Politics

University student dies after falling from a high place near police operations

  • 2019-11-08

A 22-year-old student from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology has died this morning. The student, Chow Tsz-lok, who fell from a high place five days ago in Tseung Kwan O and had multiple surgeries was eventually declared dead this morning. This is widely perceived as the first death in direct relation to the anti-government protests in Hong Kong, which has entered its fifth month with no sign of stopping. HKUST students marched from the campus piazza to the the school president’s residence after a memorial session at 1 PM. "Demand for Wei Shyy to condemn police violence," the students chanted as they marched. Mr. Shyy's front porch was then vandalised and filled with protest posters, while a few other restaurants on campus that have relations with the pro-Beijing company Maxim's have also been targeted and graffitied with slogans. At 6 PM in the evening, another memorial section with a higher turnout was held at the atrium of HKUST. Reverend Chu Yiu-ming sang "Amazing Grace" with a mini choir and prayed for the deceased student who has been Christian since a young age. "Although he is gone, his faith and courage will live on and shine a light into everyone’s heart," said Reverend Chu in a moving speech as many amongst the crowd shed tears. The night of mourning concluded peacefully as students sang along to a quiet piano version of "Glory to Hong Kong" and laid down piles of white flowers under candlelight. However, the death of Chow is seen by many as a sign that the conflicts will continue to escalate.

In a leaderless movement, Hong Kong's student activists face local and international threats

  • 2019-10-08

In August, Zoey Leung, 19, got her first threatening phone call.  The anonymous caller accused her of being "a rioter who has ruined Hong Kong" and she was warned to "bear the consequences". Ms Leung, vice president of Hong Kong Baptist University student union and active in the ongoing pro-democracy protests, said that other student leaders got the same phone call.  Next, insulting leaflets written in abusive language that specifically targeted Ms Leung were posted all over her neighbourhood in Sai Kung district. The flyers used similar language to the phone call. Ms Leung is worried about her and her family’s safety. It also ruined her family’s relationship with their neighbours, she said. "I think I am an easy target," Ms Leung said. "There are people who would like the movement to stop because they think I am one of the leaders." Other student leaders have reported attacks. Davin Wong, the acting president of the University of Hong Kong Student Union, resigned from his post and fled the city after being attacked by masked men in Wan Chai at a bus stop on Aug. 30, he said in his resignation letter.  And in early September, the acting president of Hong Kong Polytechnic’s student union was struck in the face during an on-campus protest.  "Those thugs are threatening, and they use violence to hit us and scold us, doing whatever they like," Ms. Leung said. Ms Leung said she thinks she was followed by police in June, just after local university students held a press conference to announce a general strike.  HKBU student union president, Keith Fong, who was arrested for alleged possession of an offensive weapon, said he thought he was also being followed before his first arrest.  Local media outlet FactWire, published a report showing CCTV footage of five …

Tens of thousands commemorate the Umbrella Revolution anniversary days ahead of China National Day

  • 2019-10-01

Tens of thousands gathered on Saturday night at Tamar Park in Admiralty where the police fired tear gas five years ago, which triggered the Umbrella Revolution. Amidst the anti-extradition protests that are taking this city by storm, commemorating the day that started Hong Kong's struggle for political reform and autonomy holds more significance than previous years. "We will not announce the success of the protest until the five demands are fully achieved," the convener of the Civil Human Rights Front, Jimmy Sham Tsz-kit said on stage. "We should keep on fighting for our rights and genuine 'Dual Universal Suffrage'."  The Umbrella Revolution — an 81 days long protest — occurred in 2014 when people became unsatisfied with the Standing Committee's decision on electoral reform regarding future elections of Chief Executive and Legislative Council. Citizens took to the streets to express their anger but was met by tear gas and police crackdowns. Protesters then occupied multiple crucial urban areas and brought the city to a standstill in hopes of getting genuine 'Universal Suffrage'.  Though their objective eventually did not succeed, many believe that the political awakening this city had experienced five years ago gave rise to the current wave of mass social movements. Fresh memories from the ongoing anti-extradition protests and sentiments for the Umbrella Revolution combined to create a synergy that filled Tamar Park with black-clad demonstrators of all ages and walks of life. "The Umbrella Revolution and the anti-extradition bill protest have both taught us the importance of standing together hand in hand," said Ms. Chan, an elder lady who is in her sixties and supports the protests. She declined to provide her full name and was observing aside peacefully. Concerned about being arrested by the police, she decided to dress in other colors instead of black.  Ms. Chan calls the current protests …

Carrie Lam meets public in first community dialogue, but fails to quell dissent

  • 2019-09-26
  • The Young Reporter
  • By: CarolMang、RonaldFanEdited by: Stephanie Ma、Maisy Mok、William Tsui
  • 2019-09-26

