About 120 students from schools in the Sham Shui Po area formed a human chain outside Sham Shui Po Sports Ground on Friday afternoon.
Most participants were masked students. They chanted slogans, sang protest songs and some spray painted slogans on the pedestrian road. A new slogan of “Hong Kong people ruling Hong Kong” was chanted by the students, to protest against Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor’s remark at the community dialogue on Thursday evening. She said that One Country, Two Systems and autonomy for Hong Kong were different concepts, and there should be a limit to Hong Kong’s autonomy.
The majority of participants were from Buddhist Tai Hung College, as the school had just held its internal sports day at the arena earlier on Friday. Other schools involved included Cheung Sha Wan Catholic Secondary School, Kowloon Technical School, Nam Wah Catholic Secondary School and Chinese Holiness College.
The joint school human chain event was the first in the district. Felix Lau, 16, who is a member of the Buddhist Tai Hung College concern group, said neighbouring schools had not organised many activities related to the anti-extradition law protests lately, and he hoped through joining forces with other schools, more students would be willing to show support.
Felix’s schoolmate Ryon Lau believed it was important for teenagers to speak up, because the city’s leader had repeatedly said the future of Hong Kong belonged to his generation.
The 16-year-old called Lam’s effort to have a dialogue with citizens an act of hypocrisy, since only a small group of citizens were allowed to speak at the meeting.
“If Lam really wanted a dialogue with citizens, why didn’t she speak to those waiting outside the venue?” Ryon asked.
“We keep telling her what we want, but she just continues with what she does. She is super disconnected with citizens,” the Form Five student remarked.
Another student, Anson Tang of Cheung Sha Wan Catholic School, blamed Lam for triggering the spiralling political crisis in the city. The Form Six said it wass ironic to compare the scenes of Lam’s visit to his school a few years ago, when she was still the Chief Secretary for Administration, to the security arrangement at Queen Elizabeth Stadium on Thursday.
“When she visited our school a few years ago, she could come in easily and safely in her car. But look at the police deployment yesterday, there were more police officers than attendees of the meeting. There is really no one else to blame but herself,” said Anson, 17.
If he is selected to speak at the next community dialogue event, Anson said he hoped Lam would reflect on who to prioritise in her policymaking.
“I understand that it’s impossible to please every stakeholder in policymaking, but Lam is a civil servant, so she should start acting like one, rather than being a puppet of the Beijing government,” he said.
During the event, a police vehicle drove past and students began yelling phrases like “black cops” at the officers in the vehicle. One uniformed police officer allegedly pointed an obscene hand gesture at students, while shouting back at the students through speakers on the vehicle. The vehicle left shortly after, and no officers showed up at the scene.