Date
18 October 2017
Representatives from different universities attend a June 4 vigil. HKFS said it will no longer participate in memorials but indivdual members can attend related events. Photo: HKEJ
Representatives from different universities attend a June 4 vigil. HKFS said it will no longer participate in memorials but indivdual members can attend related events. Photo: HKEJ

HKFS quits key pro-democracy groups

A major student group has withdrawn its membership from two key Hong Kong organizations fighting for democracy and human rights in mainland China.  

The Hong Kong Federation of Students (HKFS), a key player in the 2014 democracy protests, severed its ties to the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China (Alliance) and Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF), the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

Vice chairman Richard Tsoi said HKFS did not give any reasons for the decision in a letter to the alliance.

The alliance is the main organizer of the June 4 Hong Kong vigil inspired by a pro-democracy student movement in the mainland which ended in a bloody crackdown in June 1989 in Tiananmen Square.

CHRF’s best known event is the July 1 march first staged in 2003 to protest the enactment of a national security law and since held each year to support democracy.

Tsoi, who was HKFS secretary general in 1990, said he regrets the withdrawal but respects the decision.

Chan Sui-ling, chairperson of the HKFS standing committee, said the group will focus on issues relating to tertiary institutions and will no longer affiliate with any outside organizations.

She said the decision was partly influenced by increasing calls for localism.

Also, HKFS no longer agrees with the two organizations’ philosophy of  “building a democratic China”, she said.

HKFS is a founding member of the alliance in the wake of the Tiananmen crackdown.

Chan said HKFS will mark June 4 in its own way and members may join related memorials as individuals.

HKFS committee member Liu Chun-sing said local issues are more pressing than building a democratic China.

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