Thousands of students boycott school on the first day of the new term to 'fight for Hong Kong' as Beijing warns 'end is coming' for the city's protests

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  • At least 30,000 students from 200 schools were said to have joined the boycott in various locations
  • Students were seen singing, chanting and forming human chains, some wearing hard hats and masks  
  • In Tamar Park, thousands of Hong Kong workers also gathered for a demonstration under a two-day strike 
  • Unrest in Hong Kong further escalated in the past weekend which saw two days of protests and clashes
  • Demonstrators occupied the streets and blocked the airport and police stormed subway to make arrests  
  • 157 people as young as 13 were arrested over the weekend and 16 of them have been charged with rioting
  • China’s state media warned ‘end is coming’ for protests because Beijing is keen to quell chaos before Oct. 1 

Thousands of students gather during a strike on the first day of school at the Chinese University in Hong Kong today. Nearly three months of youth-dominated protests calling for democracy will be tested as classes resume after summer holiday

Thousands of students gather during a strike on the first day of school at the Chinese University in Hong Kong today. Nearly three months of youth-dominated protests calling for democracy will be tested as classes resume after summer holiday

Students hold umbrellas, a symbol of anti-government protesters, during the mass rally at the Chinese University on Monday

Students hold umbrellas, a symbol of anti-government protesters, during the mass rally at the Chinese University on Monday

Students wearing gas masks and helmets hold a banner which reads 'Five major demands are indispensable' at St. Francis' Canossian College in Hong Kong on Monday. More than 9,000 students across the city are expected to join the boycott

Students wearing gas masks and helmets hold a banner which reads ‘Five major demands are indispensable’ at St. Francis’ Canossian College in Hong Kong on Monday. More than 9,000 students across the city are expected to join the boycott 

Secondary students hold up their smartphone lights on during a protest on Monday. 'I come here just to tell others that even after summer holidays end we are not back to our normal life, we should continue to fight for Hong Kong,' said one 19-year-old

Secondary students hold up their smartphone lights on during a protest on Monday. ‘I come here just to tell others that even after summer holidays end we are not back to our normal life, we should continue to fight for Hong Kong,’ said one 19-year-old

Secondary school students cover their eyes in solidarity with a woman who was injured in one eye during clashes with police as they gather in support of the ongoing pro-democracy protests at Edinburgh Place in Central on Monday

Secondary school students cover their eyes in solidarity with a woman who was injured in one eye during clashes with police as they gather in support of the ongoing pro-democracy protests at Edinburgh Place in Central on Monday

Unrest in Hong Kong further escalated in the past weekend which saw two days of protests and clashes between activists and anti-riot police. Pictured, police fire tear gas at protesters on Hennessy Road in Hong Kong on August 31

Unrest in Hong Kong further escalated in the past weekend which saw two days of protests and clashes between activists and anti-riot police. Pictured, police fire tear gas at protesters on Hennessy Road in Hong Kong on August 31

Secondary students sit on the ground during a protest at Admiralty in Hong Kong on Monday. The city-wide student protest and strike follow a weekend marred by some of the worst violence since unrest escalated more than three months ago

Secondary students sit on the ground during a protest at Admiralty in Hong Kong on Monday. The city-wide student protest and strike follow a weekend marred by some of the worst violence since unrest escalated more than three months ago

Secondary school students hold placards with five core demands as they gather in support of the ongoing pro-democracy protests at Edinburgh Place in Central. Protesters are urging the government to completely withdraw a controversial extradition bill, launch an independent enquiry into alleged police violence and carry out universal suffrage, among others

Secondary school students hold placards with five core demands as they gather in support of the ongoing pro-democracy protests at Edinburgh Place in Central. Protesters are urging the government to completely withdraw a controversial extradition bill, launch an independent enquiry into alleged police violence and carry out universal suffrage, among others

Hong Kong has been gripped by mass protests since June over a now-suspended extradition bill, which have since morphed into a wider anti-government movement. Pictured, students gather in support of the ongoing pro-democracy protests

