Roland Soong of ESWN is back after a long hiatus, with a long, immersive stats & sociology rich post on the overall impact of the Occupy movement in Hong Kong. Here we see that the outreach element isn't going so well:
Why did the Occupy movement work in Central, Admiralty, Causeway Bay, Tsim Sha Tsui and Mongkok but not in the outlying local communities? Central, Admiralty, Causeway Bay and Tsim Sha Tsui are commerce/business districts without many local residents. When a large number of demonstrators are mobilized by organized effort or spontaneously from all over Hong Kong to converge there, there is little or no local resistance. The issue is whether the demonstrators can be motivated to stay for a long period of time. When the numbers dwindle close to naught, the location can be cleared by the police. Mongkok is a mixed district with many businesses and private residences. The Occupy movement worked there by gathering sufficient numbers of demonstrators (if not during the day, then at night) to ward off the unorganized local resistance. In like manner, they can also "occupy" Repulse Bay, Victoria Peak, Stanley and other sparsely inhabited locations. But the outlying communities (such as Yuen Long, Shum Shui Po, Chai Wan and Lam Tin) are densely populated low- and middle-income areas. Sending less than half a dozen activists to set up a table to pass out leaflets for school boycott is like sending the Christians out to feed the lions.
So how does the Occupy Central movement spread its message in the outlying local communities? Well, they can start by not talking about highfalutin ideas such as civil disobedience, court injunctions, chief executive nomination committee or Basic Law amendments. That housewife on the Lam Tin pedestrian overpass is most concerned about business turning bad, her work hours being cut back and hence reducing her income which is needed to buy food to feed the family. How do they allay the fears, concerns and practical hardship of this woman? If they can't deal with that in an effective manner, they will be routed each time within minutes that they go out there.
As mentioned in previous posts, lots of potential here for Nixonian backlash politics, which, interestingly enough, the Hong Kong government has so far failed to mobilise. This says something about the current impasse. The Occupiers share the Hong Kong pan-democrats historic failure to explain what it is they wish to be democratic about, ie to tell working class Hong Kong why a meaningful vote might give it more economic security. The tycoonocracy, meanwhile, seems reluctant to use the political technology it has in the form of the DAB to forge a populist consensus around the status quo, perhaps because that would give working class Hong Kong a bit too much power for its taste.