Joshua Wong: The People Have Tasted Freedom, Leung Must Resign



Joshua Wong, the young leader of the student activist group Scholarism.
HONG KONG — The young leader of the student activist group Scholarism, Joshua Wong, spoke to Mashable about the dramatic events that unfolded early Friday morning in Hong Kong and repeated his call for Leung Chun-ying's resignation.
In the late hours of Thursday, Hong Kong leader Leung Chun-ying refused to resign from office, despite calls from pro-Democracy protesters that he step down.
As the crowd began to disperse from near Tamar Park and outside Beijing-backed chief executive Leung's office following the announcement, a tired Wong said the movement was "beyond my expectations."

The demonstrations over the last week have brought hundreds of thousands of people out onto the streets of central Hong Kong to fight for a democratic election. Thursday night became a key point in what happens next, as Leung finally agreed to talk to the people who had refused to give up.

"This movement is really about all the people who live in Hong Kong," Wong said about the ongoing protests, which have so far shut down the city for four days. "We have tasted what freedom is."
He again called for Leung to step down from his position of leader of Hong Kong, saying his abuse of power was disappointing.
"I am very disappointed with CY Leung," Wong told Mashable. "When CY Leung was asked whether he would use a gun, he would not commit to not using a gun. I am quite disappointed with him because non-violence is our principle.
"I want CY Leung to step down as soon as possible," Wong continued, stating he was optimistic it was still a possibility.
The 17-year-old leader of Scholarism distanced himself from being the main instigator of the protests. "Everyone leads this movement, there is no NGO or party that leads this movement," he said.
The young icon of the movement thanked the world for their outpouring of support in recent days for the movement in Hong Kong, which he said will be the largest civil disobedience movement the city has seen in decades.
Wong's comments followed the first press conference by Leung since the start of the protest. He spoke at 11:30 p.m. local time Thursday night outside Government House, his official residence, as crowds surged across the city. The unpopular leader said the government would respond to an open letter from the Federation of Students and urged protesters to follow the basic law.
As the announcement was made, chants across the protest site repeated the mantra: "Keep calm." The crowd began to disperse after Leung addressed the crowd.
The boyish Wong, who dresses in geeky glasses and black t-shirts, came to prominence when he successfully fought to bar a pro-Beijing subject from being introduced in schools in 2012. The year before, Wong had formed t Scholarism, which has become the student face of democracy in Hong Kong.
Although he is not old enough to vote, Wong has led Hong Kong into one of the largest democratic movements of recent history.




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