Hong Kong has been gripped by mass protests since June over a now-suspended extradition bill, which have since morphed into a wider anti-government movement. Pictured, students gather in support of the ongoing pro-democracy protests

Students have turned out in significant numbers at recent rallies and were also prominent during the 2014 pro-democracy 'Umbrella Movement' that foreshadowed the current unrest. Pictured, students stage a sit-in rally in Admiralty

Students have turned out in significant numbers at recent rallies and were also prominent during the 2014 pro-democracy ‘Umbrella Movement’ that foreshadowed the current unrest. Pictured, students stage a sit-in rally in Admiralty

Isaac Cheng Ka-long, 19, the vice chair-man of pro-democracy group Demosistō, expected more than 9,000 students to join the boycott today across Hong Kong. Cheng said more than 1,000 pupils had gathered in Central for the rally by 2pm

Isaac Cheng Ka-long, 19, the vice chair-man of pro-democracy group Demosistō, expected more than 9,000 students to join the boycott today across Hong Kong. Cheng said more than 1,000 pupils had gathered in Central for the rally by 2pm

Thousands of Hong Kong workers staged a separately sit-in demonstration under a two-day citywide strike at Tamar Park

Thousands of Hong Kong workers staged a separately sit-in demonstration under a two-day citywide strike at Tamar Park

A protester (central) holds an umbrella in the latest rally against a controversial extradition bill at Tamar Park on Monday

A protester (central) holds an umbrella in the latest rally against a controversial extradition bill at Tamar Park on Monday

Protesters at a rally in Tamar Park call for a general strike across Hong Kong to add pressure to the city's government

Protesters at a rally in Tamar Park call for a general strike across Hong Kong to add pressure to the city’s government

A protester holds a sign during a rally at Tamar Park to condemn the police for calling protesters 'cockroaches'

A protester holds a sign during a rally at Tamar Park to condemn the police for calling protesters ‘cockroaches’

Two female protesters hold placards that read 'release warriors, Hong Kong add oil' and 'resolutely resist China extradition'

Two female protesters hold placards that read ‘release warriors, Hong Kong add oil’ and ‘resolutely resist China extradition’

The pictures show the items used by protesters during a rally to call for a general strike at Tamar Park in Admiralty on Monday

The pictures show the items used by protesters during a rally to call for a general strike at Tamar Park in Admiralty on Monday

Medical staff are seen holding posters as they form a human chain to express solidarity with anti-extradition bill protesters during their lunch break at the Queen Mary Hospital. More than 400 medical workers attended today's protest

Medical staff are seen holding posters as they form a human chain to express solidarity with anti-extradition bill protesters during their lunch break at the Queen Mary Hospital. More than 400 medical workers attended today’s protest

Doctors and nurses hold placards to protest against alleged police brutality and obstruction of medical rescues at clashes

Doctors and nurses hold placards to protest against alleged police brutality and obstruction of medical rescues at clashes

Medical staff at Queen Mary Hospital condemn the police's behaviour during demonstrations on July 21 and August 31

Medical staff at Queen Mary Hospital condemn the police’s behaviour during demonstrations on July 21 and August 31

A riot police officer charges onto a train at the Tung Chung MTR station on Sunday after protesters block the transport routes to the Hong Kong International Airport in Hong Kong following another night of violent protests

A riot police officer charges onto a train at the Tung Chung MTR station on Sunday after protesters block the transport routes to the Hong Kong International Airport in Hong Kong following another night of violent protests

Hundreds of people took to the streets of the Admiralty district on Saturday and a huge fire burned for over an hour in the city's commercial district during another night of protests

Hundreds of people took to the streets of the Admiralty district on Saturday and a huge fire burned for over an hour in the city’s commercial district during another night of protests

Protesters vandalise and throw petrol bombs at police officers in Admiralty as officers stand guard near the headquarters of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government and the Legislative Council on Saturday

