San Francisco Chinese Community Holds Rally and Parade Against Hong Kong's Article 23 Legislation (Photos)
(Clearwisdom.net) On June 28 at 1 p.m., more than 100 Chinese from mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and San Francisco Bay area gathered at Chinatown's Garden Corner Square to hold a rally to support the Hong Kong residents' July 1 parade against Article 23.
The rally was organized by the Global Coalition Against Article 23. More than 10 organizations attended the activities, including the U.S. Hong Kong Chinese Association, Hong Kong and Macao Association, China Democracy Education Foundation, San Francisco Falun Gong Association, Friends of Falun Gong North California Branch, 21st Century Democracy Education Foundation, UC Berkley's China Forum, Jinshan Freedom Forum, Global Coalition for Democracy and Freedom and the Chinese Students Association.
Representatives of organizations took the podium one after another to express their deep concern toward Hong Kong's future from different backgrounds, angles and viewpoints. The speakers included representatives of Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, San Francisco City council member Chris Daly, democratic leaders, scholars and professors, a reporter who had covered the Sino-Japanese war and an elderly lady who came to speak on her own initiative.
After the rally, Falun Gong practitioners and other rally participants held a parade to call for people of all circles to help safeguard Hong Kong's future. They held banners that read, "Oppose Article 23" "Safeguard Hong Kong's Freedom, Do Not Succumb to the Authoritarian Regime" and passed through the busy San Francisco Chinatown. Many people came out of the shops along the streets and watched the parade.
On the same day, organizations from San Francisco Bay Area issued a joint statement. The statement reads,
- The Hong Kong government's Article 23 legislation severely infringes upon Hong Kong's basic human rights such as freedoms of speech, association and belief, and uses ill-defined crimes such as "subversion", "treason", "leaking national secrets", and "instigation" to impose mainland Chinese styled political persecution upon Hong Kong's people and foreign citizens who stay in Hong Kong.
- Article 23 legislation would effectively put an end to the promises of "Hong Kong's 50 years of staying the same" and "One country two systems" that Deng Xiaoping made to world, and it would sabotage the foundation for Hong Kong's stability and prosperity.
- The fact that Hong Kong government and its appointed legislative council have ignored the people's wishes and pushed Article 23. They have seriously damaged Hong Kong's legal system and shaken the faith of overseas Chinese in Hong Kong's legal system.
- As most of Hong Kong's people expressed their deep concerns toward Article 23, the governments of democratic counties including the U.S., Britain, and Canada have expressed their deep concerns to the detrimental effects of Article 23. The U.S. Congress passed HR. 277 to express concern over Hong Kong's freedom after the Hong Kong government's handling of the Article 23 legislation on July 9. It is apparent that the Hong Kong government's main goal is to cater to the Chinese government's desire to suppress different voices, and the happiness of 6 million Hong Kong residents is of little importance.
- The damage to Hong Kong's freedom, human rights and legal system will also have detrimental effects on China's growth in the future.
We call upon the Hong Kong government to stop the Article 23 legislation immediately and the international community to do its best to stop Article 23.
Bay area's KTSF, Xingdao Radio, RFA and other media agencies did onsite reports and interviews.