Hundreds rally for Hong Kong and democracy

1 week ago

Hundreds of people rallied in downtown Taipei yesterday, calling on people to unite to safeguard democracy and freedom, while condemning China’s crackdown on Hong Kong and marking the fifth anniversary of the start of the territory’s mass democracy protests in 2019.

More than 600 people participated in the event, said event organizers, which included the Hong Kong Outlanders, the New School for Democracy and the Taiwan Hong Kong Association.

Participants first observed a minute’s silence to recognize those who have been imprisoned for leading Hong Kong’s democracy movement and other protests, before marching from Liberty Square to Nishi Honganji Temple (西本願寺).

Photo: I-Hwa Cheng, AFP

The event ended with participants singing Do You Hear the People Sing and Glory to Hong Kong, which is banned in the territory.

Many people held placards reading: “Fight for Democracy” and “HK and Taiwan Stand Together,” while others carried a flag reading: “Liberate Hong Kong, Revolution of Our Times,” a slogan that was used by democracy advocates in Hong Kong.

Four people carried a giant banner, displaying the faces of 47 imprisoned democracy advocates from Hong Kong. Protesters were calling for their release.

“People yearning for freedom must stand up and fight against repression. Taking action is the only way there can be hope for the future,” Taiwan Hong Kong Association director Sang Pu (桑普) said.

Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Hung Sun-han (洪申翰) also attended the rally.

“In Taiwan, we have freedom of expression, and the freedom to exercise political rights, so we have a responsibility to speak up for those who are being oppressed by the Chinese regime,” he said. “We all hope that China’s ... authoritarian rule will be dismantled.”

Taiwanese human rights activist Lee Ming-che (李明哲), who was imprisoned in China for five years, said that Hong Kong’s struggles over the past few years were quite similar to Taiwan’s democracy movement, which fought against authoritarian rule for many decades.

“Too many Taiwanese have forgotten that we enjoy freedom and democracy right now, but this came after much suffering and the efforts of many who sacrificed their lives,” Lee said.

“Now we see the struggles facing activists in Hong Kong. People must understand that they must fight for freedom and democracy. If people do not, then that freedom and democracy could be lost at any moment,” Lee said.

Some members of the Human Rights Network for Tibet and Taiwan wrapped themselves in the Tibetan flag and called for closer cooperation between the peoples of Taiwan, Hong Kong and Tibet.

Additional reporting by CNA

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