Hong Kong protesters still on streets beyond government deadline
Hong Kong, Oct 6 (IANS) Hundreds of pro-democracy campaigners remained camped out on the streets of Hong Kong even as a government deadline, requiring them to vacate the protest site, passed without any untoward incident Monday, BBC reported.
Their numbers, however, dwindled overnight and civil servants returned to work in the government’s headquarters.
Agitated at China’s plans to vet candidates when Hong Kong holds elections in 2017, the protesters are demanding the central government in Beijing should allow a completely free vote for the territory’s leader.
The protesters appear to have decided to beat a strategic, possibly temporary, retreat – partly out of sheer exhaustion, as the demonstrations entered their second week, a BBC correspondent said.
Activists have been encouraged by news that student leaders have begun meeting government officials to lay the groundwork for talks on political reform.
According to a South China Morning Post report, tens of thousands of people have been on the streets of Hong Kong the past week, but only about 100 protesters remained outside government offices at the Admiralty protest site Monday morning.
Just 10 people were sitting outside the chief executive’s office, it added.