Fridays For Freedom - July 31st 2020
31 JUL 2020
On July 31st, 2020, the fifth NOW! "Fridays for Freedom" protests took place across the world. By standing in front of Chinese Embassies, activists stated loudly and clearly that major democracies need to work together to safeguard Hong Kong’s freedoms and rights.
From Tokyo to Tel Aviv, from Brisbane to London, thousands of activists from all over the world refused to stay silent in the fight of David versus Goliath.
As tensions escalate further every day, China's brutal crackdown reached a new level in Hong Kong this week. From students getting arrested for posting on social media, to pro-democracy candidates being disqualified from running in elections, or the LegCo elections being postponed for at least a year, democracy has left Hong Kong.
In an undeniable proof of the increased attention that the world is placing on the future of the city, more than a million people have followed online the #FridaysForFreedom action organized by NOW!, and actions are taking place in tens of cities. While the focus of the demonstrations has been to ensure the restoration of democracy and freedoms in Hong Kong, activists have also brought attention to the worrying developments for the Uyghurs minority in China, as well as the long-standing occupation of Tibet. Advocating for an international coalition to counter China's aggressivity on Hong Kong and related issues, NOW!'s members intend to carry on Fridays For Future protest well into the year.
"So today we stand together, support together, defend together and fight together," said Simon Cheng, the first Hong Kong political refugee in the UK, at the protest in London. NOW!'s co-Executive Directors - Colombe Cahen-Salvador and Andrea Venzon - added "It is in this context that the people of the world are demanding more from their democratically elected leaders. we want democracies to Stand With Hong Kong. We want democracies to protect freedoms and rights. As people of the world, we will keep the pressure up until Hong Kong is free."
Today's 'Friday For Freedom' actions are part of a broader campaign, the “Wave of Freedom”, which NOW! has launched to push forward for the creation of an international coalition of major democracies (the D-10) to coordinate responses and implement measures - such as economic sanctions - to safeguard freedoms and democracy, including in Hong Kong.
While demonstrations are still ongoing, protests have been confirmed in London, Tokyo, Milan, Brisbane, Brussels, Montreal, San Francisco, Frankfurt, Dusseldorf, Helsinki, Glasgow, San José, Kampala, Manchester, Melbourne, Sydney, Stockholm, Toronto, Washington D.C. and Tel Aviv. The next protests will take place on Friday, August 7th, around the world.
For questions or requests, please email [email protected]
To participate in #FridaysForFreedom, click here.
Here is the video of the speech of Simon Cheng in London.
Find below a few pictures from today's action (protests are still unfolding, we will keep on updating our social media platforms with the latest pictures)
Los Angeles (USA)
somewhere on earth
Tel Aviv (Israel)