HK protesters disrupt MTR services, school students boycott classes
HONG KONG (Agencies) – Anti-government protesters in Hong Kong turned up at several MTR stations during morning rush on Monday blocking carriage doors from closing with umbrellas in a demonstration that disrupts transportation in the city.
South China Morning Post reported that thousands of defiant school students were expected to cut classes on the first day of term on Monday and head to downtown Hong Kong for a rally against the government’s now-shelved extradition bill.
It said in Chai Wan, students from three secondary schools got an early start, forming a human chain from around 7am, although that was briefly interrupted by a heavy downpour some 15 minutes later.
Organisers have estimated as many as 10,000 secondary students from close to 200 schools would boycott classes, with half of them expected to show up at the rally in Edinburgh Place, which was expected to start at 10.30am until 5pm.
The school boycott, co-organised by localist party Demosisto, is part of a broader anti-government campaign triggered by the bill, which would have allowed the transfer of fugitives to jurisdictions with which Hong Kong lacks an extradition deal, including mainland China.
Meanwhile, riot police began patrolling key subway stations early in the morning ahead of the protest and made at least one arrest which happened at the Lok Fu Station in the Wong Tai Sin district along the Kwun Tong Line, the HK01 news site reported.
Hong Kong braced for more disruption on Monday, with calls for a strike and university students threatening a boycott of classes after a weekend featuring some of the worst violence in three months of anti-government protests.
The financial hub has been thrown into chaos by a largely leaderless movement that has drawn millions onto the streets to protest against what they see as an erosion of freedoms and increasing interference in their affairs by Beijing.