Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Divided over their demands, protesters in Hong Kong killed plans to hold a street vote to gauge reaction to government proposals.

The cancellation came as some protesters said they did not want the vote and expressed anger they had not been consulted.

In this photo, student leaders Joshua Wong (R) and Alex Chow Yong-Kang (L) speak to a packed crowd at a protest site on October 11, 2014 in Hong Kong. On Sunday, the two apologized to fellow protesters for moving ahead with a street vote too hastily. (Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)

The student leaders who called for the vote apologized and asked for forgiveness from their fellow protesters.

Advertisement

The incident signals a lack of unity among protesters, who occupy several areas of Hong Kong. While students dominate a large pro-democracy camp in the Admiralty neighborhood, working-class protesters dominate the Mong Kok region.

People walk among tents along the main protest campsite on October 26, 2014 in Hong Kong. At the main protest site a peaceful atmosphere remains as artists freely express themselves and families bring their children feel a sense of safely. Things are more tense at the working-class Mong Kok protest site. (Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)

Advertisement

All are frustrated with Hong Kong's leadership and China's refusal to allow Hong Kong residents to select the candidates that will appear on their ballots in 2017 (China has said it will choose them). But they cannot agree on how to proceed.

That could be a real obstacle for a pro-democracy movement whose members have dwindled as the protests enter their fifth week and as Chinese and Hong Kong government officials refuse to negotiate.

Advertisement

Masked protesters stand at the barriers dividing the police from the crowds in Mong Kok on October 25, 2014 in Hong Kong. While the main protest site remains peaceful, Mong Kok is still a potential flash point. (Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)

The protesters' next move is unclear.

Some pro-democracy demonstrators have said they will not disperse until the government agrees to open elections and the Hong Kong leader resigns, but those concessions appear unlikely. Others are more open to the idea of negotiating minor concessions from officials, such as a change in the committee China uses to select the candidates who will appear on the 2017 ballot.

This video, from CNN, shows some of the art protesters have produced. It also shows how the streets, once packed with protesters, have cleared. While thousands remain, the movement is not as robust as it was in early October.

Advertisement

According to Voice of America, student leaders are urging pro-democracy lawmakers in Hong Kong to resign en masse, with the hope the move would prompt a Hong Kong-wide election that would serve as a referendum on constitutional reform.

A group of student protesters produced "Umbrellas in the Night," a tribute to the pro-democracy Umbrella Movement, over the weekend.

Advertisement

But unless protesters can unite in their calls for specific action and reform, a continued standoff, or even retreat, seems far more realistic.

Emily DeRuy is a Washington, D.C.-based associate editor, covering education, reproductive rights, and inequality. A San Francisco native, she enjoys Giants baseball and misses Philz terribly.