A large number of Glasgow University students, who call themselves ‘United for Democracy,’ have been protesting outside Glasgow University library today, in support for the pro-democracy, ‘Occupy Central’ movement in Hong Kong.
‘United for Democracy: Global Solidarity with Hong Kong in Glasgow’ is seeking to raise awareness about the current events unfolding in the country, with regards to the country’s elections, among University students and in the wider Glasgow area.
The ‘Umbrella Revolution’ has arisen out of discontent with the Chinese government’s involvement in the 2017 elections in Hong Kong. This is after the Chinese government in Beijing last month ruled that the people of Hong Kong would be able to choose a leader from a group of candidates strictly limited by the government’s ‘nomination committee.’ There is fear among the pro-democracy camp that China will use this to block any potential ‘Chief Executives’ (the title given to the leader of Hong Kong) they do not agree with.
Terrence Lau, a second year politics student from Hong Kong, was one of the students who organised the rally. He described the rally as “a gesture of support for the Hong Kong protesters battling for democracy.”
He also thanked everyone who signed the petition, which will be sent to Hong Kong to show solidarity with the protesters and to urge the government to change the manner in which nominees are selected. This petition will join ones that are being created all over the world to draw attention to the situation of the people in Hong Kong.
Meanwhile, Clementine Chai, a politics and sociology student, spoke about another reason for attending the rally. She stated that the police in Hong Kong were violating human rights laws when dealing with the protesters. She said: “the use of 87 tear gas cannisters each day is horrible.” She continued on to say that she was standing in solidarity with the protesters suffering these ordeals as well as supporting their ideals.
The rally plans to move to George Square at 6pm to join the wider Glasgow initiative.