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.
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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.