Youth in Southern California Support Students in Hong Kong

By Robin Kemker, Epoch Times
October 16, 2014 Updated: October 16, 2014

LOS ANGELES—According to an open letter from Canada and the United States supporting Hong Kong students in their fight for universal suffrage, college and university students in Hong Kong went on a general strike September 28.

“We, the undersigned pro-democracy and human rights organizations in Canada and the U.S., hereby declare our strong support to the students’ just and rightful cause. We also express our grave concern over the political situation in Hong Kong,” according to the open letter.

The students’ strike is part of the civil disobedience movement currently underway in the territory, in which Hong Kongers’ are fighting for universal suffrage, defending their legal system, and struggling to preserve the civil liberties that they have enjoyed for generations.

The Beijing government responded that the ultimate authority is the Communist Party of China (CCP). Hong Kong’s judicial system would be under this jurisdiction. This is a flagrant violation of China’s international commitment in the Sino-British Joint Declaration signed in 1984, which guaranteed Hong Kong a “high degree of autonomy” and the fundamental principle of “Hong Kong people to rule Hong Kong.”

In late June, nearly 800,000 citizens participated in a grass roots referendum organized by local community groups. Hong Kongers wanted universal suffrage—not the CCP selecting the people that the public could vote for during elections.

Monterey Park Protest

Los Angeles County has various enclaves of Chinese. One is the Alhambra/Monterey Park area. At the Monterey Park protest, longtime activist Ann Lau said, “I have been doing this for years—since the Tiananmen Massacre in 1989. These young people organized this event; I only coached them. This is their protest; I came to see it.” 

Despite being new to organizing and executing a protest, the youth in the Monterey Park and Alhambra area made their opinion stand out along Atlantic Boulevard.

Car horns supporting the protest could be heard as the protesters held banners along the boulevard and on the sidewalk at the mall near I–10.

Chinese Consulate Protest

Local Chinese activist James Zheng commented that there is great hope that the situation in Hong Kong will not devolve into a massacre. 

Zheng said, “We hope the protest in Hong Kong will become like the protests in other countries and cause a change for the better … that it will not be like the 1989 Tienanmen Square protests.” 

He was very encouraged that this action will cause China to engage the students in a more reasonable manner and look at other ways to foster a Hong Kong that can support freedom yet still be acceptable to the party.

Students and adults from Hong Kong, as well as several Mainland Chinese, spoke in defense of the students abroad and condemned the violence in Hong Kong.

“The CCP’s actions there are clearly not viewed as acceptable around the world,” said one speaker.

Many seasoned activists including Greg Autry and Lau were present, but both remained on the sidelines. Autry in a short conversation with the Epoch Times said, “I’m here to support them, not participating as an organizer today. This event belongs to these young people, and it’s great to see them stand up for those in Hong Kong.”

Nearly 100 people attended the Chinese consulate protest event.

The CCP is clearly in the limelight on an international stage. One individual said, “[The CCP’s] treatment of the students will remain in the collective memory of the world. This event will solidify the public’s view of the CCP’s real nature and its paranoia of every citizen within and beyond its own borders.” 

Several in the audience commented, “The CCP has no legitimacy to rule China or Hong Kong.”