2019.09.02 Joint-School Strikes By 10 Hong Kong Universities and Thousands of Secondary Students
Turmoil over the extradition bill remains intense. Today marks the start of the school year of 2019-2020 in Hong Kong. Thousands of students from the Chinese University of Hong Kong and representatives from other universities gathered at the University Mall to participate in the student strike to show a clear message that without true democracy, withdrawal of the extradition bill and holding those responsible for police brutality accountable, even their university education can be sacrificed.
They hosted their own opening ceremony at 10 AM. Some wore construction helmuts and masks despite the heavy rain. Many secondary students held student strikes in their own school as well as the Edinburgh Square as well.
A mass gathering for the student strike was held in The University Mall of CUHK. The gathering started at 3:30 PM, but around half an hour earlier, a Mandarin-speaking man in red T-shirt suddenly went to the stage and tore off a banner that says “Liberate Hong Kong; Revolution of Our Times”. He also yelled “I am Chinese” and showed his Mainland China passport, all the while barking at his fellow students. （Video）
“Class Strike, Not Study Strike” Spreading the ideal across Hong Kong
The gathering started by a speech from representative of the Student Union of Hong Kong Universities, describing that Hong Kongers are on the verge of crumbling because of the unending waves of frustrating news for the past three months, including the arrest of more than 900 citizens, total loss of 3 eyes from different people as well as 7 lives due to suicide. And yet, those in political power remained ignorant to the society’s demands and turned a blind eye towards police violence. As students of Hong Kong and masters of their own future, everyone shoulders the responsibility to act for Hong Kong’s well being.
“We are already pushed against the wall. This might be our last stand. If we fight, we will fight til victory is ours.”
The students vowed to carry out strikes to show their unwavering determination. But, they will make sure to continue their study even during the strikes to equip themselves with knowledge, and international outlook needed to spread their ideals to the whole world.
President of the Students’ Union of CUHK estimated that there were 30000 people who gathered at the University Mall, which was more than back in 2012 and 2014. It reflected the students’ clear dissatisfaction toward the government and their determination for democracy, as well as to emphasise firmly that the Five Demands must be answered to. He also pointed out that there were police present in the University station, but as long as they didn’t enter the campus, the gathering would remain very safe.
He also confirmed that the university had contacted the Students’ Union that recent events have raised concerns over safety and advised against the gathering, but they maintained that this gathering would be an important platform for demonstrating freedom of speech. The university complied and made arrangements for the gathering.
Additionally, he said there were no activities planned after the gathering, but he believed that the students would decide on their own. Volunteers from universities will set up street desks to promote and explain recent events in Hong Kong, and they will continue the strike for 2 weeks up until 13th September. Further actions will be announced later.
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