No plans for large protest 1 year after Umbrella Movement, as HK activists 'lost and confused'

Protesters in Hong Kong demand the release of dissidents who have supported the movement in the mainland on Sept 27, 2015.
Protesters in Hong Kong demand the release of dissidents who have supported the movement in the mainland on Sept 27, 2015. PHOTO: REUTERS

HONG KONG (Bloomberg) - A key figure in Hong Kong's pro-democracy camp said the movement has lost its way and there are no plans for large-scale demonstrations on Monday (Sept 28), the one-year anniversary of the "Umbrella Movement", in which tens of thousands of people took to the streets in protest.

"The democratic camp feels lost and confused on which direction the movement should be headed, and there are also different arguments on what kind of tools or measures to rely upon in the fight for democracy," Dr Chan Kin Man, an associate professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, told local broadcaster RTHK on Sunday.

"Many people doubt whether such Occupy movements can really move the needle," Dr Chan said during a press conference streamed by the station. "There probably won't be any large-scale occupy movement again in the future."

It's unlikely a large-scale demonstration will happen on Monday as many groups have shifted focus to expanding their influence in local districts, Mr Oscar Lai, a spokesman for the activist group Scholarism, said in a separate news conference posted by RTHK.

Last year's pro-democracy protests were among the most significant in the history of a city that the British handed back to China in 1997.

At its peak, tens of thousands of people braved tear gas to demonstrate, demanding that China drop what protest leader Benny Tai has said was an "undemocratic" demand to screen candidates for the city's chief executive election in 2017.