Despite arrest of 3 volunteers, Hong Kong activists plan to go ahead with vote on striking over security law

Hong Kong, June 14 (ANI): With Beijing pushing ahead with its controversial national security law, Hong Kong activists have vowed to press ahead on organising an unofficial referendum on whether to carry out class boycotts in tandem with general strikes over it despite the arrest of three volunteers, reported South China Morning Post.

The controversial legislation has sparked fears about the autonomy of Hong Kong with many saying the move will undermine the "one country, two systems" principle.

The vote which was earlier planned for this Sunday has been postponed until June 20. It is being co-organised by the Hong Kong Secondary School Action Platform, the Demosisto, the political party of activist Joshua Wong and more than 20 labour unions linked to the anti-government movement, according to South China Morning Post.

A spokesperson for Hong Kong Secondary School Action Platform said that organisers would not be afraid and hold together.

The three volunteers of the platform were setting up booths to promote the referendum when the police arrested them, according to Isaac Cheng Ka-long. He said that one female volunteer was injured in the operation.

"I think everyone will be a target on when we are holding this referendum, but we will not be afraid and we will hold together. We urge secondary students and adults to act and join the referendum (next) Saturday," Cheng was quoted as saying.

He confirmed that the three volunteers were arrested on Friday night.

The platform said that it is obvious that police action was to cooperate with threatening statements from Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office (HKMAO) and the liaison office as to stop "us from promoting the referendum and further strike actions".

"We believe this vote is now beyond taking part a strike or not, but a key gesture to safeguard our (freedoms in) campus," it added.

China has faced criticism over the national security law which is being dubbed in conflict with the Sino-British joint declaration.

The agreement 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.

The main body of the treaty has eight articles and three annexes and it states that China's basic policies regarding Hong Kong "will remain unchanged for 50 years", including the promise that the city would retain a high degree of autonomy. (ANI)