Students at the Pui Ching Middle School held a silent protest during a visit by Elsie Leung Oi-sie, the former secretary of justice, on Tuesday.

They wanted to tell Leung that “there were young Hongkongers who are angry and hurt about the [Basic Law] interpretation,” Pui Ching students later said, posting on the Facebook page Pui Ching Secrets as “several [Pui Ching] children.”

Leung was speaking at the school during the opening of a cultural relics exhibition.

Pui Ching students protesting against Elsie Leung. Photo: Pui Ching Secrets via Facebook.

Leung is the vice-chairperson of the Basic Law Committee, which Beijing consulted before handing down an interpretation of the Basic Law on Monday. Its interpretation said that oaths must be taken “accurately, completely and solemnly.” Prior to the interpretation, Youngspiration lawmakers Baggio Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching were embroiled in controversy after taking their oaths with the flag “Hong Kong is not China,” and calling China “Chee-na,” a derogatory term for some.

The students held signs which said “Against the National People’s Congress interpretation.” They said that they learned about Leung’s scheduled appearance while on the way to school, and “apart from disagreeing extremely with the organiser’s choice, we decided that we needed to protest against this pro-Beijing figure who held [some] responsibility for this interpretation.”

Elsie Leung. File Photo: Stand News.

The Pui Ching students said they notified teachers that they wanted to silently protest without interference, and nobody took follow-up action on them afterwards. “We have decided that we will not concede, and will determinedly resist [the presence of] the claws of the Chinese Communist Party at our beloved Pui Ching again,” they said in the post.

Chantal Yuen

Chantal Yuen is a Hong Kong journalist interested in issues dealing with religion and immigration. She majored in German and minored in Middle Eastern studies at Princeton University.