- Protesters fear movement is losing momentum after success in district council elections
- Civil Human Rights Front planning gathering in Victoria Park this weekend
In cold weather and rain, an increasingly small number of Hong Kong demonstrators continued their daily lunchtime protests in Central and Kwai Chung on Thursday.
Protesters have vowed to hold a major march on Sunday, starting at Victoria Park in Causeway Bay, but this time there was no attempt to block roads in either area.
At 12.45pm, a few dozen people gathered at a footbridge outside Exchange Square in Central, chanting political slogans and yelling, "see you at Victoria Park".
Ms Cheung, 30, who works in the finance industry, said she had joined lunchtime protests in Central "almost every day", but felt there had been a drop in momentum, pointing to the pro-democrats' success at the district council elections as one reason for that.
"I worry that people's passion might dwindle and that they might stop fighting for the demands," she said.
"If everyone returns to their normal lives and stops fighting, what many have sacrificed, including those who were charged, jailed, and have given up their futures, would all turn into dust. I hope people won't forget our cause."
Ms Yam, a freelance translator in her 40s, said she felt people might "have lost a clear goal" after the 13-day siege at Polytechnic University ended in arrests, and left protesters licking their wounds.
But she did not think the cold weather would stop people from coming out.
"Winter is better than the scorching heat in summer," she said. "When it's cold, just put on some more clothes. I don't think that would be a (concern)."
Some held placards that read, "independent review committee is not equal to independent commission of inquiry".
Pan-democrats launch bid in legislature to remove Hong Kong's leader
The city's leader Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor has invited scholars to form a review committee to look at the underlying causes of the anti-government protests, but has refused an independent inquiry, which would have statutory powers to gather evidence and summon witnesses in looking at the use of force by police.
Meanwhile, in the industrial district of Kwai Chung, about 150 protesters marched as police watched and filmed from a nearby playground.
Lunchtime protests this week have been attended by smaller crowds than previously. On Wednesday, about 100 protesters joined a rally in Cheung Sha Wan, while dozens showed up at IFC Mall in Central and in Kowloon Bay.
The Civil Human Rights Front wants to organise a "World Day of Human Rights March" on Sunday, from Victoria Park to Chater Road in Central, to urge the government to uphold its commitment to human rights in handling protests.
It is waiting for the police's letter of no objection. Past demonstrations by the front have drawn huge numbers.
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