Hong Kong's embattled Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor held her first Community Dialogue Session on Thursday night at Queen Elizabeth Stadium in Wan Chai, meeting over 130 randomly picked citizens from some 20,000 applications. The public dialogue was among one of the four initiatives Lam had announced earlier on September 4 to alleviate public discontent sparked by a now-withdrawn extradition bill, as anti-government protests reach its 16th week. The two-hour session kicked off at 7pm amid heavy police presence, while hundreds of black-clad protesters gathered outside the venue -  forming human chains, holding placards and chanting slogans such as "Stand with Hong Kong, fight for freedom". Participants were banned from bringing umbrellas, gas masks or helmets - the trademark protective gear commonly used by anti-government protesters in Hong Kong's summer of discontent.  "The unrest was sparked by the government's decision to amend the bill. Therefore, this should be our biggest responsibility to initiate a direct dialogue. This is not a PR show. We want to find solutions to initiate change for the betterment of our society," said Lam in her opening remarks. The launch of an independent inquiry to investigate into the police's use of force has been at the centre of the discussion, while multiple speakers also raised concerns about allegations of police violation of human rights when detaining protestors in San Uk Ling Holding Centre. At least three participants have shown their support to Hong Kong's "One Country, Two Systems", but some said have already lost trust in the police force. "Hong Kong independence is not feasible in One Country, two systems," said Carrie Lam. She added that the five demands cannot be fulfilled as some of them violate the bottomline of "One Country, Two Systems".  A few participants don't think the dialogue session would have much …

Seeking solutions to the current impasse, Chief Executive Carrie Lam holds community dialogue

  • 2019-09-26
  • The Young Reporter
  • By: CarolMang、RonaldFanEdited by: Stephanie Ma、Maisy Mok、William Tsui
  • 2019-09-26

Hong Kong's Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor held her first Community Dialogue Session at 7 p.m.today at Queen Elizabeth Stadium in Wan Chai, meeting 150 randomly picked citizens from over 20,000 applications. [22:35] In an announcement on their official website, the police "warns protestors in the vicinity of Queen Elizabeth Stadium to stop illegal acts". They also urged the public to stay clear of that area and said that the protestors have "blocked the entrance of Queen Elizabeth Stadium, preventing certain participants of an event from leaving". [21:37] Protestors have set up barricades on Queen's Road East at the back door of Queen Elizabeth Stadium. [21:30] The dialogue has ended. The host reminded participants that they can leave their contacts for an "in-depth dialogue session" while some participants chanted "five demands, not one less". [21:20] Dozens of Riot police are heading towards Oi Kwan Road under a protesting crowd chanting "gangsters" as they passed by. [21:15] From a women who believes this to be a political performance: "I am afraid that you have missed the best timing for a dialogue. 1 million demonstrators, 2 million demonstrators, Lennon Walls everywhere, human chains, class boycotts, strikes, shops boycotts, MTR boycotts — all this is public opinion, but it feels as if you don't know that all this happened." [21:06] From a Secondary 6 student: "How have you felt, while the rest of us suffer from sleepless nights? More than a thousand arrested and 9 who took their own lives, yet you only care about broken MTR machines. Every time when something happens, you only know how to say 'condemn'." [20:55] A women in a burgundy blouse makes an appeal to young people: No matter success or failure, the future is yours. So when you fight for what you want with your …

Hong Kong Police inciting "white terror" among student journalists and leaders

  • 2019-09-18

Incensed Baptist University students rally against arrest of broadcast journalism student

  • 2019-09-16
  • The Young Reporter
  • By: Rachel Yeo、Anna Kam、Phoebe Lai、Jo Ng、YanniChowEdited by: William Tsui
  • 2019-09-16

Hundreds of Baptist University students staged a march to rally against the arrest of broadcast journalism student Boaz So, which later escalated to heated verbal shouting towards various school authorities. Mr. So, a student reporter from BNN, a student-run news station based in the university, was arrested in North Point last night for suspicion on possessing an offensive weapon. He was later released on bail earlier this evening. Police found a butter knife while searching through So's belongings and was taken to a private car by riot police. So said that the knife was used to cut mooncakes, which was later confirmed by his girlfriend Rachel So Ching-yan. Kelly Lam and Sharon Tam, two of the other student reporters who was out with Boaz So in North Point last night said they felt "hopeless and furious" about their classmate's arrest. "They seem to be targeting at student reporters. They also seem to be targeting at young people," said Ms. Lam and Ms.Tam. Ms. Lam described they were being requested by the riot police to show their press cards and identity cards in North Point last night. The police passed around their identity cards among themselves while taking notes of their information. Their bags and identity cards were also searched by police at the scene. During the march which started out peaceful, students demanded for the university to provide assistance for arrested students, condemn the police for arresting people without reason and stifling press freedom and ensure physical safety of students. Teddy, a year 3 film student at Hong Kong Baptist University who does not want to reveal her full name and a friend of Boaz So thought the arrest of Mr. So was pointless. "As a friend of his, I don't think he is going to use the knife to …

