Pro-independence groups are planning on restarting a campaign on school and university campuses to promote Hong Kong independence. The first campaign, which began a year ago, involved fliers being handed out, encouraging students to think about Hong Kong’s future after 2047. This year, student leaders promise the leaflets will be plainer, and state that an independent Hong Kong, without the mainland, is the only option for Hongkongers.
The fliers and stickers will be handed out to students at school entrances, put up on message boards at universities, and groups will set up street booths in Wan Chai, Kwun Tong and Yuen Long.
Two groups involved in the new campaign, Studentlocalism and Hong Kong National Front, said that 14 of the 18 groups involved are from mainly government-aided secondary schools. The other four are from universities. While the Front’s members are mostly university students and graduates, Studentlocalism has members as young as 13.
Studentlocalism convenor Tony Chung Hon-lam, a Secondary Five student at Buddhist Mau Fung Memorial College, said 2,000 leaflets and 10,000 stickers would be given out.
Both the local government and mainland officials have been increasingly firm about stopping people from supporting Hong Kong independence. Beijing officials have said a better understanding of the motherland needs to be taught in schools to encourage a sense of Chinese identity among young people.
On Monday, the Education Bureau said that pushing for independence was against Hong Kong’s mini-constitution, the Basic Law; the “one country, two systems” policy; and the interest of the Hong Kong community.
The bureau said it would provide support to schools in handling political matters if needed.
Studentlocalism and Hong Kong National Front have not ruled out violence in the future to achieve their cause, with the Front claiming its members were being trained to handle confrontations.
At the same time, leaders of both groups conceded that fewer localist organisations had been in contact with them this year, compared with more than 20 last year.