Professors pledge support for Hong Kong students determined to strike

PUBLISHED : Friday, 05 September, 2014, 3:55am
UPDATED : Friday, 05 September, 2014, 5:49pm

As two university student unions yesterday reiterated their determination to skip classes for a week in protest against Beijing's framework on Hong Kong's political reform, teachers have promised to offer public lectures for students skipping classes in the name of democracy.

Student unions at the University of Hong Kong and Chinese University have issued separate declarations, a day after the city's first chief executive, Tung Chee-hwa, made a rare appearance, appealing to students to call off the strike, which is planned for next month.

"The student strike is our last warning to the regime. If they continue to act against the public will, we will step up to stronger disobedience action," the HKU student union's declaration read.

Chinese University students said they would have defeated the goal of their studies if they focused only on academics and turned a blind eye to injustice. "We … hope to reflect our disappointment towards the political reform via a temporary break from usual learning, and to focus on the problems in society," its student union's statement read.

About 300 Chinese University students gathered last night to discuss a one-week boycott of classes beginning September 22 as their first step of protest.

The student union said it was optimistic and expected about 8,000 students to join the boycott.

University of Science and Technology political scientist Professor Dixon Sing Ming said almost 20 lecturers who supported the strike had promised to offer seminars to students who take part.

By yesterday, almost 200 scholars had signed a petition to express disappointment at Beijing's election framework.