Anti-Article 23 March Draws 500,000, World Attention Focuses on Hong Kong (Photo)
(Clearwisdom.net) The July 1 Grand March Against Article 23 that was sponsored by more than 40 organizations drew close to 500,000 Hong Kong residents. It was the largest march in Hong Kong since the June 4 Democratic Movement Protests in Tiananmen Square.
Although the Beijing and Hong Kong governments could ignore 500,000 people, international media paid special attention to the voices of the half million Hong Kong people participating in the July 1 March. Major western news agencies continuously carried the coverage of the Hong Kong march yesterday, while the US Wall Street Journal's editorial directly pointed out that Hong Kong's government ignored the will of the Hong Kong people.
Media Show Great Concern
The Wall Street Journal published an editorial on July 1 pointing out that there was a typical danger of Chinese leaders regarding Hong Kong's democracy as a potential element in causing instability in other areas of China. Yet, we underestimated another danger: the Hong Kong government will try to prove their commitment to Beijing at the cost of citizens' rights and interests.
The New York Timessaid in a report on the same day that hundreds of thousands of Hong Kong residents took to the streets today, many of them wore black and joined in the biggest protest march since the Tiananmen Massacre in 1989 to mourn the demise of rights and freedoms in Hong Kong.
Many Western media organizations, including Reuters, AP, AFP, and DPA continuously reported the Hong Kong Grand March with photos yesterday. AP described the protesters as "angry and worried Hong Kongers;" Reuters stated, "Marchers came from all walks of life with businessmen, retirees and young couples pushing baby carriages marching alongside veteran pro-democracy supporters."
CNN and BBC also constantly updated the news coverage on the march. CNN cited Deputy President of American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, Mr. Lucille Barale who said, "We believe that good business decisions depend on good information, so anything impacting free flow of information is not good."
European News TV Station reported, the anti-subversion bill stipulated that all actions of treason, subversion, sedition and theft of state secrets would be severely punished. Opposition groups believed that the law would allow Beijing to use armed forces to suppress any action of political opposition in Hong Kong. This tarnishes the "Oriental Pearl " in the former UK rule because of China's intensive strangulation
French World Daily pointed out that Hong Kong people's protest march is the biggest one over the past six years. At the sixth anniversary of Hong Kong's return to China, protesters held a banner stating, "People's strength," to express that the legislation bill threatens Hong Kong's freedom. French State-run News TV Station said that sponsor groups of the protest march claimed that the number of protesters amounts to 500,000, and it is the largest protest march ever since in Hong Kong, and many Western countries express their great concerns.
Chinese Community around the world Support Hong Kong people
To support Hong Kong July 1 grand march, people around the world initiated against Article 23 legislation rallies and parade including San Francisco, Los Angeles, London, Toronto, Ottawa, Australia, New Zealand and Sweden.
Global Coalition Against Article 23 Legislation sponsored public rally in Washington DC on June 28. Organizations around the world also held various support activities. Demonstrators in front of Chinese embassy in Australia unfurled banner "Evil Law brings disaster to Hong Kong, It won't be tolerated in heaven and the earth." The Global Coalition Canada Branch held a march in Chinatown, emphasizing "Safeguarding Hong Kong's freedom is to safeguard our conscience." Recent days the signatures collected on the Internet increased sharply, over 10,000 signed their name to support against Article 23.
Over 50 organizations in US and Canada issued joint statement against Article 23. It reflected many overseas people concern Hong Kong's future and want to safeguard Hong Kong people's basic human rights and maintain the principle of "the rights belong to the people"
Responses of Different Countries
Talking about hundreds of thousands of Hong Kong people protesting on street, spokesperson of US State Department said at the daily briefing that Hong Kong people should treat the legislation carefully.
US White House had issued statement expressing its concerns on Hong Kong government's Article 23 legislation. US House of Representatives passed a resolution against Article 23 with 426 : 1 vote urging the Chinese government and Hong Kong government to take back the Article 23 legislation.
According to BBC report on June 30, deputy minister of Foreign Affair issued statement that Hong Kong government's Article 23 legislation blurred the dividing line of Mainland China and Hong Kong' laws.
Deputy Minister also stated that part of the Article 23 legislations violated the "One Country Two Systems" promise China made in the Sino-Britain Joint Declaration.
According to a World Journal report, many countries' consulates in Hong Kong also expressed deep concerns in regards to Article 23. The legislation if passed will greatly shake the foundation of Hong Kong as a world financial center.
Over 10 countries' consulate officials met with Hong Kong nongovernmental organizations that initiated the July 1 march to understand the problems in the Article 23 legislation.