NEWS – Thousands of Hong Kong Students Set to Strike Tomorrow 3


Thousands of Hong Kong students are expected to take part in a week-long pro-democracy class boycott starting tomorrow.

Alex Chow

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The strike is in protest of Beijing’s conservative reform proposal for Hong Kong’s 2017 chief executive election.

Hong Kong class boycott

A press conference last week announcing details of the strike

Yvonne Leung, president of the Hong Kong University Students’ Union, said the level of interest in the class boycott was “above average” for a demonstration on political reform, as hundreds of HKU students gathered yesterday for a class boycott oath taking ceremony.

Yvonne Leung, HKU

“There will be other civil disobedience actions to follow“, she said, as the city braces itself for a series of “occupation” protests organised by Occupy Central.

She expects at least 1000 to take part at HKU, whilst over 2000 are predicted to participate at City University.

Some students, such as undergraduate student Claire Leung, pledged only to boycott non-compulsory classes…

HKU quotes

Recently, HKU’s student union increased its efforts to reach out to international students.

Their participation can lead to [increased] media attention from foreign countries and this will help the democratisation of Hong Kong… we are sharing the same universal values”, said Yvonne Leung. Joshua Wong of the ‘Scholarism’ student movement has also called for secondary school pupils to strike.

ISha Sengupta

320 university teachers and staff have signed a petition supporting the student strike. At least 108 professors will be hosting open lectures on subjects such as civil disobedience, politics, law and history next week.

Programme for next week's lectures

Programme for next week’s lectures

echo adrotate_ad(7, true, 0, 0); The ‘teach-in’ will take place from Tuesday till Friday at City University.

In an emailed statement, the University of Hong Kong said on Tuesday that it upheld personal freedom of speech, expression, assembly and association for all HKU members. “Teaching and learning activities at HKU would be held as usual”, a spokesperson said.

hong kong universities.

Most universities in Hong Kong have said they will not punish those who take part.

HKU posters

Chief Secretary Carrie Lam, the Secretary for Education Eddie Ng and the Education Bureau itself have all separately voiced opposition to the strike this month. Lam is set to go on leave during the strike.

Hong Kong University Student's Union building

Hong Kong University Student’s Union

On Wednesday, Executive Council member Arthur Li Kwok-cheung said the class boycott was not constructive. Comparing students to the Cultural Revolution’s Red Guard, Li said students should make a bigger sacrifice and give up their education altogether.

Students at the Occupy Central launch last month.

Students at the Occupy Central launch last month.


  • Steve Fraser

    As much as I support this action, come to think of it…
    Let’s just say all the students and teachers boycott, do hunger strike, and
    perform yoga plank everyday for FIVE years, would it change a thing?
    Nah!
    Who are in the losing end, if not students for unable to attend
    PAID classes and graduate on time, parents’ money that will just go down
    the gutter. Such a waste or time and effort.
    Chinese should learn from other countries that “People Power” only works if there is a “military
    intervention”, otherwise, it is proven to be doomed. Let the world watch
    that people of the city have “spoken” and “demanded” but still can’t
    get it since 1997. At the end, it is an exercise of futility.
    How I wish I could join, but foreigners are NOT allowed to participate political protest rallies and civil disobedience, otherwise BeiJing would issue a Persona Non-Grata so this is a fight by the locals.

    • A. Wappler

      Not all peaceful protests of 1989 ended in a bloodbath. The Berlin wall fell.

      I don’t know if the candlelight vigil does qualify as a political protest rally but if yes, holding a candle either does not qualify for the list or they must have forgotten to put me on the list.
      The next time when I try to enter HK for another vacation there I will be able to tell you if joining the “march for democracy in China” qualifies for the list. But I’m just a tourist to HK and do not loose much if turned away.

      • Steve Fraser

        It is true that peaceful protests do not be violent, just look at Philippine People Power in 1986. There is no bloodbath but a lot of looting by the native filipinos. It was successful due to Military intervention, meaning the military announced that they will NOT support the govt. Same thing applies to Thailand as well . . . Protests do not need to be violent.
        As a third party looking in, all of these civil disobedience and political adventurism will not be successful because there is NO support from the Central Govt. Military arm.