The number of protesters taking to the streets of Hong Kong has dropped significantly over the past few days. CCTV America’s Zhu Dan speaks to one of the former protesters.
Mandy Lau, 20, was among the many young protesters who took to the streets last week. Her parents disagreed with her decision and tried hard to persuade her from joining the protests to no avail. But shortly after participating in the protest, Lau had a change of heart. She said she joined because she thought it was a movement for democracy, but the mood of the protests was not what she expected.
“I think it wasn’t about democracy for Hong Kong, because many clashes happened at the sites, that’s against real democracy. And I found out the protests really disrupted people’s lives, the stores around there were all closed, business in the area was greatly affected. It really hurt Hong Kong’s economy. So I decided to leave,” Mandy Lau said.
HK demonstrators decline as many students return to classThe number of protesters taking to the streets of Hong Kong has dropped significantly over the past few days. CCTV America's Zhu Dan speaks to one of the former protesters.
Opposition to the protests has grown throughout the city. According to the Hong Kong Research Association, 67 percent of the 1,361 adults it polled over the last six days was against the Occupy Central movement, while 54 percent said their lives have been greatly affected by the protests. Another 46 percent said the protests have harmed Hong Kong’s international image.
Crowds here have dwindled significantly to just a fraction of what they were last week. This may be due to the pleas from deans from five universities in Hong Kong, who persuaded students to return to class and find a different and less disruptive approach. A letter from a high school principal, which was widely spread online, also led many students to think twice about the protests.
The principal criticized the protesters for claiming to represent the people of Hong Kong, when in fact they were no given such validation. He also pointed to the disruption it has caused and the hostility it has created.
“I’m a student. Boycotting is definitely not a good thing. As the old saying goes, if you want to make big contributions, you need to build yourself well first. I still care about politics, but I will better myself first,” Lau said.
CCTV America’s Mike Walter interviews Wang Xuewen, Political analyst and former Deputy Chief of the International Business Daily, to talk about Hong Kong protests.