Hong Kong pro-democracy activists Joshua Wong, Nathan Law, Jeffrey Ngo and Agnes Chow announced they will disband their group Demosisto, saying that the resignation of several key members in light of the national security law has made it difficult for them to continue their operations.
The group announced on Facebook around two hours after China’s top legislative body passed its draconian national security law which is set to criminalize secession, subversion, terrorism and foreign interference in Hong Kong.
“Demosisto believes it will be difficult for the group to maintain its current operation… members should use more flexible means to join in protests,” the group wrote on Facebook.
“[We] now announce to disband immediately on this day and suspend all committee affairs.”
The group was founded in 2016 as a political platform and sought to field candidates for legislative elections. However, its candidates were repeatedly barred from standing for election with authorities citing their stance on “self-determination” for the city.
Wong said that, under the newly-passed national security legislation, it was no longer “nonsense” for pro-democracy figures to worry about their lives and personal safety. He cited concerns over a 10-year “political imprisonment,” as well as being extradited to China.
“I hereby declare withdrawing from Demosisto…If my voice will not be heard soon, I hope that the international community will continue to speak up for Hong Kong and step up concrete efforts to defend our last bit of freedom,” Wong wrote on Twitter.
He said in the face of his “dire destiny,” he had to resign from his role as the group’s secretary-general and continue advocating for his beliefs individually.
“I believe at this moment, there are countless pairs of eyes in the world caring about Hong Kong, and gazing at my personal situation under the national security legislation. I will continue to defend my home – Hong Kong – until they silence, obliterate me from this piece of land,” Wong wrote.
Wong, 23, had previously said he would be a “prime target” of the law, which critics say infringes on Hong Kong’s autonomy and could be used to quash dissent.
A similar action was undertaken by other pro-democracy groups as well.
Pro-independence group Hong Kong National Front also took to social media to announce that it would disband its local members starting June 30. The group said its overseas divisions in Taipei and the UK would take over the work of the Hong Kong division and continue to promote independence.
Studentlocalism – which also advocates for an independent Hong Kong – said it would do the same, and establish overseas divisions in Taiwan, the US and Australia to handle the organization’s ongoing work.