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  • » 09/26/2014, 00.00


    High school students join Occupy protest, demand democracy for Hong Kong

    More than a thousand teenagers join protest organised by university students and pro-democracy movement. They walk down Tim Mei Avenue to ask mainland China to show respect for Hong Kong's autonomy. Local police warns against unauthorised demonstrations.

    Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - More than 1,200 pupils, some in their school uniform and others in casual clothes, filled Tim Mei Avenue to ask Beijing to "honour the promises it made" and "grant democracy" to the people of Hong Kong.

    Turnout was far higher than expected, organisers said. In Hong Kong's highly competitive school and society that is significant since joining a strike or skipping class are very risky for students' careers.

    Ho Ho-yin, a Form Five pupil at Ng Yuk Secondary School in Sha Tin, joined the boycott with six classmates. "The central and local government have completely ignored Hongkongers' voice, so I believe a stronger action, like a class boycott, could prompt the officials to listen to us," he said.

    Leung Mo-man, a Form Five pupil at Sha Tin Methodist College, disagree that secondary school pupils are immature, as some pro-Beijing figures have suggested. "There isn't a big gap between secondary and university students. Secondary students have their independent thinking as well," she said.

    Joshua Wong Chi-fung, convenor of student-led group Scholarism, said the turnout is much higher than their expectation of around 100 people. "Even though the cost [to pupils] of joining the boycott is higher than that of university students, the secondary pupils are still willing to stand up," he said. "It's very encouraging."

    "I support the students to boycott classes if they have the ability and independent thinking to understand what's going on," said a woman who accompanied her daughter. "The government has faked Hongkongers over political reform and I do not think the reform proposal could still be amended in the future."

    She was referring to a draft proposal for political reform in Hong Kong by the National People's Congress that, instead of providing for a roadmap towards responsible government, would allow the mainland to monitor the vote and weed out unwanted candidates.

    A 1,200-member committee that includes pro-Beijing business and political leaders would select two or three candidates.

    To protest against the decision, the pro-democracy Occupy Central movement announced what it called a "democracy banquet" with its main course on 1 October.

    However, Hong Kong police warned that public gatherings of more than 50 people and marches with more than 30 participants require a letter of no objection from the police in accordance with the law. Police insisted that today's march was unauthorised.

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    See also

    29/09/2014 HONG KONG - CHINA
    Hong Kong protests: police violence "a boomerang against the government"
    A Catholic source in the city tells AsiaNews that "police behaviour shocked people". Increasingly, Hongkongers want democracy. "Now the only way out is for Leung to resign" and open channels of communication." Protest turnout is increasing. Kowloon Peninsula is blocked.

    30/09/2014 HONG KONG - CHINA
    Hong Kong Chief Executive calls for immediate end to protests. Occupy Central calls for his resignation
    Day three of Occupy Central. Sit-ins extend to Yau Ma Tei and Des Voeux Road. Schools are still closed; 37 banks are closed. There is growing solidarity among population towards the demonstrators. Yesterday evening, tens of thousands of people were in the street. Last night in Mong Kok, a speeding car tried to crash into some of the demonstrators. Many commuters accept transport difficulties because they share the ideals of democracy. "Proud" to be Hong Kongers.

    04/09/2012 HONG KONG - CHINA
    Protests and strike against the start of 'patriotic' education
    Yesterday, the six schools chosen to test the new course responded with a boycott. Catholic schools are leading the fight. The admiralty is still occupied by students. So long as the government does not listen, "We will sit out here and more should join us," they say.

    02/12/2014 HONG KONG - CHINA
    Occupy Central leaders to surrender to police, Card Zen to join them
    It is unclear whether police will take them into custody or let them go. Occupy leaders call on students to stop their sit-ins and, to pre-empt frustrations and violent, urge them to develop alternative ways to continue the struggle. As the University Student Federation pledges to escalate protests, Scholarism's young leader Joshua Wong goes on a hunger strike.

    07/12/2007 HONG KONG – CHINA
    Students protest, blow whistle at Beijing’s friend Tung Chee-hwa
    Hong Kong’ Chinese University honours former chief executive with an award but students and pro-democracy activists protest. In 2003 half million people took to the streets. Protests forced him to resign in 2005 for failing to implement full universal suffrage and trying to give Beijing greater leeway in the territory’s internal affairs.

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