BEIJING: The protests in Hong Kong have bared the island’s sharpening social divide, when on Monday, hundreds of taxi and truck drivers along with their supporters forcibly removed barricades, set up by the agitators, at a major protest site.
The collision between students and sections of the working class seemed to be solidifying as 14 taxi, minibus and lorry groups plan to seek a court injunction to bar leaders of the Occupy movement from blocking major roads on Hong Kong Island and in Mong Kok.
“The Occupy movement is actually causing a lot of inconvenience. Under common law it is nuisance. The party affected is entitled to seek damages and also to apply for an injunction,” the website of the South hina Morning Post, quoted solicitor Phyllis Kwong as saying.
At a press conference, Mr. Kwong, who is supporting the 14 transport groups, said that at least seven organisers of the movement would be named in the injunction, which he hoped would be filed “as soon as practicable”.
Earlier the police dismantled blockades in six locations, including two roads in the troubled Mong Kok area, but said it meant to take possession of government property and not to uproot the protests The police used loud hailers to make their point, and students, while recording the loading of the undone barriers on trucks, did not interfere.
By evening, anti-occupy activists gathered in strength to outnumber the protesters in Mong Kong, yet again demonstrating that their hold on this zone of mixed affluence, known for its violent underclass, was increasingly tenuous.
The Hong Kong protests highlights the clash of visions — between China’s “one country-two systems” approach, which allows relatively free social expression, and promises calibrated democracy from 2017 onwards in the territory, against unqualified universal suffrage that the student-protesters demand. Analysts point out that the Chinese authorities are unlikely to budge from the “one country-two systems” approach, as this formulation has laid the foundation of the political integration of Hong Kong and Macau with China, and extends Beijing’s approach towards Taiwan.
The Chinese blue-print has been anchored in the Basic Law of 1990, which became the basis of negotiations with the British authorities, leading to Hong Kong’s integration with China in 1997.
At a press conference in Guangzhou, Hong Kong Chief executive Leung Chun-ying made it plain that he would not resign from his post, in deference to the protesters’ demands. “It is not about the person. Whoever takes the chief executive’s position has to abide by the Basic Law and the decisions of the National People’s Congress. I have made it clear my heart will follow this,” he observed