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To Defer or Not to Defer a Dream of Democracy in Hong Kong

In the face of Chinese denial of entry into Hong Kong by British Lawmakers and in the face of increase police action against street protesters in Hong Kong, the co-founders of Hong Kong's main democracy movement - Occupy Central, have called on student protesters to retreat from protests sites in the former British colony.

As reported by the BBC and Reuters, Occupy Central's civil disobedience movement has called on pro-democracy activists occupying the streets next to government headquarters in the center of city, to retreat and to go home. University of Hong Kong law professor, Benny Tai; Chinese University sociology professor, Chan Kin-man and Reverend Chu Yiu-ming; called on the students to retreat at a press conference in Hong Kong, yesterday. 

The elder democracy activists explained they were not unilaterally calling upon the younger student activists to withdraw, but they were urging the youth to retreat as the situation in the streets had become more dangerous. "We see that front line police officers seem to be out of control," professor Tai said fearing that protesters could get seriously hurt. On Monday, protesters were confronted by police in the streets around the government headquarters building. In the past week more than 100 protesters have been arrested and many injured in confrontations with Hong Kong police as authorities continue to remove parts of barricades erected at protest sites.

Student leader, Joshua Wong, 18, who was arrested and bailed last week, has announced that he will start a hunger strike as part of the quest for greater democracy in Hong Kong from China. Wong also called for a regrouping of protesters in the central district of Hong Kong. 

However, in contrast to the actions of Wong and the younger democracy activists to continue their protests, the older activists plan to surrender to Hong Kong police tomorrow for their roles in the democracy demonstrations which the government have deemed illegal.

Thus, the youth of Hong Kong are left to defer or not to defer a dream of democracy. Faced with formidable foes -  Hong Kong's police and the behemoth China's armed forces, Hong Kong's students who have peacefully demonstrated for democratic rights at home while other World youths have gone off to join the extremist ISIL, could go home and defer their dream. Or, they could continue on the quest to achieve universal suffrage and diminished Chinese influence upon their destiny. Youth is the vanguard of all in society and the youth of Hong Kong will inevitably determine their own fate.

[This blog has been republished on Asia Today.]