Protesters vandalise and throw petrol bombs at police officers in Admiralty as officers stand guard near the headquarters of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government and the Legislative Council on Saturday 

People climb over baggage trolleys onto higher ground as they run away from anti-riot police outside the airport terminals

People climb over baggage trolleys onto higher ground as they run away from anti-riot police outside the airport terminals

Barricades set up by the protesters are set on fire near a metro station on Sunday after demonstrations at the airport

Barricades set up by the protesters are set on fire near a metro station on Sunday after demonstrations at the airport

Police resorted to firing tear gas at protesters who took to the streets in Hong Kong for the 13th weekend of demonstrations

Police resorted to firing tear gas at protesters who took to the streets in Hong Kong for the 13th weekend of demonstrations

As evening fell, violence ricocheted through the commercial centre of the city, with a minority of hardcore protesters unleashing a barrage of petrol bombs and rocks at riot police. Pictured, they set a barricade on fire on Saturday

As evening fell, violence ricocheted through the commercial centre of the city, with a minority of hardcore protesters unleashing a barrage of petrol bombs and rocks at riot police. Pictured, they set a barricade on fire on Saturday

Police fired a water cannon and rounds of tear gas to disperse protesters massed at a barricade (pictured) in front of the city's parliament, known as the Legislative Council (LegCo), which was stormed in July during the early days of the protests

Police fired a water cannon and rounds of tear gas to disperse protesters massed at a barricade (pictured) in front of the city’s parliament, known as the Legislative Council (LegCo), which was stormed in July during the early days of the protests

A man is detained by police during the rallying on a main street and a number of pro-democracy activists have been arrested - including Joshua Wong and Agnes Chow from the Demosisto part

A man is detained by police during the rallying on a main street and a number of pro-democracy activists have been arrested – including Joshua Wong and Agnes Chow from the Demosisto part

Hong Kong protesters are demanding democratic reforms and the complete withdraw of a law bill that would allow criminal suspects to be sent to mainland China to stand trial. Protesters are pictured waving their phones in a demonstration on August 28

Hong Kong protesters are demanding democratic reforms and the complete withdraw of a law bill that would allow criminal suspects to be sent to mainland China to stand trial. Protesters are pictured waving their phones in a demonstration on August 28

Hundreds of Hong Kong university and school students have gone on strike on the first day of classes after the summer break to show their commitment to the city’s anti-government protests.

The school strike today was the latest act of defiance in a pro-democracy movement that has plunged the Chinese-ruled city into its biggest political crisis in decades.

At least 30,000 students from around 200 schools were expected to join the boycott, according to organisers. 

Hundreds have been arrested in violent clashes with police, and an increasingly shrill Beijing has labelled protesters ‘terrorists’, with an editorial by China’s state news agency warning ‘the end is coming’. 

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China’s state news agency Xinhua has told Hong Kong pro-democracy activists ‘end is coming’ for their protests.

In a commentary yesterday, Xinhua warned ‘the judgement is about to come for the participants, master-minders, organisers and directors for the Hong Kong riots’.

Beijing is eager to quell the unrest before the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China on October 1. 

The op-ed voiced support for the Hong Kong police, praising them for enforcing law and restraining ‘the rioters and the black hand behind them’.

The Communist Party has repeatedly accused Western countries, particularly the United States, of plotting the chaos. 

The article also revealed the ‘three bottom lines’ of the central government on Hong Kong issues. 

Beijing will not allow any harm to the national sovereignty, any challenge to the authority of Beijing and Hong Kong Basic Law or any ‘infiltration and damaging activities’ to mainland China through Hong Kong.  

The student protests follow a weekend marred by some of the worst violence since unrest escalated more than three months ago, with protesters burning barricades and throwing petrol bombs, and police retaliating with water cannon, tear gas and batons. 

Riot police on Monday patrolled the subway, known as the MTR, where some of the most violent clashes have erupted.  

