Did You Know
Did You Know
The co-founders of the Occupy Central movement in Hong Kong have repeated their call for protesters to retreat.
Benny Tai, Chan Kin-man and Chu Yiu-ming also said they would turn themselves in to police on Wednesday.
Occupy Central initially led the pro-democracy protests, but has receded as students continued with demonstrations.
Student leader Joshua Wong has begun a hunger strike to demand talks with the Hong Kong authorities over the movement's ideas for political reforms.
Occupy and the students want China to scrap its plans to screen candidates for the 2017 election for the territory's leadership. They want the Hong Kong government to renegotiate the arrangement with Beijing.
If anyone hadn't noticed already, Hong Kong's pro-democracy protests are running out of energy and options. Benny Tai's announcement, actually planned for some time, simply confirms it. After two long months, the movement has achieved nothing in the way of concessions from Hong Kong's own government, let alone China's.
The cold wintry weather has arrived. Public support is ebbing away as the numbers at the damp protest sites dwindle further. The police are strengthening their resolve. So the risk - of arrest or injury - for those who remain is rising.
Benny Tai's appeal is a simple one. Quit while we're ahead, or at least, not already a complete failure. And the movement can, of course, claim some success. It has sent a resounding message - about an appetite for democratic reform that enjoys significant public support - to the wider world, and to Hong Kong's sovereign.
China was never going to give in to public protest but, if nothing else, it has been forced to take note. It now knows it risks losing a whole generation in Hong Kong.
The barricades will eventually come down, through force or fatigue. The big question then is what next.
In a statement read out by Mr Tai at Tuesday's press conference, where Mr Chu was seen weeping, the founders said they were handing themselves in to police to demonstrate "commitment and responsibility".
The three added: "For the sake of the occupiers' safety, for the sake of our original intention of love and peace, as we prepare to surrender, we three urge the students to retreat - to put down deep roots in the community and transform the movement to extend the spirit of the Umbrella Movement."
Occupy Central plans to continue its work through public debates, community education and funding democracy groups.
Mr Wong began his hunger strike on Monday night, along with two other members of his Scholarism group, in the hopes of reopening dialogue with the government and "restarting the political reform process."
On Tuesday he told reporters: "We admit that it's difficult in the future to have an escalated action, so besides suffering from batons and tear gas, we would like to use our body to get public attention."
"We are not sure if the hunger strike can put pressure on the government, but we hope that when the public realises about the student hunger strike, they will ask themselves what they can do next."
On Sunday night and early Monday, hundreds of protesters clashed with police as they tried to surround government offices in Admiralty.
The move was an escalation of protests in retaliation to authorities clearing the Mong Kok camp while acting on court orders. The protest sites at Admiralty and Causeway Bay still remain.