Solidarity with Hong Kong education unionists’ protest actions
Education International firmly supported its affiliates in Hong Kong and Taiwan protesting against the legislative change which would facilitate extradition to mainland China.
The Hong Kong Professional Teachers’ Union (PTU), joined by the National Teachers’ Association of Taiwan (NTA), demanded the withdrawal of the Fugitive Offenders and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation (Amendment) Bill 2019 proposed by the Hong Kong authorities.
More than one million protesters took to the streets on 9 June, and two million on 16 June, to demand that the government withdraw the bill which would allow virtually anyone to be picked up and detained in mainland China. As the NTA President Hsu-Cheng Chang put it: “It is feared that the new law would target not just criminals but political and human rights activists as well, which will eventually lead to the erosion of civil liberties in Hong Kong.”
The Hong Kong Professional Teachers’ Union launched class boycotts across Hong Kong starting 12 June. Teachers were invited to explain the significance of the anti-extradition protests while ensuring the safety of their students. PTU criticised the government for pushing forward the legal amendments by all means. The union also denounced Hong Kong police using tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse protesters. Many students and a teacher were injured during the clashes.
PTU demanded an independent investigation on the police’s use of force on 12 June and that protesters not be prosecuted.