HKUers gathered to defend academic freedom

Originally published at shenzhefan.wordpress.com on October 10, 2015.

Over 1500 students, staff, alumni and social groups members participated in a HKU assembly protesting against political interference and demanding academic freedom at Sun Yat-Sen Place on HKU campus, 9th October.

“Don’t mess with us.” They voiced.

Participants in black flocked into the assembly, mainly HKU students.

The event, organised by HKU Student Union, HKU Academic Staff Association, HKU Alumni Concern Group and 18 Progressive Professional Groups, was a follow-up action after Tuesday’s silent march. Both events, with participants in black, were considered to protest against the HKU Council’s decision in late September that Prof.Johannes Chan would not be appointed the deputy head of HKU as he had no PhD degree. Besides, he was believed to played an active role in the Occupy Central movement last year, which enlarged the controversy and raised public’s concerns for political interference with academic freedom.

Banners with “Condemn political interference, Defend university autonomy” written.

According to HKFP, after the Tuesday’s march, academic staff from across the city’s universities and higher education institutions launched a new group called the Scholars’ Alliance for Academic Freedom (SAAF) on Thursday, to pay close attention to academic freedoms in Hong Kong and examine any violations.

The assembly started from 6 p.m. and ended at 9 p.m., during which nearly twenty guests including HKU professors, HKU alumni, High Court Judge and HKU Student Union members making speeches and conducting discussions on academic freedom in HKU & Hong Kong.

HKU alumni Magaret Ng, Kevin C.T. Lau and Patrick Tsang discussing about the crisis and the reformation of HKU Council.

Dr. Albert T.YEUNG, associate professor at Geotechnical Engineering, annouced that an opinion poll on campus would be held in late October, when an universal suffrage among students would also be held, said Billy Fung, the president of HKU Student Union.

Billy Fung, the president of HKU Student Union, announced that an universal suffrage among students would be held at the end of October.

Stay turned for more later.

Participants raising their fists to say no to political interference.
Staff, alumni, students, and progressive professional groups are now union.
“Defending HKU” sticker
Albert Leung, a famous songwriter, also showed up and made a speech.
Host introducing guests.
HKU Student Union members making speech.
An participant wearing a T-shirt with “Reject Fake Suffrage” written on it.
A student wearing a T-shirt with “Our struggle will not be in vain” written on it.
Participants taking a group photo after the assembly ended.
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