According to a study cited by Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post, it would take about 20,000 people to shut down Central by occupying Chater Road.
Most sit-in protests require 1.67 people per square metre, according to Paul Yip Siu-fai, a University of Hong Kong expert who specialises in crowd counting. But that density leaves large gaps between protesters, making it easy for police to disperse them.
Benny Tai, one of the leaders of Occupy Central, has consistently cited 10,000 people as Occupy Central’s goal. At the final deliberation day, for which voting was only open to participants who had pledged to take part in Occupy Central, less than 3,000 people voted.
Central could be occupied with less people, according to the SCMP, if they focus on occupying key intersections rather than occupying the whole street.
Mitchell Blatt is a travel writer, editor, and columnist who has lived and worked in China for six years. He is an author of two guidebooks, Panda Guides Hong Kong and Panda Guides China. He has been published in National Interest.org, USA Today, the South China Morning Post, The Korea Times, Roads & Kingdoms, Vagabond Journey, Silkwinds and The World of Chinese, among other outlets. See examples of his published articles.