School children join Hong Kong democracy protests
More than 2,000 Hong Kong secondary school pupils, some wearing uniforms, joined university students on Friday to bolster a days-long protest against Beijing’s refusal to grant the city unfettered democracy.
Throngs of teenage students — many saying they had defied their parents’ wishes – descended on the government headquarters to add their voices to a class boycott kicked off by university students on Monday.
On Thursday night, more than 2,000 people took their protest to the residence of Hong Kong leader Leung Chun Ying with the hope of speaking to him.
He has so far refused to speak to the students or meet their leaders.
Protests continued on Friday morning with around 900 secondary school students as young as 13 gathering outside the city’s main government complex shouting: “I want real elections not fake ones”.
“The government is ignoring our voices so I think that if we have so many secondary students boycotting the classes maybe then they will be willing to listen to us,” Agnes Yeung, a high school student, told AFP.
Secondary school students taking notes during a lesson conducted by their teacher during a rally outside government headquarters in Hong Kong on Friday.
Chung Chun Wai, 17, said many of his friends came out to protest despite being told not to do so by their parents.
That highlighted the often sharp generational divide in Hong Kong over its political future.
He said: “I think secondary school students are a part of the society and I consider myself a citizen of Hong Kong.
"That’s why I think I need to bear the responsibility to care about the society and to voice out real opinions of Hong Kongers.”