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Monday the protests had ‘gone beyond the scope of freedom of assembly and demonstration’. 

‘They have evolved into extreme acts of violence, seriously challenging the legal system and social order of Hong Kong,’ he told a press conference. 

Thousands of students gathered outside the Chinese University of Hong Kong, one of the city’s largest, taking turns to make speeches from a stage with a black backdrop embossed with ‘Students in Unity Boycott for our City’.

‘I come here just to tell others that even after summer holidays end we are not back to our normal life, we should continue to fight for Hong Kong,’ said one 19-year-old student who asked to be identified as just Chan.

‘These protests awaken me to care more about the society and care for the voiceless.’ 

Jacky So, the President of the university’s student union, said 30,000 people had turned up for the demonstration. 

The city’s 10 universities, including Chinese University, Hong Kong University, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and City University, have given the city’s leader Carrie Lam a deadline to respond to protesters’ five demands, reported HK01.com. 

They urged Mrs Lam to answer the demands before 8pm on September 13. 

At Edinburgh Place in Central, high school students who were skipping class rallied around a black banner that read ‘with no future, there’s no need to go to class’. 

While in nearby Tamar Park, thousands of Hong Kong workers staged a separately sit-in demonstration under a two-day citywide strike. The demonstration was also joined by some students. 

Apart from the resignation of Chief Executive Carrie Lam, Hong Kong demonstrators have listed five demands and have continued to urge the government to respond to them.

These five demands are:

1. A complete withdrawal of the extradition bill

2. A retraction from the government to its characterisation that the protesters were ‘rioters’

3. Unconditional and immediate release of protesters who were arrested and charges against them dropped

4. Establishment of an independent enquiry to investigate police violence during clashes

5. Genuine universal suffrage  

On the first day of the new school year, secondary students were seen singing, chanting and forming human chains, some wearing hard hats and masks. Many primary schools were closed because of a typhoon warning.

Matthew Cheung, Hong Kong government chief secretary, told reporters that schools were no place for protests. 

Students have turned out in significant numbers at recent rallies and were also prominent during the 2014 pro-democracy ‘Umbrella Movement’ that foreshadowed the current unrest.

‘It’s very different from what happened back then. People are more mad now,’ said Summer, a 20-year-old student who only gave his first name.

‘I think this situation is a deadlock now. Both government and protesters won’t back down.’ 

Isaac Cheng Ka-long, 19, the vice chair-man of pro-democracy group Demosistō, expected more than 9,000 students to join the boycott today across Hong Kong. 

The group’s founder Joshua Wong and a key member Agnes Chow were arrested by police on Friday ahead of planned protests, sparking an outrage among the city’s pro-democracy youth. 

Wong, 22, who was released on bail on Friday, said: ‘We will continue our fight no matter how they arrest and prosecute us.’

Cheng said more than 1,000 pupils had gathered in Central for the rally by 2pm despite torrential rain and he was expecting more youngsters to come. 

At St Francis’ Canossian College, uniformed students knelt in a line and held up hand-painted signs that read: ‘The five major demands: Not one is dispensable.’

The elite girls’ school is where Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam was educated.

Hong Kong education secretary Kevin Yeung said he hoped students would stay in class.

He said: ‘Schools should not be used as places for political demands or exercising pressure.’

Protesters had called for a general strike but most people appeared to return to their daily lives with shops open, trains operating and workers making their way to offices across the global financial hub.

Around 400 medical workers at Queen Mary Hospital formed a human chain along the hospital’s corridors during lunch break to show their support to the ongoing pro-democracy demonstrations.

Doctors and nurses held placards to protest against alleged police brutality. They also claimed that police had obstructed paramedics from reaching injured protesters during clashes on Saturday.

Thousands of protesters blocked roads and public transport links to Hong Kong airport on Sunday in a bid to draw world attention to their attempt to force Beijing to give greater autonomy to the former British colony, which returned to Chinese rule in 1997.

