Nearly nine out of 10 Hong Kong protesters say they are ready to stay on the streets for more than a year to push for full democracy to counter China's tightening grip on the city, according to an informal Reuters survey on Tuesday.
For a month now, key roads leading into three of Hong Kong's most economically and politically important districts have been barricaded with wood and steel by thousands of protesters who have set up semi-permanent occupation zones amid a sea of tents.
The so-called "umbrella" movement, named after umbrellas used as flimsy shields against police pepper spray, has become one of the biggest political challenges to face China's Communist Party leadership since it crushed pro-democracy protests in and around Tiananmen Square in 1989.
The overwhelming majority of the student-led protesters who responded to the Reuters survey - carried out at two major protest sites on the one-month anniversary of the start of the demonstrations - remained defiant.
The straw poll found 87 percent said they were willing to keep up the campaign for more than a year, while 93 percent said that even if police forcibly cleared them away, they would regroup to launch fresh street occupations elsewhere.
The most tenacious protests since the former British colony returned to Chinese rule in 1997 have already persisted beyond most expectations, defying riot police and attacks from hostile mobs, as well as intense government and public pressure.
They were triggered by China's imposition of a highly restrictive framework for a city-wide vote for its next leader in 2017, which would only allow candidates pre-screened by a 1,200-strong committee stacked with Beijing loyalists.
China's increasing control in Hong Kong was a major motivating factor for 59 percent of the protesters surveyed.