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Hong Kong City: As Hong Kong city witnessed another weekend of anti-Chinese government protests, school students on Monday joined the agitation, media reports said.
According to media reports, despite heavy rainfall, more than 1,000 secondary students joined a rally in the heart of the city.
"I can skip homework for today, but if I lose Hong Kong what's left for me?" Pearl Wong, 16, who arrived with four other classmates after a half-day of lessons, was quoted as saying by Aljazeera.
"That's why it's important for me to come out to voice my support for democracy," Wong said.
The students were seen wearing surgical masks to prevent themselves from getting identified, reports said.
On the stage, a black banner in Chinese summed up their rallying cry: 'Without a future, why bother go to school?', reported Aljazeera.
"Hong Kong is still free, but if I don't stand up for my freedoms now I might regret it someday," Thomas Tsang, 15, was quoted as saying by the news channel. "Then it'd be too late."
BBC reported that organisers are saying that 10,000 pupils from 200 secondary schools did not turn up for the first day for the new school year.
Hong Kong is now entering the 14 successive weeks of demonstration.
The latest round of protests is taking place just days after Hong Kong police arrested several pro-democracy activists and lawmakers in China's special administrative region.
Hong Kong has been witnessing protests since June over a controversial extradition bill.
The bill has now been suspended.
The anti-government rallies are still taking place in the city for the past few weeks as they have now evolved into a broader pro-democracy movement demanding democratic reform and an investigation into alleged police brutality.
Protests have also taken place at the Hong Kong International Airport and other tourist spots in the city.
The protests are a big challenge to Chinese President Xi Jinping who assumed power seven years ago.
The protesters say they are fighting to preserve the “one country, two systems” arrangement and a promise of freedom under which Hong Kong was returned to China as a specially administered region by the British in 1997.
The bill would have allowed criminal suspects to be sent to mainland China for trial if it would have been passed.
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