Hong Kong's Beijing-approved leader, Leung Chun-ying, has called for an end of the pro-democracy demonstrations being held in the semiautonomous city by tens of thousands of its citizens. He has taken specific aim at Occupy Central With Love and Peace, one of the two major organizing groups, saying, "Occupy Central founders had said repeatedly that if the movement is getting out of control, they would call for it to stop. I'm now asking them to fulfill the promise they made to society and stop this campaign immediately."
Chan Kin-man, a sociology professor and one of the founders of Occupy Central, fired backed at Leung's demand, saying, "We will continue our peaceful resistance to fight for democracy, to fight for a better future for Hong Kong."
Leung's demands come after largely peaceful protests in the city erupted into chaos over the weekend after police fired tear gas into crowds of protesters. Protest leaders, mostly university students, have demanded to speak with Leung before midnight Tuesday, the eve before Chinese National Day, the anniversary of the Communist Party's founding of the People's Republic of China.
"Many powerful people from the mainland will come to Hong Kong. The Hong Kong government won't want them to see this, so the police must do something," Sui-ying Cheng, 18, a freshman at Hong Kong University's School of Professional and Continuing Education, told Reuters. "We are not scared. We will stay here tonight. Tonight is the most important."
Protesters are demanding that China reverse last month's decision to only allow candidates vetted by Beijing to run in 2017 elections for chief executive.
[Image via AP]