By James Griffiths/ CNN / April 7, 2016
Hong Kong (CNN)One of Hong Kong’s most famous democracy activists has announcedthe formation of a new political party amid heightened tensions in the city over the alleged kidnapping of several booksellers and perceived interference by Beijing in official affairs.
Joshua Wong says that his new party — Demosistō — “will demand self-determination” for Hong Kong.
“This is our most important policy,” he told CNN. “If we do not fight for self-determination the Chinese Communist Party will determine our future.”
The party accompanied its announcement with a striking poster of co-founder Agnes Chow as Katniss Everdeen from “The Hunger Games,” with the slogan “the people will surround the city.”
To stand up for democracy, this is our philosophy.
Party of the future?
Wong is the former convener of student group Scholarism, which helped lead mass protests in 2012 that successfully saw off a plan to introduce “moral and national education” classes in Hong Kong schools, which many saw as an attempt by Beijing to exercise greater control over the Special Administrative Region.
Scholarism and Wong were also greatly involved in 2014’s so-called “Umbrella Movement” taking a leadership role alongside Occupy Central and the Hong Kong Federation of Students as pro-democracy protesters shut down much of central Hong Kong for 79 days.
That year, Wong was nominated for TIME’s Person of the Year and named by Fortune magazine as one of the World’s Greatest Leaders in 2015.
Wong said the first goal of the new political party would be to expand its support beyond students and young people as it pressures for a referendum on the city’s future beyond 2047.
That’s when the current “one country, two systems” policy, in which Hong Kong is granted a degree of autonomy from China, is due to expire.
“Time is on our side,” Wong said. “We will prepare for the worst and continue to have an optimistic mindset.” Read more…