) 18-YEAR-OLD UNIVERSITY STUDENT AND PRO-DEMOCRACY PROTESTER LORRAINE LAM, SAYING: "That announcement was quite nonsense because we have been through a lot and I don't think we should pack up our things and leave now." At issue … Beijing's decision to essentially VET candidates for Hong Kong's mayoral elections in 2017. Protesters want a free choice of candidates to decide their next leader. Quitting now, the students say, would render the entire movement meaningless. (SOUNDBITE) (English) 17-YEAR-OLD HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT AND PRO-DEMOCRACY PROTESTER, PATRICIA LAU, SAYING: "It's nonsense because we've been occupying for already two months and if we leave now we cannot get anything and we cannot ask for real elections." The protests are one the biggest political challenges to have confronted China's communist leadership since 1989, when it crushed pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square. The main leaders of this latest movement - dubbed Occupy - plan to surrender to police on Wednesday for their role in gatherings that the government has labeled illegal. Meanwhile, in tent city, a protest sign reads "hunger strike, 17th hour".

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Hong Kong protesters won't "surrender," reject leaders' calls to leave

Tuesday, December 02, 2014 - 01:51