Over 20 student localist concern groups are threatening to escalate action if the Hong Kong independence debate continues to be suppressed in schools. The groups did not specify the nature of the action, in a joint statement released on Tuesday.

student localist group press conference
Student localist concern groups coalition representatives at press conference.

At a press conference, representatives of the student coalition demanded the Education Bureau take back its statement related to the banning of the debate, and urged it to “set clear guidelines on how such discussions can be introduced appropriately.”

The statement also expresses “regret towards the various degree of suppression experienced” by students promoting Hong Kong independence in and around school. It urged schools to “stand on the same side as students, and to stop encroaching on students’ freedom to hand out flyers and accept interviews”.

“Further suppression will not silence us, but instead will lead to the rise of more localist concern groups among schools”, the paragraph concludes.

student localist group statement
Full text of the joint statement from student localist concern groups.

See also: No need for discussion of Hong Kong independence to be banned in schools – former Education Sec.

A student from T.W.G.Hs. Kap Yan Directors’ College, who was also a representative of the school’s localist concern group, was set to attend the press conference but was pressured into not doing so as teachers had repeatedly summoned him. They wanted “clarification as to what they were up to,” a student from Lee Shau Kee School Of Creativity who attended the media briefing told Ming Pao. She said that the student had been harassed by fellow students on Facebook.

The statement came after several cases of secondary school students being prevented from handing out material that promotes Hong Kong independence from China.

Stanley is a Media and Communications graduate from Goldsmiths College in London. He takes particular interest in visual journalism, having produced photographic and video work on a number of social and political issues. He has also interned at the current affairs service of RTHK’s TV division.