Several thousand high school students have joined their university peers in a protest outside government headquarters to demand genuine democratic reform, RTHK reported Friday.
About 1,500 of them skipped class and assembled in Tamar Park with their classmates and other protesters from colleges and universities who are on the fifth day of a week-long class boycott.
By late afternoon, more than 3,000 high school students had gathered in the protest venue, according to Joshua Wong, convenor of student activist group Scholarism which is spearheading the movement.
Wong said the turnout was beyond expectations.
The students began arriving in the morning, with more than 100 in school uniforms flooding into the Admiralty MTR station around 9.30 a.m., the report said.
A number of teachers were also on hand. They were expected to give lectures on Hong Kong’s constitutional development.
A Form Three student from Stewards Pooi Kei College said he decided to join the rally despite a slight fever Friday morning.
“I want to support universal suffrage,” he said, adding Hong Kong’s next leader should not come from a small group of candidates pre-selected by a pro-Beijing nomination committee.
Three students from Tsung Tsin College accused Beijing of denying Hong Kong people “the right to elect the chief executive”.
The high school boycott does not have the support of most teachers and parents but that did not stop the students from participating.
“My parents only asked me to be careful in case there’s any untoward incident,” one student said.
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