2 000 UK supporters rally behind Hong Kong

2014-10-02 12:23
Hundreds gather in Times Square to rally in support of Hong Kong's 'Umbrella Revolution'. (Don Emmert, AFP)

Hundreds gather in Times Square to rally in support of Hong Kong's 'Umbrella Revolution'. (Don Emmert, AFP)

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London - From London to Taipei, thousands rallied around the world on Wednesday to support the protests in Hong Kong, many clutching umbrellas and holding up brightly-lit smartphones in solidarity.

Some 4 000 turned out in Taipei and 2 000 in London but there were other smaller protests too outside Chinese embassies.

Demonstrators in front of the Chinese embassy on Portland Place in central London held up black and yellow umbrellas, in a nod to the ones used to shield protestors from tear gas handed out yellow ribbons and waved placards hastily constructed from old cereal and noodle boxes.

"Hong Kong, the world supports you", read one, another warned "You can't kill us all" while one protestor called on British Prime Minister David Cameron to "uphold democracy" and put pressure on Beijing.

The predominantly young, Asian crowd listened to a series of speakers, joined in orchestrated chanting and applauded calls for China to open up the election process for Hong Kong's 2017 chief executive to allcomers.

"Many people say under British rule we didn't have democracy but people were happy", said pharmacist Lilia So, aged 31, who moved from Hong Kong 14 years ago.

"We had jobs, the economy was very stable. Ever since the handover everything has gone downhill."

'Just the start of it'

Student Lionel Mok, aged 25, insisted that the protests in Hong Kong were "just the start of it", and that visitors travelling to the city for the public holiday would take news of the protests back to the mainland.

"We have to show internationally that the world realises this is a problem. We need to show Hong Kong is mature enough for democracy, and I think it is", he added.

The crowd cheered loudly when asked if they had recently been on Facebook, which turned yellow in solidarity with the protesters before sitting down in front of the embassy, which stood in darkness with no flag flying.

In Manchester, northern England, around 200 people gathered at the city's Piccadilly Gardens, joining in a light show of smartphones to protests against the Beijing regime.

In Taiwan, some 4 000 slogan-chanting residents rallied late on Wednesday to support the growing pro-democracy movement, with one saying Hong Kong faces a "life-and-death" moment.

The crowd, many of them Hong Kong students studying in Taiwan universities, raised their fists and sang "Boundless Oceans, Vast Skies", a song by the 1980s Hong Kong band beyond which has become an anthem of the protests.

"I feel I have to stand up as Hong Kong is now moving to a life-and-death moment", Lun Hon Wing, a Hong Kong student from the National Sun Yat-sen University in Taiwan, told AFP.

Other smaller events were due to take place in 23 cities around the world, including Paris, Melbourne and Washington.

Read more on:    facebook  |  david cameron  |  china  |  hong kong

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