Airport protests fail to take off with enhanced police presence and limited transport

  • 2019-09-08

Heavy police presence, stringent checks and limited public transport has made it harder for protesters to stage a sit-in protest at the Hong Kong International Airport. Initiated online by netizens, dubbed as "Airport Traffic Stress Testing", they called for the public to go to the airport to create disrupt traffic and airport operations. Dozens of riot police were stationed at every entrance and exit of the transport hub and demanded people wandering at the airport to leave. Passengers needed to provide valid air tickets and travel documents for checking at the entrance of the departure halls before entering the terminal buildings. Some thought the police's behaviour was inappropriate. A Belgian tourist who only wishes to be known as Hazma, was in the bus on the way to the airport when police conducted bag searches checkpoints at the toll plaza. He added that the police asked for his passport. "It's a little intimidating, I am not used to this situation (riot police patrolling everywhere at the airport)," he said. Students known as Mr. Ha and Ms. Wong, aged 21 and 23 respectively, were spotted at the bus terminus holding up their mobile screens showing slogans that said "Fight for freedom, Stand with Hong Kong" and "5 Demands Not One Less". Both criticised the act of clearing people out as “over the line”. "People are just voicing out their opinions. The police are stamping out Hong Kong citizens' freedom to do so. I highly doubt that they know what they are doing," said Ha. A 59-year-old woman, who gave her surname as Chin, was arrested this afternoon. She claimed she was sitting by at the bus terminus finding her way home when a female police officer suddenly ordered her to leave. "I was just here to dine out," said Chin, having no clue …

Baptist University students stage class boycott

  • 2019-09-08

Around 40 Hong Kong Baptist University students participated in a class boycott sit-in protest at the campus on Wednesday afternoon, after the two-day citywide strike and class boycott ended. Setting up booths and putting up posters around the campus, the students hoped to increase awareness among fellow schoolmates to join the class boycott. The group gathered themselves yesterday night through Telegram, a social chatting app which is widely used by the protestors to disseminate information.     “We would like to utilise our time spent on the class boycott to participate in the movement instead of skipping the lectures without any purpose,” said a Year 4 Arts student who wishes to identify himself as Louis Lee. Chanting “'Liberate Hong Kong; revolution of our times,” a popular chant amongst the protesters. The students reiterated the five demands including to call for the withdrawal of the extradition bill, a commission of inquiry into alleged police brutality, amnesty for arrested protesters, and universal suffrage. The crowd later sat in a circle to discuss their thoughts on the recent protests in Hong Kong, as well as the strategies to organise the class boycott activities in the coming weeks.     A meeting would be held with the Students’ Union later today to discuss the students’ further actions. (This story was first published on Facebook on 4 September 2019)

Animal cafes in Hong Kong: welfare experts call for licensing

  • 2019-05-10

At The Cat Tea room in Tsuen Wan, cats jump from table to table, sometimes lying beside a cup of tea while being petted by customers. The owner of the shop, Albert Lee, said he was inspired by a trip to Japan and Korea. Mr. Lee observed a lack of animal cafes in Hong Kong and seized the opportunity to open one. Most of the cats were once strays. Wanting to create a safe haven for cats, Mr. Lee took them under his wing to provide healthcare, food and shelter. "Before my business partners and I opened up this place four and a half years ago, there was only one cat cafe in Hong Kong," said Mr. Lee. "Now there are around 10 or more cat cafes and a wide variety of animal cafes." Animal cafes have sprung up in Hong Kong in recent years. Although it may seem like a dream come true for animal lovers, for one animal welfare expert, it is a nightmare. In Hong Kong, the government does not require a licence to run animal cafes. In fact, the Labour and Welfare Bureau released a statement that they have no plans to regulate pet restaurants. So instead, an animal cafe that serves food follows the health guidelines for restaurants, which only prohibit dogs or they are regulated as a licensed club. If the cafe only serves drinks, then they do not have to follow any rules at all. Owners have used these loopholes to introduce all kinds of animals to cafes. The Cats Tea room is only licensed by the Business Registration Office. There is no kitchen in the cafe and only beverages are prepared. Food that is served is not made by staff but instead ordered from nearby restaurants. "If they (animal cafes) are allowed …