Date
19 November 2017
Joshua Wong (inset, left)  and Chow Wing-hong address a student rally. The Hong Kong Federation of Students is urging a class boycott over electoral reform. Photo: HKEJ
Joshua Wong (inset, left) and Chow Wing-hong address a student rally. The Hong Kong Federation of Students is urging a class boycott over electoral reform. Photo: HKEJ

Student groups call for class boycott over election reform

A student group is calling for a mass class boycott amid rising expectations Beijing will strike down public nomination of candidates in the 2017 Hong Kong chief executive election.

The National People’s Congress, China’s legislature, is expected to announce the decision on Sunday after a review of proposed electoral reform.

The Hong Kong Federation of Students (HKFS) said it will organize a boycott when the new school term begins in September and expects more than 8,000 tertiary students to participate, Apple Daily reported Thursday.

The group said it has the support of 100 professors who have promised to hold seminars outside classrooms on the need for civil disobedience and help with administrative work.

The action will last for two weeks and could be extended if necessary, HKFS leader Chow Wing-hong was quoted as saying. 

Chow said they want the world to know that Hong Kong people are in charge of their own future.

“If we give up on public nomination, it is blatantly denying the wishes of more than 700,000 people who voted in the June 22 mock referendum,”  he said.

Joshua Wong, a co-founder of the student group Scholarism, said taking to the streets is a way of learning. 

“It’s a bigger classroom out there,” he said.

However, Wong does not expect Beijing to change its mind but said there is simply no chance that democratic reform will happen in Hong Kong if nothing is done.

Scholarism will hold seminars in four districts in early September to update secondary students about the situation.

He said it would be difficult for parents to accept that their children are joining the boycott but they understand that something more important is at stake.

Students not taking part in the boycott could show their solidarity by wearing black shirts or black ribbons or joining groups after class, he said.

– Contact us at [email protected]

EL/AC/RA

EJI Weekly Newsletter

Please click here to unsubscribe