Hong Kong Sympathisers Plan 'Occupy Tiananmen' Campaign
BEIJING: The "Occupy Tiananmen" movement has posted a request on Twitter for Beijing residents to take to the streets with umbrellas next Saturday in a show of solidarity with the Hong Kong pro-democracy movement that has the umbrella as its symbol.
The tweet recommends that supporters come out from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and if possible head for Tiananmen Square, where the Chinese government violently broke up the mass protests of 1989 in which occupiers were demanding broad democratic reforms.
The "hashtag" on Thursday's tweet is believed to have originated in Hong Kong, since the original message is written in characters with Hong Kong particularities.
Another indication of its source comes from the fact that Twitter is not censored in Hong Kong, unlike in mainland China where it can be accessed only with a VPN (private service with external connection).
Although some Hong Kong human rights activists and Twitter users have echoed the campaign to "Occupy Tiananmen", its success is questionable given that the central Beijing plaza is one of the most heavily guarded and protected places in all China.
For the moment, there have not been any replicas of the Hong Kong demonstrations in other parts of China, although Beijing continues to remain on alert.
The protests started Sep 28 following Beijing's decision to allow Hong Kong "universal suffrage" in selecting the next head of the government in 2017 but limiting the number of candidates to two or three, subject to prior approval of candidates by an advisory committee.