A widespread series of demonstrations took place on Jan. 18 and 19, supporting a Hong Kong rally where people protested human rights abuses by the Chinese communist regime.
Rallies were held over the weekend in 23 cities in 12 countries, including the United States, Canada, and Australia.
The global-coordinated effort was aimed at calling on governments around the world to pass laws similar to the United States’ Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act.
The bill allows for sanctions, such as freezing the assets of Hong Kong and Chinese government officials who have violated human rights. They may also be denied entry to the region.
“What the Chinese are doing there with Tibet, with Uyghurs, with Hong Kong, that is not okay. I want to protest it,” said Mehmet Kizilkaya, a rally participant in Berlin.
“So many people going out on the streets, not giving up, it’s incredible! I admire them,” he added.
In New York, hundreds of people attended the rally in Manhattan.
Colin Smith was one of them. He said he thinks the pro-democracy protesters are gaining the advantage.
“I really respect the Hong Kong protesters and their resilience and their persistence. And I think that cracks are starting to show. And the Hong Kong protests keep going. And I think it’s just a matter of time before they get what they want,” he said.
Laura Sauriat, another rally participant, said: “I see that the people of Hong Kong are really looking to the United States to really stand with them. And they’re looking to the U.S. as a beacon for democracy.
“And I believe that we are still a beacon for democracy and I hope that Hong Kong will, you know, really be able to lean on Americans,” she added.
New Yorkers Supporting Hong Kong (NY4HK) rally organizer, Ken, said: “I want Hong Kong protesters to know that they are not alone. As long as they don’t give up we won’t give up.”
Crowds gathered in Washington to show solidarity with pro-democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong.
Mary Eliz said that the rallies represented something beyond the region of Hong Kong and that it was about incorporating other groups suppressed by the Chinese Communist Party.
“It’s great to see it expand and really become a referendum on not just Hong Kong specifically, which is very insular. It’s not uniting for all the people who CCP is oppressing, but now it is.
“And it’s nice to see that broad umbrella movement kind of work as an umbrella,” she added.
The full list of supporting rallies around the world includes Melbourne, Vancouver, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Tokyo, Seoul, and London.