Occupy Central plots hatched 2 years ago: BBC

Updated: 2014-10-27 09:18


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Occupy Central plots hatched 2 years ago: BBC

Members of pro-government groups rally at a candlelit vigil in Hong Kong on Saturday. Nicolas Asfouri / Agence France-Presse 

LONDON -- Far from being "impromptu demonstrations," the ongoing Occupy Central movement in Hong Kong was plotted nearly two years ago with the involvement of overseas forces, the BBC has reported in an article published on its website.

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It is an "open secret" at the Oslo Freedom Forum, which is referred to as "one of the biggest meetings of human rights activists in the world," that plans were hatched for the demonstrations nearly two years ago, wrote Laura Kuenssberg, chief correspondent of BBC Newsnight, in the article.

"Democracy activists" from around the world have helped "organize their struggle, gather together," said the article.

As early as in January 2013, "organizers" prepared a plan to persuade 10,000 people to occupy roads in central Hong Kong, it said.

"Their strategies were not just to plan the timing and nature of the demonstrations, but also how they would be run," said the report. Many of those involved in the demonstrations, perhaps more than 1,000 of them, have been given specific training to help make the campaign as effective as possible.

"Protesters were taught how to behave during a protest," Jamila Raqib, the executive director of the Albert Einstein Institution based near Boston, was quoted by the article as saying.

"How to keep ranks, how to speak to police, how to manage their own movement, how to use marshals in their movement, people who are specially trained," Raqib said.

Whether in Georgia, Ukraine, Egypt or Hong Kong "you can look at these movements - and see the set of rules," Serdja Popovic was quoted as saying.

Popovic was one of the student leaders involved in overthrowing Slobodan Milosevic.