POLITICS – Full Lowdown: Small Victory for Scholarism as 170,000+ Protest National Education 7

Last night (Friday), organisers estimated that 170,000+ people surrounded LEGCO – police put the figure at 36,000. For the full lowdown explaining the demonstrations, click here. Latest:

  • CY Leung, Carrie Lam and Anna Wu called a press conference and announced today (Saturday) that the government will give schools full autonomy on whether to introduce National Education. Originally, schools had to implement the programme by 2015 – the deadline has now been scrapped as he asked for protests, boycotts and hunger strikes to end. He claimed the instructions came directly from Beijing and that he will also re-examine curriculum guidelines.

Yesterday, hunger strikers hit 140 hours, ATV were welcomed with protest signs and banners and Tamar Park, LEGCO and Connaught Rd were packed…

Kin Cheung, AP

Kin Cheung, AP

Tonight, thousands remained in the heat, wearing black, defiantly surrounding the government headquarters…

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Student volunteers directed attendees, gave out ‘love HK’ buns and water whilst protest leaders, bands and celebrities sang, chanted, cheered, jeered and rallied demonstrators to accept only full cancellation of the subject…

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Attendees on Twitter repeatedly remarked on the welcoming and friendly atmosphere, possibly related to a very minimal police presence…

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The HKPTU and Scholarism called for an overnight occupation…

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There have also been protests in London, Paris, Melbourne and Little HK (Vancouver) this weekend.

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The SCMP reported that “More than 100 academics from universities and other tertiary institution… signed a joint statement in newspapers asking officials to shelve the Moral and National Education programme.” and they estimated that between 2/3 and 3/4 of passers-by in Central were wearing black on Friday in solidarity with the campaign…

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There were 13 hunger strikers at the Tamar site on Friday and the protest group Scholarism claims that 314 secondary schools out of the 524 in the city have Facebook pages set up by alumni to petition against the subject. Meanwhile, the government has published 1-and-a-half million pamphlets to educate us about these terrible ‘misunderstandings’…

Click for full English PDF version

Click for full English PDF version

Leader CY Leung, who cancelled overseas plans this weekend to deal with the crisis slowly backed down. Earlier in the week he insisted that ‘scrapping’ the subject is not on the table

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All manner of phrases related to National Education have been censored from the search engines over the border.

Below is an explanatory discussion on RTHK from July with legislator Tanya Chan, To Kar-hing, chairman of the Hong Kong Moral and National Education Teachers’ Association, and activist Heidi Ma . The Education Bureau declined to send a representative. Part 2 here.

SCMP’s video summary of the first week of ‘Occupy Tamar’…

Going viral on the SCMP site, attracting almost 100 comments, is Alex Lo’s rant which laments how “pure enthusiasm, youthful rebellion, rejectionism, intransigence and total contempt for the authorities are all on display.” He believes the protesters are brainwashing the rest of us. Here is a (albeit low quality) screenshot for those blocked by the paywall, and some equally nonsensical propaganda courtesy of China Daily.

Children and some teachers have been wearing black armbands to school. The SCMP confirms that schools recieved calls from the Education Bureau requesting to know how many teachers wore such bands…

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The latest coverage:

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Finally, a letter in the SCMP in response to some of the crazier examples published over the last couple of days.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

“Protest is vital to a thriving democracy” – Tony Benn

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