University students staged a silent protest on Streatham campus on Thursday 2nd October to demonstrate solidarity with pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong.
With around 300 students taking part, the sit-down protest was held outside the INTO building between 11am and 5pm. Protestors wore yellow ribbons to demonstrate their support, carrying signs which read “Support Hong Kong” and “Exeter Solidarity with HK.”
Protestors were interviewed by ITV News West Country and asked to “Face Time” their friends in Hong Kong.
Following ongoing political unrest in the south of China, the “Exeter Solidarity with Hong Kong” group are aiming to encourage the British government to increase support of democracy in Hong Kong.
The protests, dubbed the “Umbrella Revolution” after protestors in China used umbrellas to protect themselves against police, were sparked by claims that the Chinese government is failing to honour their promise of universal suffrage to Hong Kong by 2017. The student-led protests have been deemed illegal by the Chinese government.
Keith Mak, a politics and sociology student from Hong Kong, said: “Personally I think it’s really unfair for them to have gone back on its promises. They have betrayed Hong Kong and its people.”
He added: “Hopefully our protest will also put more pressure on the Chinese government to back down and give the people democratic and free elections.”
Ben Bradshaw, Exeter MP, has backed the campaign. He said: I fully support the right of the people of Hong Kong to peacefully protest against the decision by the Chinese Government to go back on commitments made between China and Britain. To protest peacefully is as much their democratic right, as it is the right to vote freely, which they are campaigning for.
“I congratulate the students of Exeter University in their sign of solidarity with the people of Hong Kong, with their sit down rally.”
Laura-Jane Tiley, Online News Editor, and Edwin Yeung, Photographerbookmark me