Thousands of alumni and students across Hong Kong raised their voices to a citywide protest on Friday, as demonstrators called on the government to meet all their demands and not just withdraw the now suspended extradition bill.
They formed human chains outside schools in Kowloon Tong, Tai Po and on Hong Kong Island, and asked other students to join them to put pressure on Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s administration, the South China Morning Post reported.
The demonstrators, most of whom were alumni, chanted school anthems and popular anti-government cheers, such as “there are no rioters, only a tyrannical regime”, and “Hongkongers, add oil”.
Some students in school uniforms also joined the effort to form a human chain.
The rally extended about 700 metres along the narrow, tree-lined pavement around two blocks, situated in an otherwise quiet middle-class neighbourhood with low-rise residential buildings.
On Wednesday, Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam has formally withdrawn a controversial China extradition bill which sparked for 13 weeks of mass protests that had frequently turned violent.
Earlier this year, after large demonstrations in the Chinese- controlled territory, Lam had suspended the contentious extradition bill in June but did not withdraw it.
The Hong Kong chief now has formally withdrawn the proposed law. The move meets one of five demands made by the protestors.
Other demands include an independent investigation of reports that some police officers brutally attacked demonstrators. Another is for Hong Kongers to have more freedom when choosing their own leaders.
On the day Lam announced the bill’s withdrawal, Hong Kong’s leading measure of stock prices rose nearly four per cent — possibly a good sign from the business community.
For the last three months, both Lam and Beijing refused to make any concessions to the protesters beyond agreeing to suspend the bill, a move that fell far short of demands that it be permanently shelved.
Earlier on Tuesday, Lam had rejected suggestions that China was stopping her from stepping down from her post, saying it was her choice to stay as she wanted to solve the city’s ongoing problems.