Hong Kong demonstrator says he wants to run for office
Pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong talks to the media after being released from prison, outside the Legislative Council building, in Hong Kong, China, 17 June 2019. EPA-EFE/JEROME FAVRE
Pro-democracy activists (L-R) Nathan Law, Joshua Wong and Agnes Chow attend a press conference outside the Legislative Council building in Hong Kong, China, 18 June 2019. EPA-EFE/ROMAN PILIPEY
Pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong speaks as protesters gather outside the Wanchai Police headquarters in Hong Kong, China, 21 June 2019. EPA-EFE/JEROME FAVRE
Pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong attends a rally outside the Department of Justice in Hong Kong, China, 27 June 2019. EPA-EFE/CHAN LONG HEI
Hong Kong, Jul 5 (efe-epa).- A Hong Kong pro-democracy campaigner has said he wants to run for office but fears the government would block him from doing so.
Joshua Wong, 22, was one of the key figures in the so-called “Revolution of the Umbrellas” in 2014 and left prison three weeks ago.
The same morning of his release he appeared before the parliament building, where he was cheered by thousands of young protestors.
Scores of objectors stormed the building on Monday in the latest of a series of protests against a controversial extradition bill.
They are also demanding the resignation of the head of the local government, Carrie Lam, amid an ongoing political crisis in the country.
Wong said he wants to put himself forward as a political candidate but fears he would be prevented from doing so.
“If I apply to run for office, would they allow me to run?” he told Efe on Friday.
“If they apply political censorship and double standard, do not allow me to run for office.”
Since his release from prison, he has participated in the coordination of the protests and advocates continuing to carry out actions until Lam and the government hears the public outcry.
He said he was hit by teargas on the street while campaigners staged the occupation of parliament.
Wong said: “I were on the frontline of the street and being shoot by teargas and that’s the division of labor because we knew that police would not suddenly appear inside the building they would come from the police headquarters from that side and walk through that street and arrive the legislative council.
“So if were to ensure people’s safety inside the building, we stand on the frontline.”
More than a dozen people, including a 14-year-old girl, were arrested on Thursday over the protests.
They will probably be charged with crimes such as criminal damage, theft and rioting, which could amount to up to 10 years in prison.
“No one would encourage youngster storm into the building with serving ten years in prison,” Wong said.
“Also people might have hesitations and I don’t expect everyone agree on all the behavior of activists during their action.
“But when two out of seven million of population join the largely peaceful rally happen last month and government still keep silence and ignore to withdraw the bill, that’s the reason for people join the strike.”
Wong said that the movement in Hong Kong is leaderless “because if you have leader for the movement Beijing would arrest the leader immediately”.
He added: “I have been jailed last month and just released from prison three weeks ago.
“The movement is organic because we can’t use the traditional way because Hong Kong is not a city with democracy, it’s more self-initiative.” EFE-EPA