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HK varsity’s orientation day turns anti-govt rally
Hong Kong, Aug 29 (IANS) Hundreds of students in Hong Kong’s Chinese University turned what was billed as an orientation event for newcomers into an anti-government rally ahead of next weeks planned class boycott, the media reported on Thursday.
Many students wore black T-shirts, yellow helmets and face masks as they gathered on Wednesday at the University Mall on the Sha Tin campus, popularly known as the "Million Boulevard", the South China Morning Post reported.
The University’s student union said as many as 1,000 students and newcomers had joined the event, where they chanted anti-government slogans and voiced anger over police use of force on protesters.
They cried "Liberate Hong Kong; revolution of our times", which has emerged as a popular rallying call of the anti-government movement, and waved flags declaring "Hong Kong is not China".
The university had earlier said it would respect free speech and academic freedom, but hoped students who took part in the class boycott would also respect the decision of others to attend classes.
Wednesday’s rally came ahead of a marathon class boycott due to start next week, which is jointly organised by student unions of 10 local universities.
It is part of the broader anti-government campaign triggered by the now-shelved extradition bill, which would have allowed the transfer of fugitives to jurisdictions with which Hong Kong lacks an extradition deal, including mainland China.