A graduation ceremony at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) was brought to a halt on Thursday as graduates marched in support of anti-government protesters whose rallies have rocked the city for nearly six months.
University students have been at the forefront of Hong Kong’s protests movement since it began in June over a now-revoked extradition bill that would have allowed residents to be tried in mainland China.
Tensions erupted between students from Hong Kong and mainland China at CUHK’s graduation ceremony when students sang the protest anthem “Glory to Hong Kong” instead of the Chinese National Anthem as directed.
One mainland student wielded a knife while he sang the Chinese anthem, saying that he did so because he felt “threatened” by other students, according to a report from RTHK news site.
A group of journalism students made reference to alleged maltreatment and obstruction of the press during the protests by holding a sign that read, “We are not afraid of their gun, but they are afraid of our camera!”
Bouts of protests broke out at other university graduation ceremonies, including at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.
Students at Hong Kong University held photographs of a peer who was severely injured after falling from a building following police dispersal of a protest on Sunday.
In October, Hong Kong’s largest police group criticised CUHK for publishing student protesters’ accounts of excessive use of force by police.
One of the five demands of the movement, an independent inquiry into police violence, has emerged as a prominent concern of protesters.