False: The Hong Kong University Students’ Union Building has not been demolished
A post on Weibo claimed on July 13 that the Hong Kong University Students’ Union (HKUSU) Building, which housed the student body’s office and other facilities, has been demolished, after the university said on the same day it will no longer recognize it as a student body.
The post, with three accompanying screenshots of news reports about HKUSU, has over 3,500 likes and 80 reposts.
However, the claim is false. The building has not been torn down. Annie Lab took photos of the building on July 15, two days after the claim was made.
The Weibo post contained three screenshots of news articles by a local media HK01 but none of the news stories mentioned knocking down the building.
The headline of the first article reads “Hong Kong University cleans up all promotional posters on the Democracy Wall in the HKUSU Building.” It was published on July 11.
The second and third screenshots are from the same article. The headline reads “Hong Kong University announced it no longer recognizes the HKUSU.” It was published on July 13, the same day the false claim was made on Weibo.
The HKUSU Council, the student body’s executive committee, sparked controversy when it issued a resolution that mourned for the death of a man who stabbed a police officer and killed himself afterward on July 1, the 24th anniversary of the city’s handover.
Critics say such a statement is “whitewashing violence” and encourages violent attacks. The Union later retracted the resolution, apologized to the public and announced all of the student leaders had resigned on July 9.
All posters and slogans on their “Democracy Wall” in and outside of the HKUSU Building were removed on July 11.
The University of Hong Kong said on July 13 that it would no longer recognize the Students’ Union as a registered association on campus, urging the group to move out before July 21.
No plan to demolish the building has been announced, meanwhile.