Education program mandated by Beijing meets opposition in Hong Kong
90,000 protestors urged the Hong Kong government to stop its national education program, which was forced on Hong Kong by the Mainland Chinese regime. On Aug 31, many of the students in Hong Kong started a hunger strike to protest the education program. On Sept 1, 40,000 people rallied again against this education program. To date, the Hong Kong government has no plans to withdraw the education program from national policy.
Last May, the Hong Kong government listed the “moral and national education program” as mandatory in elementary and secondary schools. This “national education” guideline immediately caused waves of protests by the people of Hong Kong. On Aug 30, Scholarism, an organisation composed of Hong Kong secondary students aided by many other students, gathered in front of the Government Secretariat and set up a protest to “occupy the government headquarters”. Three members of Scholarism started a hunger strike to ask the Hong Kong government to withdraw the “national education” lessons. Hong Kong writer Zhang Cheng-Jue said: “The students are full of passion and a sense of justice for the youth. They say NO to the Beijing regime and to their brainwashing practices with their actions. This is very encouraging.”
On Sept 1, Hong Kong’s alliance of activists against the national education program conducted a rally calling to “guard the children with conscience”. More than 40,000 people attended the rally, many of whom were parents and children. Organisers stressed that if the authorities do not withdraw the brainwashing program, they will continue their demonstrations.
The protest at the government headquarters continued on Sept 2, as 10 more university students and teachers went on a hunger strike. Hu Jia is a Beijing activist who joined the 1989 student movement at the age of 15. He shares his deepest appreciation of this protest. He believes Hong Kong students are capable of independent judgment and as citizens, they have the right to take such action to pressure the government.
In 2006, Beijing human rights activist Hu Jia was arrested for joining a hunger strike with Chinese lawyer Gao Zhisheng. During his imprisonment, Hu Jia went on a hunger strike for 30 days. He is well aware of the pain involved in a hunger strike. Hu Jia said: “When three high school students ended their hunger strike, I was very pleased to see that some other students continued. I really hope that this hunger strike will go on until the Hong Kong government revokes the national education lessons.”
Fang Zheng, a June 4 pro-democracy activist, indicated that the concept of democracy and freedom inherited in Hong Kong has a great influence on Mainland China. Every year, a number of mainlanders come to Hong Kong to participate in the candlelight vigil commemorating victims of the June 4 massacre. Pro-democracy activist Fang Zheng said: “The presence of Hong Kong has been the biggest threat to the authoritarian communist regime. The CCP has fear and thus initiated the national education brainwashing program. This is a battle, a very important expedition for freedom.” Fang Zheng stressed that the communist regime has totally lost its popularity with the people. The brainwashing plan in Hong Kong will only meet with a stronger rebound and end in failure.