Occupy Central with Love and Peace (OCLP) begins in Hong Kong
On September 27, 2014, Pro Democracy protests in Hong Kong against a ruling imposing restrictions on the city’s Chief Executive Official were brought forward to follows the student protests calling for greater political freedom. The Central in OCLP refers to the business district in Hong Kong, where the protests were to be held. The demands of the non-violent protests are universal suffrage in Hong Kong and that the impending elections in 2017 and 2020 be held according to international standards. The elections in question are for the Chief Executive position and Legislative Council seats.
The protest was conceived to be an act of civil disobedience by the organizers. Hong Kong citizens, unlike those of mainland China have the right to free speech and right to protest. The ruling of the National People’s Congress that triggered the protests said that candidates for the 2017 Chief Executive elections would be nominated only by a Committee which consisted mostly of pro Beijing members.
The protests were met with repression from the police officials. The Police are believed to have arrested 78 people since the student demonstrations began. There have been reports saying that the police used pepper spray and tear gas to disperse the protestors. At least 26 people are believed to have been hospitalized; some police officials were also injured.
Business groups, multiple Chinese and Hong Kong government officials, and pro Beijing lobbies have condemned the protests. The Chinese government has also accused foreign elements of meddling in its affairs and encouraging separatist sentiments.