Hong Kong protest leader Joshua Wong ends hunger strike
 

Hong Kong protest leader Joshua Wong ends hunger strike

‘Even if I stop the hunger strike, it doesn’t mean the government can ignore our demands,’ Wong says on Facebook.


 
Joshua Wong, leader of the student movement, delivers a speech as protesters block the main street to the financial Central district, outside the government headquarters building in Hong Kong October 1, 2014. (Carlos Barria/Reuters)

Joshua Wong, leader of the student movement, delivers a speech as protesters block the main street to the financial Central district, outside the government headquarters building in Hong Kong October 1, 2014. (Carlos Barria/Reuters)

HONG KONG — A prominent teenage leader of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests ended his hunger strike Saturday after 4 1/2 days at his doctor’s urging.

Joshua Wong said on his Facebook page that he stopped his hunger strike after 108 hours, leaving three other students still refusing food.

“Even if I stop the hunger strike, it doesn’t mean the government can ignore our demands,” Wong said in his post.

The decision by Wong, the movement’s most prominent leader, is the latest sign that the protests are flagging after more than two months as the activists find themselves exhausted and public support for their street protests drains away, while the government seems content to wait for the movement to fizzle out.

The protesters want Hong Kong’s government to drop restrictions on inaugural 2017 elections for the semiautonomous southern Chinese city’s top leader.

Related reading: Joshua Wong on protests, fame and parents

They want the government to restart talks over the electoral reforms, but government officials have been largely unresponsive.

The 18-year-old Wong leads the teenage Scholarism group, which has been one of the driving forces behind protests that that have blocked traffic in three districts across Hong Kong. One of the protest sites, in the Mong Kok neighbourhood, was shut down recently under a court order, and authorities are expected to clear out some barricades from the main protest site outside government headquarters sometime in the next week.

Leaders of a second group, the Hong Kong Federation of Students, representing those studying at colleges, said Thursday that they were considering a retreat from the protest sites and expect to come to a decision soon.


 
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