Date
13 December 2017
Hong Kong university students during an earlier class boycott campaign in 2012. At that time, the students were protesting against the introduction of 'national education'. Photo: HKEJ
Hong Kong university students during an earlier class boycott campaign in 2012. At that time, the students were protesting against the introduction of 'national education'. Photo: HKEJ

Student groups gear up for class boycott

With just days to go before a class boycott begins next week, student groups in Hong Kong are calling for more support for their campaign to press for political reforms in the city, and also stepping up the heat on the administration.

The Hong Kong Federation of Students said it will give the government an ultimatum and ask Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying to face the students during the protest action, Apple Daily reported Friday.

The class boycott begins on Sept. 22 and will last for five days, the longest action of its kind in the city. 

Students will gather at the Chinese University in Sha Tin, a venue which can accommodate about 10,000 people. Later, a series of the events will be launched over the week at Tamar Park, which is located next to the government headquarters in Admiralty.

More than 70 scholars from Hong Kong, Taiwan and the mainland have promised to give outdoor lectures from 10 am to 6pm, speaking on topics like civil society, democracy, urban-rural movement and Hong Kong-mainland conflict.

The scholars come from disciplines such as politics, law, economics, philosophy, literature and architecture.

The student groups will organize various forums, movie and music shows in the evenings, and will welcome the Hong Kong public to join after work.

Students will see how Leung responds to their demands. If they don’t get a satisfactory response, an escalation of the campaign is not ruled out, including extension of the class boycott and disobedience on a larger scale, the students federation was quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, students from the Faculty of Law at the University of Hong Kong (HKU), the Chinese University and the City University of Hong Kong (CityU) on Thursday launched a “Dressed in black” campaign, urging other students to step out and support the efforts to fight for democracy and rule of law. The campaign continues today.

The students said there is a risk that Hong Kong’s values and the status of rule of law could disappear one day if students refrain from voicing out their demands. Wearing black is a tradition followed by those in the legal circles to show their discontent, a campaign organizer pointed out.

As law students, they have been watching closely whether Beijing’s decision on the 2017 chief executive election framework abides by the Basic Law and conforms to the International Bill of Human Rights as well as the Sino-British Joint Declaration, they said.

Another group of people — medical students from HKU and Chinese University — have also expressed their desire to boycott classes next week, the report said. But some said they will not be able to actually take part in the boycott, so they will just wear yellow ribbons, and also show their support after class.

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TL/AC/RC

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