Thousands of people have rallied in Sydney, Taipei, and Tokyo on Sunday (29 Sep) to show their support for pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong, kicking off a day of planned “anti-totalitarianism” demonstrations globally.
The “anti-totalitarianism” rallies were part of a global day of action in support of the Hong Kong protests, planned in more than 50 cities worldwide.
The demonstrations got underway in Australia’s Sydney, with more than 1,000 black-clad protesters taking to the streets, chanting “fight for freedom” and “stand with Hong Kong”.
There were also protesters fervently chanting “add oil”, a protest slogan signifying encouragement.
Bill Lam, a 25-year-old student from Hong Kong who moved to Sydney two months ago, told AFP that protesters back in Hong Kong had become “very desperate” and simply wanted authorities to respect “their basic human rights”.
“I came here but I want to support them from Australia,” he said. “I feel so sad every night because I watch the live video (from Hong Kong) on Facebook and some social media.”
Similarly, Frankie Lo, 47, noted that he had lived in Australia for years, but continued to care deeply about the situation back home.
“We still believe in one country, two systems but they just have to follow the basic law. It’s not about independence,” he said.
Additionally, in other major cities such as Melbourne and Brisbane, a handful of protesters held signs and placards that read “Save Hong Kong” and “Stop tyranny”, while many others were bearing yellow umbrellas and handing out paper cranes.
According to a video uploaded by Twitter user Tim Lam, protesters at the Melbourne rally even sang “Glory to Hong Kong”, the anthem of protesters in Hong Kong.
— Tim Lam (@timlam_) September 29, 2019
In Taipei, about 2,000 people gathered outside the parliament under torrential downpours. Many of them were dressed in black.
One of the protesters, Pan Hou-hsun, who mentioned he was in his forties, hinted how he sees Taiwan and Hong Kong’s fates as linked because both places are in distress due to the growing assertiveness of authoritarian China.
“To protect a democratic and independent Taiwan, we are standing behind Hong Kong,” he told AFP.
Not forgetting, in Japan, nearly 400 people from Hong Kong gathered at a park in central Tokyo in solidarity with those who are facing the actual battle back home.
As reported by NHK, Japan’s national broadcasting organization, the protesters were dressed in black with many hiding their faces with masks, before marching to the Hong Kong government’s office in the Japanese capital.
They held up placards saying “We are absolutely against police violence,” and chanted, “Fight for Hong Kong’s freedom.”
No permit granted for any assemblies in Singapore
Meanwhile, in Singapore, it is reported that no permits will be granted for any assemblies in conjunction with Global Anti-Totalitarianism Day.
According to a spokesperson from the Singapore Police Force (SPF), “The police will not grant any permit for assemblies that advocate the political causes of other countries.”
“Foreigners visiting or living in Singapore have to abide by our laws. Action will be taken against those who break the law. This may include termination of visa or work passes,” the spokesperson added.
“At the Speakers’ Corner, only Singapore citizens and permanent residents are allowed to participate in assemblies without a permit, subject to the conditions in the Speakers’ Corner rules.”