Hundreds of secondary school students attended an anti-extradition rally at Edinburgh Place in Central on Thursday afternoon, urging the government to respond to the demands of the ongoing protest movement and pledging support for a planned student strike when the school term begins in September.
A new ‘Lennon Wall’ was set up at the square, with students quickly populating the empty space with messages like “Give me democracy or give me death” and “Fight for our future”.
One student told RTHK that while he intends to take part in a planned student strike in the coming weeks, he’ll try to independently keep up with his studies.
“I’ll even study by myself because I still want to catch up with school. At the same time I want to protest about how I want to withdraw the bill, and I don’t want Hong Kong to become a place where China is right now”, he said.
Another student said she was curious after seeing appeals on social media for students to join the rally.
“There are a lot of posts on Instagram and I really want to come and see how teenagers or people our age, want to put an effort in this whole extradition bill thing", she said.
One of the organisers of the demonstration is a 15 year-old student. She says she hopes participants will be exposed to a variety of views from teachers and social workers who also attended the rally.
"They can have a chance to talk with them and learn more from others, not only just discuss with [people] who have the same ideas as them, so they can get a wider view of the whole picture... I hope they can think independently after this event and they can critically think the right or wrong of any issue", she said.
The students are demanding the government to fully withdraw the extradition bill, set up an independent probe into the police handling of the recent protests, give amnesty to all protesters, withdraw the classification of the protests as 'riots', and implement universal suffrage in Hong Kong.