Hong Kong, June 20 (ANI): As China sets to impose its national security law in Hong Kong despite several protests and worldwide condemnation, students and labour unions here have started an unofficial referendum among members on whether to stage a walkout.
According to local media, 20 polling stations alone had opened at 10 am and voters were seen trickling into the main station in Tsz Wan Shan. Over a dozen such polling booths have been opened across the city.
The referendum has been organised by a group of 30 labour unions across more than 20 industries and a student platform. They were quoted as saying that they aim to secure a two-thirds majority to carry motions, including the industrial strike and class boycott.
"Our action will prove that we are not puppets... We are Hong Kong citizens," Demosisto activist Isaac Cheng, who represents organiser the Secondary School Student Preparatory Platform for Action, was quoted as saying.
"The current referendum may be the last chance we can mobilise people to express themselves," he added.
Since last year, the city has been grappling with protests against China. The demonstrations were triggered by extradition law. Fresh protests began after China's parliament passed last month the proposal to impose a new national security law in Hong Kong.
In a joint statement, the US, UK, Canada and Australia had expressed their "deep concern" over the move stating that it would undermine the "one country, two systems" framework and "lies in direct conflict with its international obligations under the principles of the legally-binding UN-registered Sino-British Joint Declaration," and it would "undermine the One Country, Two Systems framework."
The legislation has sparked fears that it would eventually leading to erosion of Hong Kong's autonomy as stated under the Sino-British joint declaration of 1997.
The Sino-British joint declaration on the question of Hong Kong was signed in Beijing on December 19, 1984, by the Prime Ministers of China and Britain, Zhao Ziyang and Margaret Thatcher. The two governments agreed that China would reassume control of Hong Kong from July 1, 1997. (ANI)