Launching a new wave in the fight for \u0022true democracy,\u0022 thousands of Hong Kong university students kicked off a week-long boycott of classes on Monday with a mass sit-in and rally protesting what they say is the further colonization of the city by the country\u0026#039;s elites.\u0022How can a few people decide Hong Kong\u0026#039;s future? Why not seven million of Hong Kong\u0026#039;s people?\u0022 Alex Chow, the general secretary of the Hong Kong Federation of Students, said before the crowd. On August 31, the Beijing government ruled that for Hong Kong\u0026#039;s 2017 election—the first in which the region\u0026#039;s chief executive will be elected by voters—candidates must be approved by a mostly pro-establishment nominating committee.According to reporters, students from over 20 universities across Hong Kong converged on the campus of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, where they were greeted by a banners that read: \u0022The boycott must happen. Disobey and grasp your destiny.\u0022\u0022Resist colonial [rule], say no to screening! Self-determination for Hong Kongers!\u0022 the crowd chanted, reported the South China Morning Post.According to the SCMP, student leader Lester Shum told the crowd that the youth boycott would usher in a new wave in civil disobedience against what he said was the \u0022colonization\u0022 of Hong Kong by Beijing.\u0022In the colonial days, the British ruled Hong Kong as if they were a group of refugees and obedient subjects,\u0022 Shum said. \u0022On August 31, [Beijing\u0026#039;s] decision would allow the central government and [tycoons] to continue to manipulate the election. Isn\u0026#039;t that applying the colonial [approach] to Hong Kong?\u0022Organizers estimate that 13,000 people took part in the rally and hundreds of university staff are also supporting the student-led week of protest, signing a petition pledging their \u0022staunchest support and protection\u0022.The students, who on Monday wore mostly white and donned yellow ribbons, are joining a movement that for months has been calling for a more open electoral process. Their boycott comes less than one week after thousands of activists staged a silent march through the business district of Hong Kong.\u0026nbsp;On Tuesday, the protest will move to Tamar Park, next to government headquarters, where a number of scholars backing the campaign are expected to deliver lectures on topics ranging from democracy to cultural studies.The actions are a prelude to a larger protest on October 1, which is being organized by the group Occupy Central—an Occupy Wall Street offshoot which is named after Hong Kong\u0026#039;s Central business district.The protest can be followed on Twitter under the hashtag #hkclassboycott.