Occupy Central [佔領中環 or 佔中] is a civil disobedience campaign initiated by Benny Tai Yiu-ting, Associate Professor of Law at the University of Hong Kong, and advocated by Occupy Central with Love and Peace [OCLP]. In the course of the 2014 Hong Kong electoral reform, OCLP intends to pressure the PRC Government into granting an electoral system which “satisf[ies] the international standards in relation to universal suffrage” in the Hong Kong Chief Executive election in 2017 as promised according to the Hong Kong Basic Law Article 45.
In 2013 and 2014, OCLP organised three sessions for deliberation and a civic referendum on the voting system to used for the election of the Hong Kong chief executive in 2017. It then submitted to the government the proposal that citizens selected in the referendum. As a response to Beijing’s rejection of the proposal, OCLP originally planned to launch the protest campaign on 1 October 2014, the National Day of the People’s Republic of China. However, OCLP announced the commencement of Occupy Central on 28 September, in the midst of the heated week-long class boycott organised by the Hong Kong Federation of Students [HKFS]. The student strikes developed into a wave of demonstrations, which led to civil disobedience and an occupy movement of unprecedented scale. The protests gradually developed into a non-centralized occupy movement spreading to several areas in Hong Kong but most notably in Central Hong Kong. Occupy Central is just piece of the Umbrella Movement [雨傘運動] or Umbrella Revolution [雨傘革命]. I was honored to be in Hong Kong to witness history in the making.