Airport authorities said 25 flights were cancelled on Sunday but transport services were largely back to normal.

After leaving the airport on Sunday, some demonstrators targeted the MTR subway station in nearby Tung Chung district, ripping out turnstiles and smashing CCTV cameras and lamps with metal poles. Police moved in and made several arrests.

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam, a lightning rod for protesters’ anger at a city government they say is controlled by Beijing, said on her Facebook page on Monday that 10 subway stations were damaged by ‘violent offenders’.

Police and protesters had clashed on Saturday night in some of the most intense violence since unrest escalated in mid-June over concerns Beijing is eroding the freedoms granted to the territory under a ‘one country, two systems’ agreement, including the right to protest and an independent judiciary.

John Lee, government secretary for security, told media that nearly 100 petrol bombs were thrown in various locations on Saturday with two found on a 13-year-old boy who was arrested inside an MTR station. 

Police said on Hong Kong island alone, around 70 petrol bombs were tossed near government buildings and police headquarters. A third of the city’s MTR stations were said to be vandalised over the weekend at different degrees. 

Police said they arrested 157 people, including 132 men and 27 women aged between 13 and 58, from Friday to Sunday. Sixteen of them have been charged with rioting. 

In a press conference today, police added that 214 rounds of tear gas, 92 rubber bullets, one round of bean bag and 10 sponge grenades were fired on Saturday. 

A total of 1,117 people have been arrested in connection with the protests since June.  

The unrest began over a now-suspended extradition bill that would have allowed people in the city to be sent to China for trial in courts controlled by the Communist Party, the latest example of what many residents see as ever-tighter control by Beijing, despite the promise of autonomy.

The turmoil has evolved over 13 weeks to become a widespread demand for greater democracy. China is eager to quell the unrest before the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China on October 1.

China denies meddling in Hong Kong’s affairs and accuses Western countries of egging on the protests. It says Hong Kong is an internal affair.

With Hong Kong facing its first recession in a decade, China has also warned of the damage the protests are causing to the economy.

Shares of Hong Kong rail operator MTR Corp Ltd fell as much as 3.9 per cent to HK$43.65, their lowest since February 15 and on track for their third consecutive session of decline.

With protesters and authorities locked in an impasse, speculation has grown that the city government may impose emergency law, giving it extra powers over detentions, censorship and curfews.

Mrs Lam has said the government would consider using all laws at its disposal to bring unrest to an end.

Hong Kong has been rocked by a series of anti-government protests for the past three months. The demonstrations were initially sparked by a proposed law that would allow some criminal suspects to be sent to the mainland China to stand trial.

Hong Kong is ruled under the ‘one country, two system’ policy and has different legal and governing systems to mainland China. The principle was agreed on by China and the UK before the former British colony reverted to Chinese rule in 1997.

However, many residents in the semi-autonomous city feel that their freedoms are eroding due to the tight political grip of Beijing.

The extradition bill has been suspended indefinitely, but the rallies have morphed into a wider pro-democracy movement that calls for government reforms and universal suffrage, among others.

Protesters are also demanding an independent enquiry into what they view as excessive violence from the police during clashes.

Mass rallies, sometimes attended by as many as two million people, have taken place every weekend for 13 weeks since June 9.

Protesters have targeted government buildings, Beijing’s representative office in Hong Kong, shopping centres and international airport to express their demands. 

The demonstrations often start with a peaceful march or sit-in and end up in violent clashes between activists and police. 

A repeated pattern sees activists throwing items such as bricks and petrol bombs at the police and anti-riot officers firing tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse crowds.

More than 1,110 people have been arrested in connection with the protests since June.

Beijing has described the situation in Hong Kong the ‘worst crisis’ the city has seen since its handover in 1997. It has also called some activists ‘rioters’ and ‘near terrorists’.

It is widely believed that the central government is determined to quell the chaos before October 1 when the country will celebrate the 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China. 



Source By Breaking News Website | BreakingNews.WS