1000’s of exiled Hongkongers and allies marked the third anniversary of the 2019 Hong Kong protest motion in cities around the globe on the weekend, with a big crowd gathering on Parliament Sq. in London to mark the primary anniversary of mass public protests on June 12, 2019.
Some 4,000 protesters gathered in London gathered at Marble Arch, marching to Parliament Sq. to chant slogans together with “Free Hong Kong! Revolution now!”, which has been banned beneath a draconian nationwide safety legislation in Hong Kong.
Exiled former pro-democracy lawmaker Nathan Regulation mentioned folks’s targets weren’t all the identical, however that Hongkongers in exile would nonetheless work collectively.
“Some folks need an armed revolution, the liberation of Hong Kong, and independence for Hong Kong,” Regulation mentioned. “We’ve got additionally heard how we’d use tradition to alter a society.”
“We think about totally different paths to achieve the aim, however all of us share the identical values,” he mentioned. “We’re various, we do not have just one voice, and we do not have just one option to categorical what we wish.”
“This variety could be complementary, and coexist with none of us being subordinate to one another or telling one another what to do, however with the neighborhood responding to everybody when wanted,” he mentioned.
In Liverpool, drone footage confirmed a line of dozens of individuals alongside a busy purchasing avenue, dressed within the black of the 2019 protest motion, and carrying the yellow umbrellas of the democracy motion.
On the London rally, contributors have been requested to recollect the ten,277 folks arrested and the two,800 prosecuted beneath the nationwide safety legislation, which was imposed on town by the ruling Chinese language Communist Celebration (CCP) from July 1, 2020, ushering in an ongoing crackdown on peaceable political opposition and public dissent.
The rally marked the mass protest that blockaded Hong Kong’s Legislative Council (LegCo) on June 12, stopping lawmakers from entering into the chamber to move a vastly unpopular authorized modification that might have allowed the extradition of alleged legal suspects to mainland China.
The protest was the primary of many to be quelled that 12 months by widespread police violence that noticed the firing of tear gasoline and rubber bullets on an unarmed and peaceable crowd, a lot of whom have been unable to flee, in addition to mass arrests and bodily beatings of principally younger folks.
A younger man who was there on the time, and who now lives within the U.Ok., mentioned he nonetheless has vivid recollections of the day.
“Once I obtained there, all I might scent was the cruel and pungent scent of tear gasoline,” the person, who gave solely the nickname Karson, advised RFA on the London rally. “The folks have been surrounded by [police firing] tear gasoline, and there was no approach for us to depart.”
“I keep in mind the police saying on the time that they wished the group to disperse, however additionally they tear gassed protests that had [police approval], and … prevented folks from leaving,” he mentioned. “That type of motion in a crowded place induced folks to trample one another.”
Karson, who’s within the tough means of making use of for political asylum, mentioned others should not be discouraged, as there are organizations set as much as assist asylum-seekers from Hong Kong.
A Hongkonger who arrived within the U.Ok. together with his household over a 12 months in the past, who gave solely the surname Chan, was additionally in Parliament Sq., becoming a member of in with a mass rendition of the Les Miserables hit “Do You Hear The Folks Sing?”, which was usually sung throughout the 2019 protests.
Chan mentioned his household had agreed the evening earlier than that they need to all attend to help Hong Kong, now that they reside abroad.
“I need to inform our brothers and sisters in Hong Kong prisons that we have now not forgotten you or given up on you,” Chan advised RFA. “We’re nonetheless very anxious about you and care about you, and hope you might be protected and effectively.”
Mrs Chan mentioned she is eager to not neglect the protest motion, and the next crackdown imposed by Beijing.
“I felt that I wanted to maintain the momentum going, in order that I do not neglect what occurred,” she mentioned. “This is not over, and I need to see it by means of.”
The Chans’ 11-year-old daughter Kimmy mentioned she is within the means of explaining to her classmates what has befallen Hong Kong lately.
“I’ll inform them the story of the Hong Kong folks, from the Umbrella Revolution [of 2014] to the current and attempt to take the struggle to the worldwide entrance,” Kimmy mentioned. “Possibly, if extra folks learn about it, Hong Kong could be restored [to the way it was], I hope.”
Communicate up when being bullied
An older lady, additionally surnamed Chan, mentioned she had come to the rally after residing within the U.Ok. for many years.
“I believe it is crucial to ship on one’s guarantees and never simply to speak massive,” she mentioned. “As you may see from my slogan, we simply need to get again what we deserve: it is that easy.”
“I believe if persons are bullying you, and you might be sad about it, it’s a must to converse up.”
Comparable rallies have been held throughout the U.Ok. on Sunday, together with Liverpool, Manchester and Nottingham.
Manchester police took away a person in a pink shirt who began enjoying the Chinese language nationwide anthem throughout the rally within the metropolis.
Hongkongers and their supporters additionally rallied on the democratic island of Taiwan.
Some 700 folks set off from Elephant Park in Taipei, a lot of them carrying black clothes and shouting 2019 protest slogans, in addition to slogans calling on the authorities to defend Taiwan towards CCP infiltration and aggression.
“There’s nothing that individuals in Hong Kong can do proper now [because of the national security crackdown], so we who’re abroad ought to do a bit extra,” a protester surnamed Chan advised RFA. “It is necessary to maintain these recollections going now that we’re in a spot of relative security.”
One other protester surnamed Chow mentioned he had come alongside together with his spouse and two-year-old daughter.
“We wished her to expertise this … if there are demonstrations, we are going to do our greatest to be there,” Chow mentioned. “You may’t tamper with historical past, or the reality.”
“Those that have the chance should train this treasured freedom of speech … in order that every thing that Hongkongers have sacrificed will not be forgotten,” he mentioned.
Sang Pu, who heads the Taiwan Hong Kong Affiliation, mentioned such protests are necessary to maintain up morale in exile, and that democratic Taiwan was supportive of them.
Translated and edited by Luisetta Mudie.