Joshua Wong, an 18-year-old student in Hong Kong that has risen to become one of the faces of the city’s recent pro-democracy movement, has announced that he and two female members of his Scholarism student group will be going on an indefinite hunger strike following one of the worst nights of violence in the two-month-long protests, according to The Los Angeles Times.
Violent clashes broke out in Hong Kong over the weekend, with police officers firing pepper spray at angry student protesters who were trying to surround the government’s headquarters. The protestors are demanding free leadership elections for the semi-autonomous Chinese city, demands which the communist government of China refuses to meet.
“Living in these troubled times, there is a duty,” wrote Wong and his fellow student protesters in a Facebook post on Monday, shortly after the trio announced the hunger strike onstage at the main protest camp. “Today we are willing to pay the price, we are willing to take responsibility. Our future, we will take it back.”
“We are hoping that after the hunger strike we have a chance to speak with government officials openly, then there will be a chance to solve this Hong Kong problem,” Wong told reporters after the first 12 hours of fasting, as quoted by The Daily Mail. “We would like to put the emphasis on restarting the political reform process.”