(From AFP)

Two activists took the stand in Hong Kong Thursday over charges relating to mass pro-democracy rallies in 2014, defending the movement as “peaceful”.

Student protesters (left to right) Nathan Law, Joshua Wong and Alex Chow talk to media outside a Hong Kong court on Feb. 29

Joshua Wong, 19, was the teenage face of the Occupy Movement, which brought parts of the semi-autonomous Chinese city to a standstill for more than two months when protesters called for free elections for the city’s next leader.

Wong and two other prominent student leaders, Alex Chow and Nathan Law, have been charged with taking part in an “unlawful assembly” and inciting others to join it. All three have pleaded not guilty.

The charges referred particularly to an incident leading up to the mass rallies when protesters climbed over fences to enter a restricted area in front of government headquarters.

“We gathered there to express our desire for democracy… I have always followed the principles of peacefulness, rationality and non-violence,” Wong told the magistrates court where the spectacled university student was tried for the September 26, 2014 protest.

“Every person in Hong Kong should have the right to organise protests, marches or public assembly,” he said. Read More

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