It’s been a week since Occupy Central took place in the streets of Hong Kong’s Central district, leaving many of its residents to wonder what gains, if any, were made with the protest. Amid recent admissions of doubt from Occupy founder Benny Tai, rumours have circulated that interest in the cause is on the decline. Speaking with HKU students about their opinions, it appears that could be the case.
“It’s not very likely I would be the one to join Occupy Central,” says one Hong Kong local, who describes the city’s population as being “half/half” on the movement. “Basically I don’t think it’s going to make a big difference at this stage.”
Worse still, Occupy remains largely unknown to many non-local students, who feel hardly compelled to show public support for a cause unfamiliar to them. “I’m just getting it out of the newspapers, I haven’t talked to any locals,” says one German exchange student. “I don’t feel well informed.”
One mainland Chinese student admits she’s only just heard of Occupy, explaining that this story cannot be found readily on Baidu, her main source of information. “I don’t know how the people in Hong Kong feel about this.”
Whether or not this reflects the views of most university students in Hong Kong remains to be seen. But with waning support and lacklustre buzz, the momentum of Occupy Central has unmistakably slowed, even as we enter Hong Kong’s “era of civil disobedience”.