Police officers beat up protesters as they try to disperse them outside government headquarters in Hong Kong Monday, Dec. 1, 2014.
Student activists from Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement began a hunger strike on Monday after violence rocked the city.
Joshua Wong, a leader of what has been dubbed the 'Umbrella Revolution,' announced the hunger strike in a Facebook post, asking the government to "immediately restart political reform" and begin an "open dialogue with students."
Two women from the student activist group Scholarism will join 18-year-old Wong in the hunger strike, according to the South China Morning Post.
Joshua Wong and a group of Scholarism protesters began a hunger strike tonight.— Anjali Tsui 徐安姿 (@anjalitsui) December 1, 2014
"We are not gambling with our lives. We just can't bear if the#UmbrellaMovement was for nothing." -@JoshuaWong1013 on hunger striking #HK— Natasha Khan (@natashakhanhk) December 1, 2014
The hunger strike announcement comes one night after activists called for an escalation of protests. After two months of mostly peaceful protests, activists surrounded the offices of the city's controversial Beijing-backed chief executive, Leung Chun-ying, before blocking a main thoroughfare. Police used pepper spray and batons to clear the protesters.
Forty people were arrested and dozens injured during the clashes.
My first Vine. Here's an interesting use for a can of pepper spray!https://t.co/p7tIgxjxgH— Alex Hofford (@alexhofford) December 1, 2014
Though streets were calmer by Monday evening, the hunger strike made it clear that the student activists had not abandoned their cause.
Wong was taken into custody last week, before being released on bail a day after his arrest. In October, he spoke with Mash as hundreds of thousands gathered in central Hong Kong during the early days of the Umbrella Revolution, calling for the resignation of Beijing-backed Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying.
"This movement is really about all the people who live in Hong Kong,"Wong told Mash. "We have tasted what freedom is."
Wong rose to prominence after creating the student group Scholarism in 2011. The group opposes China's influence on Hong Kong's government.
Tags: #UMBRELLAREVOLUTION, HONG KONG, PROTEST, UMBRELLA REVOLUTION, US & World, WORLD