Why high-schoolers are joining the pro-democracy protests

September 13, 2019 12:29
A student wears a rain poncho with sticky notes during a rally at Edinburgh Place in Central on Sept. 2. Photo: Bloomberg

Today quite a lot of secondary school students in Hong Kong display a strong capacity for critical and independent thinking.

And the reason why they are getting so deeply involved in the ongoing social resistance movement arising from the extradition bill saga is, to a significant extent, because of their growing awareness of history.

“Awareness” refers to the kind of vigilance and reflection among our secondary school students against the fabricated content in our history textbooks, and their subsequent awakening from this false history.

In recent years, the massive political return to the leftist track in the mainland has had profound implications for Hong Kong, with our city’s autonomy continuing to diminish, our citizens’ right to stand for elections continuing to be eroded by political censorship, and the boundary between “two systems” getting increasingly blurred.

This worrisome leftist trend has eventually given rise to a deep sense of crisis among our university and secondary school students.

The fact that more and more people have found that the civil liberties and the rule of law in our city are under threat from Beijing probably explains why a growing number of people are stepping forward and voicing their concerns.

A sense of recognition of Hong Kong people’s identity is also another factor that cannot be overlooked.

A 16-year-old high-schooler told German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle in a recent interview that after he had settled in Hong Kong from the mainland with his mainland parents, he gradually realized the truth about Beijing.

And this awakening has prompted him to join the city-wide class boycotts last week.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Sept 12

Translation by Alan Lee

[Chinese version 中文版]

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HKEJ columnist