As the fight for meaningful democracy in Hong Kong comes to a head, the conveners of Occupy Central are set to appear outside of the Legislative Council building tomorrow night.
Pro-democracy activist and sinologist Bob Kraft will be speaking at the rally before Occupy Central organisers Benny Tai and Edward Chin address demonstrators and answer media questions. It is unclear whether final protest plans will be announced, though organisers of the pro-democracy ‘sit-in’ risk arrest once plans for civil disobedience are publicised.
Another Occupy Central meeting and press conference is likely to be held on Sunday as Tai has said he will shave his head for the cause.
Tomorrow’s gathering will begin at 8pm and is set to conclude at 10pm.
Earlier this month, walls were constructed, surrounding Hong Kong’s government building.
The relatively new LegCo building was originally designed to symbolise transparency and openness.
Also today, the homes of pro-democracy legislator Lee Cheuk-yan and Jimmy Lai were raided by anti-corruption officers. Lai is the chief of Hong Kong’s last remaining pro-democracy news title, Apple Daily. Shares in his publishing company, Next Media, have been suspended as Civic Party lawmaker Claudia Mo branded the move “clear-cut political persecution”.
Over recent months, US$7.6 million worth of advertising has been withdrawn from the tabloid following ‘pressure’ from mainland authorities, according to a senior executive.
There have also been rumours and concerns about an influx of PLA military hardware into Hong Kong.
Local blog USP spotted at least six armoured vehicles entering the territory overnight, though it is unclear if the movements are abnormal as the Chinese army maintains several bases within the territory..
Yesterday, it emerged that the Hong Kong Post Office had refused to deliver a leaflet designed by student activist group Scholarism.
The developments come as the National People’s Congress Standing Committee decides upon the rules for one-person-one-vote in Hong Kong’s 2017 election. Should the decision be out of line with international norms, it is likely that plans for the occupation protest will be approved this weekend.