Most Americans are gathered with their families today celebrating Thanksgiving.
And while we have a lot of challenges, we have the great fortune of being Americans, with a Constitution and a rule of law that protects our basic freedoms.
We have legitimate concerns about the erosions of our freedoms.
But imagine if you had that freedom, and then found it being snatched away from you.
That’s where Hong Kong is right now.
From a society which was on many levels enviable, prior to the Chinese takeover, to now, where middle school students can be taken away in handcuffs for standing in the wrong place.
Arbitrary arrest again after the district election, and tonight they arrested school boys! Please pass the #HKHRDA and #MagnitskyAct now! #SOSHK #PoliceBrutality @TheSun @benedictrogers @lukedepulford @SolomonYue @HawleyMO pic.twitter.com/MdglV7AUXs
— MrC pnow 🇬🇧 (@MrC_pnow) November 27, 2019
Where you can be arrested for singing a song about Hong Kong that the Chinese government-controlled police don’t like. The raw courage of this young man is something.
VIDEO: Police in #HongKong arrest young musician after he sings ‘Glory to Hong Kong’ pic.twitter.com/nVNo5mQtiq #HongKongProtests #ViolencesPolicières #CarrieLam #Corbyn #Labour #XiJinping #DavidJordan #PolyU #RupertDover #CCP #yellowobject #GiletsJaunes
— Sam Pye (@freddie1999) November 21, 2019
But Hong Kong sent a massive signal to the Chinese government this week by voting in the pro-democracy candidates as opposed to government candidates. Pro-democracy candidates in Hong Kong won 269 out of 452 seats in 18 district council races, while pro-Beijing forces, won only 30, a clear rejection of the Chinese communists by the people of Hong Kong. Voters flooded the polls with a 71 percent turnout — up from 47 percent four years ago in the same elections, according to the Electoral Affairs Commission.
Historic turnout in local council elections in Hong Kong. The result: A landslide vote for freedom, democracy, and continued autonomy from Beijing. The people were heard loud and clear. Now their leaders need to listen.
— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) November 25, 2019
Now they have something to be thankful for from the United States, from the Congress and President Donald Trump.
On Wednesday, Trump signed two bills to help the Hong Kong people, despite the strong opposition from China with whom he is in trade talks.
From Fox News:
The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act mandates sanctions on Chinese and Hong Kong officials who carry out human rights abuses and requires an annual review of the favorable trade status that Washington grants Hong Kong. The second bill prohibits export to Hong Kong police of certain nonlethal munitions, including tear gas, pepper spray, rubber bullets, water cannons, stun guns and tasers.
“The act reaffirms and amends the United States-Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992, specifies United States policy towards Hong Kong, and directs assessment of the political developments in Hong Kong,” Trump said in a statement.
China promised “firm countermeasures.”
But the Hong Kong protesters were grateful and thanked the United States for its support. Thousands came out for a rally to thank America, waving American flags, even some holding pictures of Trump and singing the U.S. national anthem.
— ShanShan Kao (@shanmushy) November 28, 2019
Getting shivers: The “lighters” come out as @hoccgoomusic leads the crowd singing Glory to #HongKong at the #Thanksgiving rally At Edinburgh Place, as #HongKongProtests folks give thanks for the passage and signing of the #HongKongHumanRightsandDemocracyAct. pic.twitter.com/jotSZoH44q
— Jan Jekielek (@JanJekielek) November 28, 2019
HONG KONG THANKSGIVING PROTESTS. pic.twitter.com/DMfp4pTgwS
— INVESTMENT HULK (@INVESTMENTSHULK) November 28, 2019
From last night's "Thanksgiving rally" in Hong Kong pic.twitter.com/EPPYst3fmy
— Max Lockie (@staphwriter) November 28, 2019
— Annie Wu (@annieeenyc) November 28, 2019
From Washington Examiner:
Sunny Cheung, a 23-year-old student who lobbied for the legislation, told Reuters, “The rationale for us having this rally is to show our gratitude and thank the U.S Congress and also President Trump for passing the bill. We are really grateful about that and we really appreciate the effort made by Americans who support Hong Kong, who stand with Hong Kong, who do not choose to side with Beijing.”
The protesters said they hoped that this measure would further help their fight for freedom and move China in the right direction to support their rights.