Occupy activist leaves prison with a lot on his mind

Local | Stella Wong 21 Apr 2017

Now out of prison, activist Ken Tsang Kin-chiu - the man who was a center of focus after a video showed him being beaten by police on the sidelines of Occupy action - will consider participating in a Legislative Council by-election.

Tsang, 41, completed a five-week term yesterday after being convicted of assaulting police for pouring a liquid on officers and resisting arrest during the Occupy protest in 2014.

The seven officers who assaulted him later are meanwhile serving two- year terms handed down in February.

Asked if he would run in a by- election for one of the seats now vacant after Youngspiration pair Yau Wai- ching and Sixtus "Baggio" Leung Chun-hang were barred from taking their seats - in Kowloon West and New Territories East respectively - because of scrambling their legislative oaths, Tsang said: "If there is anything that can continue the spirit of the Umbrella Movement or if I can unite citizens, I would consider that. But the by-election issue is very complex."

On Democratic Party chairman Wu Chi-wai's now-withdrawn proposal to pardon Occupy activists and police officers to try to heal splits in society, Tsang said he did not understood the reasoning behind the idea and anyway did not agree with it.

But Tsang said he did understand his own criminal liability and was willing to accept responsibility. However, "seven cops are convicted of wounding, and that is not something that can be handled by amnesty.

"Maintaining the rule of law and fighting for justice is more important. Large-scale reconciliation is not in my consideration."

The root cause of the split in society, he added, is the central government's denial of universal suffrage.

Tsang, a social worker, also faces a disciplinary hearing at the end of next month before the Social Workers Registration Board, but he said he is not worried about it.

Minus his familiar beard, Tsang walked out of Pik Uk Prison in Clear Water Bay at 8.30am yesterday and was welcomed by two dozen supporters including League of Social Democrats lawmaker "Long Hair" Leung Kwok- hung, party chairman Avery Ng Man- yuen, vice chairman Raphael Wong Ho-ming and lawmaker Bottle Shiu Ka- chun, who walked up to Tsang to put a yellow scarf around his neck.

Others gave him sunflowers and one fanned him with a bunch of pomelo leaves to drive away evil spirits.

Supporters holding yellow umbrellas and banners also chanted for "real universal suffrage" and about them not fearing being held accountable for civil disobedience.

Tsang started his prison term on March 21 after dropping an appeal against conviction.

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