Protesters outside the Chinese embassy in central London on Wednesday (Pic: Dave Gilchrist)
More than 1,500 people protested outside the Chinese Embassy in central London yesterday, Wednesday, as part of a day of global solidarity with the Occupy Central movement in Hong Kong. Another 500 protested in Manchester.
The Manchester demonstration demanded protest areas for public assembly in China and the Chinese Government to allow full nomination and voting rights in 2017.
In London the predominantly young protesters chanted, “What do we want? Democracy! When do we want it? Now!' in both English and Chinese.
Cheng Ming Tak, an 18-year-old student, carried a homemade banner saying, “Hope lies with the people, change lies in the struggle”. He told Socialist Worker, “I'm here in solidarity with the protesters in Hong Kong. I hope that they can bring change about in Hong Kong and in China.”
One woman, who wanted to stay anonymous, said this, “I'm here to fight for real democracy. The Communist party in China promised us universal suffrage, we have this in name but not in reality. I'm also here because my friends in Hong Kong were attacked with tear gas, just for demanding justice.”
National Union of Teachers activist Lawrence Wong addressed the protest. He said, “Students in China have lost the fear of what happened in Tiananmen Square. The protest in Hong Kong is an example to all of China. The NUT will contact the teachers union in Hong Kong to offer support and solidarity.”
He brought solidarity greetings from the union’s national executive and its general secretary Christine Blower.
Journalist Johnathan Mirsky also spoke. He had witnessed the Tiananmen Square Massacre. He said "Students in Hong Kong are brave and they need to stay brave. We here need to support them".
It was announced that a number of people from the London protest would be going on a 24 hour hunger strike in solidarity with Hong Kong.
Thanks to Caroline Ridgway and David Gilchrist