The Girl Guides Association has signed a statement placed in the South China Morning Post calling upon its readers to think of the city’s children. It is unclear if the advertisement was taking aim at the ongoing civil referendum, the pro-democracy Occupy Central movement or both. Girl Guides Hong Kong have refused to comment or answer questions related to the matter and it remains unclear whether their involvement is reflective of the views of the young women it represents.
Earlier this month, the normally apolitical business chambers of Hong Kong, Bahrain, Italy, India and Canada published a statement condemning the proposed pro-democracy ‘sit-in’. The British, American and Australian chambers were not listed, whilst the Hong Kong Stock Exchange has stated, separately, that it expects any acts of civil disobedience to have a minimal impact on trade.
A similar statement appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Times today, signed by consultancy groups Ernst & Young, KPMG, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
However, a mysterious full-page advert appeared in the New York Times last week from the other side of the debate.
As of today, over 3/4 of a million Hong Kongers had voted in the unofficial referendum on democracy – around 20% of those eligible to vote. The poll continues throughout the weekend despite news that ballot boxes and voting booths had been confiscated at the Chinese border.
Also today, two fake PopVote websites, registered in China, were discovered.
Organisers have warned voters to input the correct URL, popvote.hk.
A ‘silent march‘ by legal professionals concerned about the impact Beijing’s White Paper will have on local judicial independence is due to kick off at 5:30pm today.