Hong Kong leaders called off talks with pro-democracy students Thursday, placing a question mark over attempts to resolve the dispute that has seen tens of thousands block streets demanding free elections. Chief Secretary Carrie Lam said she canceled Friday’s scheduled discussions after students urged people to continue their public protests in order to keep up pressure.
It was not immediately clear what the next move would be for the so-called ‘Umbrella Revolution’ but the announcement prompted much bigger protest crowds compared to recent evenings. Student leaders addressed the demonstrators, saying the government had lost its ability to lead by not listening to the will of the people. "I'm very disappointed,” said protester Philip Hong, 28, who works at a vehicle trading company. “We have been seeking to open channels with the government to explain why we are protesting, but they haven't listened to us. We want to go back to our homes to sleep, we don't want to inconvenience the Hong Kong people, but the government won't listen to us." Hong Kong University graduate Steven Tai, 22, said: “We think the global community can see that we are a peaceful protest, but the government says we are evil.”
- Ed Flanagan and Alastair Jamieson