HKU students & staff & academic freedom

Hong Kong students and university staff rally to defend academic freedom

By Yimou Lee and Stefanie McIntyre

University students listen to a speech while wearing black at a rally at the University of Hong Kong in Hong Kong

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University students listen to a speech while wearing black at a rally at the University of Hong Kong in Hong Kong, China October 9, 2015. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

By Yimou Lee and Stefanie McIntyre

HONG KONG (Reuters) – More than a thousand students and staff staged a rally at the University of Hong Kong (HKU) on Friday, the second demonstration in a week to protest against what they say is interference by Beijing in academic freedom.

Beijing supporters on the university’s governing council blocked the appointment of former HKU law school dean and a prominent human rights advocate, Johannes Chan, as a university pro-vice-chancellor in a vote last month.

Chan, who had been recommended for the post by a university search committee, was a close associate of Benny Tai, one of the co-founders of last year’s Occupy democracy demonstrations that posed one of the greatest challenges to Beijing in decades.

Dressed in black, hundreds of people hunkered down on the campus of Hong Kong’s most prestigious university to listen to speeches from academics and students.

Two large banners draped from a wall read: “Defend autonomy of the university” and “condemn political interference”.

“We are here tonight to express our rage, our doubts and to explore what we can do next,” said Joseph Chan Cho Wai, a professor of politics at HKU, who wore a black T-shirt with a sticker that said “protect HKU”.

For more than a century, HKU, has served as a bastion of liberal education in the city that returned from British to Chinese rule in 1997, producing many of its top bureaucrats, politicians and lawyers.

Britain handed Hong Kong back under a promise that core personal and commercial freedoms, backed by a British-style legal system, would be protected for 50 years.

Hong Kong’s constitution guarantees the financial enclave a high degree of autonomy denied in mainland China by its Communist leaders, including academic freedom, broad individual rights and an independent judiciary.

“I think it might be another opportunity for Hong Kong people to stand up to protect our core values, and I would say that this surely is a crisis to HKU as well as to Hong Kong,” Occupy’s Tai said at the campus.

The university’s staff and students featured prominently in the street protests last year to demand full democracy in the former British colony and some believe they are now being punished for their role in the rallies that at times resulted in running battles between police and activists.

The 79-day protests failed to persuade Beijing to lift a restriction on who can stand for election as Hong Kong’s leader in the next vote in 2017 but they triggered extensive debate about the mainland’s perceived encroachment over the city.

(Reporting by Yimou Lee, Stefanie McIntyre and Diana Chan; Writing by Anne Marie Roantree; Editing by Alison Williams)


What I saw


What I Saw at HKU

2017.10.11_2015.10.09 FM & A @ HKU.JPG

What I Saw

Fifty years after,
Not the same old me,
Not the same old U:

Green slopes have turned concrete.
On concrete floor I sat,
Leaning against a pillar for my aged back.

U-students shouting slogans.
Professors and alumni too:
‘Together we will win!’

I turned to A and whispered:
‘I no longer believe in this.’
At least we feel warmer, she whispered back.

I did not tell her what I saw:
The match girl with her last matches.




Hong Kong students and university staff rally to defend academic freedom



Would I Choose _ to Tameer

Would I Choose

Thank you, Paco, for letting me know.
So this is how the world goes.

Do good and you may be spit on.
Do evil and you may be lifted.

What I have learnt in kindergarten
Are fairy tales in children’s garden.

Would I choose not to believe in Angels?
My dearest, NO NO NO NO NO!




Tameer Poon Freela

19 October at 16:31 · 


謝謝你, 柏高, 你讓我知道了,

行善, 你也許被唾棄,
作惡, 你也許受推舉,


我最愛的, 不不不不不!



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