These students (and graduates) are responsible, audacious and conscientious young people. In ordinary university days they are eager to learn and think, they are friendly and gentle. Yet facing the political and governance crisis in Hong Kong today, they have chosen to leave the tranquility of campus life, risk their future and commit to walk the frontline in society to take up civil disobedience for justice. The driving force is certainly not self-interest, but about Hong Kong people's value and vision. As their teachers, we regret that we have not been able to give them a more equitable, democratic and just social environment to focus on their studies. At the same time, we are very proud that our university has nurtured these students who defy self-interest and fear.
As educators, we believe that arresting and prosecuting these students and other peaceful demonstrators will in no way help maintain Hong Kong's stability and prosperity. Instead, this will only undermine the nurturing of our younger generation's social responsibility, audacity and commitment. We believe, and people who truly care about the future of Hong Kong and our next generation will agree, that this is the last thing we want to see happen.
We all should support and defend our young people who speak up for social justice in a peaceful manner. Therefore, we demand the Hong Kong SAR government to:
1. drop any prosecution of the demonstrators arrested on July 2 in Central, and stop wasting unnecessarily massive police force to suppress young students who care and take up responsibility for society;
2. take the people's wish seriously and persuade the central government to accept genuine universal suffrage in 2017 according to international standards.
Department of Cultural Studies, Lingnan University