Tuesday, October 21, 2014   




National education fighters to go distance

Beatrice Siu

Monday, May 20, 2013

A pressure group that led the campaign against the introduction of national education in schools will join a "patriotic march" on Sunday.

The march, organized by the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China, is a prelude to the June 4 candlelight rally.

But Scholarism, formed by secondary and tertiary students, will take the march one step further - proceeding to the central government liaison office after the main march ends at the SAR government headquarters.

The group said it will not apply to the police for "a letter of no objection" to protest outside the liaison office.

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Scholarism expects about 400 members to join its march. About half of them are Secondary Four to Six students, aged 16 to 18.

Young protesters complained of being treated rudely by the police in a demonstration at Caritas Institute of Higher Education in Tseung Kwan O last week.

A group member, Oscar Lai Man-lok, said participants will be urged to stay calm.

Spokeswoman Anges Chow Ting said: "From what happened in Caritas and other protests, we discovered that the police had been hindering us from expressing our views. But the protest will still be held peacefully even if we do not notify the police, just as the 120,000 people assembled at the government offices last year did."

She was referring to the anti-national education "Occupy Tamar" sit-in.

Lawyer Wong Kwok-tung said the "letter of no objection" is simply a notification prior to the activity so that the police can organize traffic arrangements beforehand.

"Since they have already publicized their action a week ago, I don't think they can be charged with unlawful assembly," said Wong, adding that the organizer must be responsible for the protesters.

The police force said it has to be notified of protests involving more than 30 people, and public assemblies involving more than 50 seven days ahead of time.

"We respect the freedoms of expression and assembly. While assisting citizens to join public activities peacefully, the police have the duty to maintain public safety and order. Citizens should also obey the law and order."

Under the Public Order Ordinance, an organizer should notify the commissioner of police of any planned assembly or demonstration.

Such activities will only be allowed if the commissioner does not raise objections to the application.


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