Asia

Hong Kong students to boycott new term as protests continue

HONG KONG (AFP) – Hong Kong student leaders on Thursday (Aug 22) announced a two-week boycott of lectures from the upcoming start of term, as they seek to keep protesters on the streets and pressure on the government.

The financial hub has been rocked by three months of unrest, with students making up a large number of the pro-democracy protesters taking to the streets almost daily.

Student leaders representing most of the city’s major universities said students will miss lectures between Sept 2 – the planned start of the new term – and Sept 13.

They threatened further action if the government does not adequately respond to the protesters’ five demands, which include spiking a controversial extradition Bill, universal suffrage and an independent inquiry into alleged police abuses during the protests.

“Two weeks should be enough for the government to really think through how to respond,” said Mr Davin Wong, acting president of the Hong Kong University Students’ Union.

“As the situation has gotten more intense, we believe the social situation will bring more students into the boycott.”

Mr Wong said students will be encouraged to take time to “understand what happened in our society… what we can do for our city’s future”.

Students have featured prominently in the weeks of protests that have rocked Hong Kong.

The demonstrations were sparked by an attempt by the city’s government to bring in a Bill that would have allowed for extradition to China.

But they quickly morphed into a wider pro-democracy campaign, in a city where young people are boxed in by the soaring cost of living and worsening job prospects.

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