More than 1,000 students and alumni from at least 10 schools across Hong Kong joined hands to form a human chain this morning, to put pressure on the government to answer the protesters’ five demands before the September 13 deadline set by school and university students.
From about 7am, students and alumni from Henrietta Secondary School, Clementi Secondary School, Tung Wah Group of Hospitals Lee Ching Dea Memorial College, Cheung Chuk Shan College, Concordia Lutheran School, Queen’s College, True Light Middle School of Hong Kong, St Paul's Convent School, St Paul's Secondary School and Hotung Secondary School formed a line covering a distance of about 1.5km from North Point to Causeway Bay.
One of the student organisers from True Light Middle School of Hong Kong in Tai Hang, who only gave her last name as Lee, said that if the government does not respond by tomorrow, protesters plan on gathering outside the Inland Revenue Tower in Wan Chai.
“We will also have various student-centric demonstrations,” the 17-year-old says. “We plan on gathering outside Edinburgh Place again. Hopefully we will have panel discussions and meetings too. The future is still so uncertain.”
A 17-year-old participant from St Paul’s Convent School in Causeway Bay said that her school hasn’t been so accepting of the student demonstrations.
“Our school thinks that it is not a place for politics,” she says. “Students are very angered because of this, because we want to demonstrate our grievances. We also want to connect with other schools and support each other.”
At 7.21am – in reference to the Yuen Long attacks - students and alumni sang Glory to Hong Kong, the newly composed protest anthem.
Students and alumni held signs with slogans of freedom and protest art. Some wore an eye patch on one eye, in reference to the woman who was allegedly shot in the eye by police on August 11. Others wore helmets and tear gas masks.
Hui, a 19-year-old alumnus from True Light Middle School of Hong Kong, said that she thinks the students organising these human chain events do not receive much outside support.
“I want to help them in terms of promoting the event, financially, in terms of printing fliers,” she says. “I just want to show them that we too are with them.”
Meanwhile, several schools in Kowloon and the New Territories also formed human chains, and students constructed a Lennon Wall near the Velodrome in Hang Hau.
A 15-year-old student from Sing Yin Secondary School in Ngau Chi Wan said that he joined the human chain because he wants to stand in solidarity with the protesters.
Although he joined the human chain activity, he will not proceed to boycott any classes, as his parents will not allow it.
A 17-year-old Good Hope School student echoes this sentiment.
“There are really not many students joining the boycott,” she says. “There’s a lot of pressure on academics, especially for HKDSE final year students.”
The activity finished at about 8am. Most students went back to their schools and resumed classes as per normal schedule. Some alumni stayed in line.