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November 26th, 2014
02:31 PM ET

Jimmy Lai tells HK protesters to retreat

As Hong Kong's Umbrella Movement stretches into week nine, more barricades are coming down in the district of Mong Kok. So should pro-democracy protesters withdraw or wait it out?

One high-profile supporter is urging student leaders to stand down.

"It's about time we retreat," says Jimmy Lai, a fervent China critic and media mogul. He has been working from his protest camp in Admiralty since the start of the action.

Lai calls the Umbrella Movement a "war" that will extend far beyond the battle of the last two months.

He fears that growing public resentment to the protests, which has caused major traffic disruption throughout the city, will damage the pro-democracy movement.

According to a poll released by the University of Hong Kong last week, 8 out of 10 people surveyed think the demonstrators should leave the streets and go home.

"If we will lose the moral high ground, it will be very difficult for us to come back later," Lai tells me.

Click on to hear Lai's call for the protesters to retreat, regroup and return at a later time.

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