Hong Kong schools and universities shut amid safety fears

Agency, 12 November : Some schools and universities in Hong Kong remain closed on Tuesday over safety fears as protesters called for a day of traffic disruptions.

Many of the territory’s train lines are suspended or delayed as police search passengers and long queues form at stations. Riot police entered several universities early on Tuesday, firing tear gas in one to disperse students.

On Monday, Hong Kong saw a marked escalation of violence. One activist was shot with a live bullet by police while another man was set on fire by anti-government protesters. Both are in critical condition in hospital.

Dozens of local and international schools across Hong Kong said they would be closed on Tuesday with some telling parents on text message it was due to safety concerns given the ongoing protests.

The city’s English Schools Foundation said that “due to our concern for the safety of our students and staff, all ESF classes are suspended today. Students should not travel to school”.

A local primary school said it would close because of “the serious conflict in the school’s district” and warned the school might be impacted by teargas.

Speaking on Tuesday morning, the city Chief Executive Carrie Lam said despite the unrest, there would be no blanket suspension of all schools.

Police fired tear gas at City University early on Tuesday and a standoff between students and riot police continued throughout the morning. Students at Hong Kong Polytechnic also tried to disrupt traffic near their campus.

In the morning, suspended railway services and road closures had already led to long traffic jams in the early rush hour. Most of the city’s workforce depends on public transport for their daily commute.


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