Students of two Hong Kong universities chanted slogans during their graduation ceremonies Thursday, urging the government to fulfill the five demands of the anti-extradition protesters and investigate police brutality.
At 9am, hundreds of graduate students gathered at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and held banners reading, “Freedom from fear” and “Stand with Hong Kong,” RTHK reported. They marched on campus to show support for students who had been arrested during extradition protests in the past five months. Some of the students wore facial masks while some others had gas-masks.
Students of the School of Journalism and Communication at CUHK held banners of “No fear of bullets, safeguard the truth” and “We aren’t afraid of their guns. They are afraid of our cameras.”
A man, wearing a red shirt and speaking Mandarin, pointed a fruit knife at the protesting students, shouted at them and sang China’s national anthem. He was taken away by the university’s security guards, who then called the police. No one was injured during the incident.
When the ceremony began with China’s national anthem, most of the students turned their back towards the stage and chanted “Liberate Hong Kong, revolutions of our times!” and “Five demands, not one less!” while holding their banners.
The graduation ceremony at CUHK ended early due to the protests. In his speech, Rocky Tuan, vice chancellor of CUHK, reminded the graduates that they would have to respect others with different views and values once they started working in society.
Anti-extradition protesters have raised five demands since their June 12 protests in Admiralty. The demands include withdrawal of the extradition bill, establishment of an independent commission of inquiry, retraction of the “riot” characterization of the June 12 protests, release of all the arrested protesters and implementation of genuine universal suffrage.
In early September, Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced withdrawal of the extradition bill. On October 23, John Lee Ka-chiu, secretary for security, officially retracted the bill in the Legislative Council.
On October 18, Vice Chancellor Tuan, who previously had been seen as a member of the pro-establishment elite, issued a statement calling for Lam to investigate alleged police brutality. He alleged that 20 of the university’s students suffered unreasonable treatment after being arrested.
On October 23, he was criticized by the Superintendents’ Association, the Hong Kong Police Inspectors’ Association, the Overseas Inspectors’ Association and the Junior Police Officers’ Association, jointly, in an open letter.
At 3:40am on Thursday, a team of police entered the campus without a warrant. They intercepted five members of the student union of the CUHK. They told the university’s security guards that they were investigating a property damage case after they saw someone drawing graffiti on the walls of a fast-food shop outside the campus. They left after 20 minutes without arresting anyone.
The student union condemned the police for having entered the campus without warrants several times over the past few months.
On Thursday, hundreds of graduation students in the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) chanted, “Liberate Hong Kong, revolutions of our times!” after the Chinese national anthem was played.
Wei Shyy, Vice Chancellor of HKUST, said in his speech that a 22-year-old student surnamed Chow was still in hospital after having fallen from the third floor to the second floor in a car park in Sheung Tak Estate near a protest site at around 1am on Monday. Shyy said he was looking forward to seeing Chow again.
Shyy also called for the students to respect the graduation ceremony, which was attended by a lot of parents.
During the ceremony, some students did not bow to Shyy, who refused to condemn the police for using excessive force.
After the ceremony ended at 12:30pm, a group of masked students got onto the stage and called for the government to meet their five demands.
On Wednesday, Shyy met students in the campus to talk about the Chow accident. During the meeting, a mainland student knocked down a local student and tried to run away. He was surrounded by a lot of other students and urged to apologize. He was eventually hit in the head with an umbrella. Four people were injured in the incident.