In Summary
  • Dozens linked hands in what has become a daily ritual across the semi-autonomous Chinese city.
  • Many school children and students have joined what has been an unprecedented summer of political rage.
  • Class boycotts have also been organised by some in schools and universities.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong's secondary schools have become the latest ideological battleground for pro-democracy protesters with thousands of students taking part in human chain rallies since the new academic year kicked off.

Tam, 16, was outside his school in Hong Kong's Yau Ma Tei district earlier this week where he and dozens of other classmates linked hands in what has become a daily ritual across the semi-autonomous Chinese city.

These human chain demonstrations in which pupils form long lines and chant slogans, are the latest way the city's youth have chosen to voice support for pro-democracy protests that have plunged the financial hub into crisis.

HARDWORKING

"Hong Kong students are known for being hardworking and having lots of homework, but we still choose to stand out today," he told AFP, asking not to use his full name.

"Even if we do not have any power as a student, we can actually stand out to form this chain to speak out our demands," he added.

Millions have taken to Hong Kong's streets over the last 14 weeks in the biggest challenge to China's rule since the city's handover from Britain in 1997.

BILL

What started as a pushback against a bill allowing extraditions to mainland China snowballed into wider calls for democracy and police accountability after the city's leaders and Beijing refused concessions.

The movement is primarily youth-led and many school children and students have joined what has been an unprecedented summer of political rage.

But with schools going back a fortnight ago, younger students have found ways to keep their protests going, even as they attend classes.

Each morning it is not uncommon to see rows of youngsters in uniforms standing outside their schools, shouting slogans like "Reclaim Hong Kong, revolution of our times" and "Free Hong Kong".

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