The Anti Extradition Law Amendment Bill (Anti-ELAB) Movement has been going on for 3 months, the Hong Kong Government refused to bat an eye on the 5 demands of the people, and even instigated brutal crackdowns on protests. When we started getting accustomed to batons, tear gas and all sorts of anti-riot firearms, the Government decided to go a step further and deployed water cannons on protestors. In fact, the threat of a crackdown with live ammunition is imminent. How is it possible, when the Government brutally tears Hong Kong apart and turns every street and district into battlefields, for us to sit down at our desks in school like nothing happened?
In the summer of 2019, countless young students took it to the streets, only hoping that the Government would withdraw the Extradition Law Amendment Bill and respond to the demands of the people. Nevertheless, the Carrie Lam regime not only did not respond to any of the 5 demands, but also carried on its violent crackdowns while calling for a “platform for dialogue”. The time difference between her Facebook post calling for peace and the first deployment of the water canon was just 20 minutes. Her attempt of stalling with vague promises and appeals till September, so that students would return to school and thus ending the Movement is abundantly obvious and pathetic.
The despicable is doomed to fail, the children of Hong Kong shall make sure of it. We call for the participation of all secondary school students and students of higher institutions in the upcoming class boycott starting on 2 September. Hong Kong is no longer what it was, students will not be willing to be the puppets of the Government that go to school every day as if nothing happened.
A class boycott is not simply being absent from school, it is a collective action out of social justice and the fulfillment of civic responsibility. As students, we shoulder the responsibility of defending our home and protecting conscience. The class boycott does not mean that students cease learning, instead we will put “Boycott Classes, Continue Learning” into practice – while we stress our demands by refusing to attend normal lessons, we shall commence “Civic Lessons”, allowing students to learn beyond traditional systematic education, and become a citizen of a democratic society.
We understand that society might be worried about students’, especially secondary school students’ participation in class boycotts, that it might affect our studies and safety. However, we hope that the public could understand that we were left with no choice, this is a point of no turning back. When the Education Bureau made a high-profile opposition announcement for the class boycott, and when white terror looms over society and retaliation, everyone who is willing to join the boycott has to be extremely brave to make this courageous decision. We hope that all Hongkongers, especially school sponsoring bodies, school principals, school-based social workers and parents, would support the students and their actions with the greatest tolerance and understanding.
School life might be a section of our lives, but whether the Movement succeeds or not determines the future of Hong Kong – the future of us and our next generations.
City University of Hong Kong Students’ Union
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Students’ Union
The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts Students’ Union
Lingnan University Students’ Union
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University Students’ Union
The Hong Kong University Students’ Union
The Hang Seng University of Hong Kong Students’ Union
Caritas Institute of Higher Education & Caritas Bianchi College of Careers
Hong Kong Baptist University Students’ Union
The Student Union of the Chinese University of Hong Kong
The Student Union of Hong Kong Shue Yan University
The Open University of Hong Kong Students’ Union
The Education University of Hong Kong Students’ Union
The Platform of Class Boycotts in Secondary School