Student protest leader Joshua Wong and two others have begun a hunger strike to reopen communication about democratic elections with the Chinese government. Joshua, who is 18-years-old, and two female teenagers will subsist only on water outside of the Hong Kong government complex.
The Los Angeles Times reports that Wong will protest using the hunger strike, rather than being on the front lines. Joshua cannot be arrested again, or he will face imprisonment. Wong is the leader of Scholarism, a high-school activist group. On Thursday, Wong was released after being arrested at another protest camp in the Mong Kok neighborhood.
Wong spoke to reporters regarding his decision to begin a hunger strike.
“This is a humble demand, not some fanciful thinking. All along, I want to gain more public support. So now I want to use my body to move more adults to our cause.”
— DW (English) (@dw_english) December 2, 2014
On Monday, a Hong Kong High Court approved an injunction to clear roadways of protesters like Wong and encampments from the Admiralty neighborhood. The Chinese government also said it would block a British delegation from entering Hong Kong. The delegation would investigate if the Sino-British Joint Declaration has been violated, which granted the territory to Chinese rule 17 years ago.
Members of the Occupy Central with Love and Peace movement hoped that the hunger strike would not occur, according to USA Today. Co-founder Benny Tai said he hoped Joshua would put down roots to build the movement, rather than weakening himself physically. Joshua hoped that the hunger strike would more quickly encourage a conversation with political leaders.
“If the government can have a proper meeting with Scholarism to discuss whether political reform will be launched immediately, we will stop the hunger strike.”
For two months, protesters have clogged the Hong Kong streets. As covered by the Inquisitr, the peaceful protests have led to violence as police forces clash with Joshua and others calling for more transparency in elections. The camps largely consist of students like Wong. They block access to shopping areas and transportation, frustrating some citizens outside of the protest movement.
The New York Times explains the Evolution of Joshua Wong in the video below.
[Photo Source: The Straits Times]