Hong Kong students form human chain against emergency law
by Paul Wang

Young people organise sit-ins in solidarity with schoolmates arrested for wearing masks in public. Education Bureau asks principals to reveal how many young people wear masks but some resist request. Police remove memorial honouring people who are thought to have died at the Prince Edward station.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) – Hundreds of secondary school students protested this morning with human chains and sit-ins to show solidarity with some of their comrades arrested for wearing a mask. An emergency law issued 5 October bans covering one’s face in public places.

Despite the law, and in an act of defiance, tens of thousands of people, mostly young people, continue to march wearing masks, or gather in shopping centres singing the movement’s Glory to Hong Kong hymn.

In the evening, more radical groups attacked shops and banks linked to China, or put up obstacles to police and traffic.

Dozens of arrests were made two days ago for violating the emergency law. One of the youngsters arrested is a 12-year-old girl from CCC Kei Long College in Yuen Long.

This morning, the students from her school organised a human chain, all wearing a mask (picture 1). Human chains were formed at Christ College in Sha Tin, as well as Shau Kei Wan, Kwai Chung and Yau Tong.

Hong Kong’s Education Bureau requested secondary school principals provide the number of students wearing masks to school and outside the school. But many principals disagree with the directive.

This morning, Chief Executive Carrie Lam (picture 2) said it was "too early" to assess the effectiveness of the emergency law.

She pointed out that a solution to the crisis must be found in Hong Kong. “But if the situation becomes so bad, then no options could be ruled out,” she said, implying that Beijing might intervene.

Lam however refused to follow the suggestion of Ip Kwok-him, a pro-Beijing member of her Executive Council, who suggested the government limit access to the Internet and disrupt social media, which is how protesters organise their action.

Last night police destroyed the memorial that young people had established in front of Prince Edward station (picture 3) to honour the missing people who died after a violent police operation on 31 July.

The government has denied that anyone died, but many people still burn incense, post messages and bring flowers to the site (picture 4).

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