10 universities to boycott classes for two weeks

Top News | Stella Wong and Kay Wong 23 Aug 2019

Student unions from 10 universities will launch a two-week class boycott when school resumes on September 2 after the summer break.

They warn of escalated action, including prolonged class boycotts, if Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor fails to respond to protesters' five demands by 8pm on September 13.

Student representatives of the University of Hong Kong, Chinese University, City University, Polytechnic University, University of Science and Technology, Education University, Baptist University, Lingnan University, Shue Yan University and Hang Seng University said yesterday they would take part in the boycott.

They will hold a gathering at the University Mall of Chinese University at 3.30pm on September 2 to launch the action.

Lectures and other activities will be held across different campuses, including a public lecture at Chater Garden in Central on September 13.

Davin Kenneth Wong, acting president of the Hong Kong University Students' Union, hopes the campaign can achieve "boycott class but not learning."

Scholars and guests will be invited to discuss the recent movement with students in the lectures.

"We hope during the class boycott students can continue learning and utilize their time to understand more about the fugitive bill controversy, what is happening in society, and what students can do for the future of the city," Wong said.

Asked why they set a September 13 deadline for Lam to respond, Wong believed two weeks is sufficient for her to think about how to respond to their five demands.

The student leaders also said they will refuse to join Lam's "platform for dialogue." Leung Yiu-ting, acting president of the Education University's student union, said the platform will not be sufficient to ease the tension in society.

"The five demands is the principle of the protesters and Hongkongers right now. We have no authority to make compromises for everyone else," he said.

Responding to the class boycott, a HKU spokesman said students have freedom of expression.

"The university will closely monitor the situation to ensure that it can continue with its normal teaching and learning activities."

Meanwhile, 3,000 secondary school students attended an assembly at Edinburgh Place in Central yesterday.

A Secondary Five student surnamed Leung said she came to show the government that "secondary school students are also aware of social issues."

Leung said she will join the class boycott. Her school said students could do so as long as they have a parent's letter.

Another Secondary Five student named Lam said the police abused their power with violence.

"As peaceful, rational and non-violence actions are not of much use, it is necessary to take the actions to the next level," he said.

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