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1. The past week hasn’t been easy. “The fires of frustration and discord,” once again, “are burning in every city, North and South.” As a Hong Konger deeply disturbed by the death of #GeorgeFloyd in #Minnesota, I stand with those who march for #BlackLivesMatter.
2. Systematic racism in the U.S. is real. The present moment has deep historical roots stretching back to before the country’s founding. I can only try my best to empathize with the pain this has inflicted on so many, even as I’ll never fully understand the plight.
3. For those of us watching the events unfold, scenes of confrontation and bloodshed can be traumatic: State violence feels all too familiar ever since the anti-extradition demonstrations broke out around this time last year in #HongKong.
4. While I’m weary of convenient juxtapositions of the protests here and back home — because their sociopolitical causes are incomparable — I do believe oppressed peoples everywhere share a common yearning for dignity and basic human rights.
5. Having been on the global forefront against police brutality, we’re heartened to learn that our experience and creativity have proven helpful. My favorite instance? This now-viral @demosisto video from last October that has racked up ten million views.
6. To beat back the tear gas, leaf blowers have become a common sight on American streets, from #Michigan . . .
10. Cops in #Kentucky are so pissed that they’ve resorted to lying about folks supposedly loading the gardening tool with bleach. It goes to show how effective this and other tactics circulating on Twitter can be!
11. As I often say, President John F. Kennedy’s civil-rights address in 1963 has been a source of inspiration for my activism over the years. “A moral crisis,” he warned then, “cannot be met by repressive police action” and instead demands bold leadership. His words still echo.
12. Alas, bad-faith actors care only about sowing the seeds of division: #China has seized the opportunity and mobilized its vast online apparatus to launch a disinformation campaign, pitting pro-democracy Hong Kongers against our American friends.
13. Angry Chinese netizens, with no commitment whatsoever to a more egalitarian world, now bombard us with comments like “Free Minnesota!!!” — as if it’s a “gotcha” attack. Yet they’re fundamentally uninterested in the issue’s complexities or the struggles of actual human beings.
14. Here, the editor-in-chief of a Beijing mouthpiece, who clearly had trouble thinking straight and picking a consistent stance, pretended to “strongly condemn” the crackdown on Minnesota protesters while he endorsed the crackdown on “Hong Kong thugs.”
15. China is no friend of dissidents, wherever they may be. #TikTok, which compromises user privacy, has banned not just Cantonese speakers and Uyghurs but also #BlackLivesMatter, a policy that reflects the country’s own well-documented, racist treatment of African communities.
16. Instead of buying into government propaganda, the marginalized may benefit from exploring the possibilities of building transnational solidarity, like the kind @joshuawongcf described between the peoples of Hong Kong, #Thailand, #Taiwan, and #Vietnam.
17. I’ll be the first to acknowledge that the Hong Kong movement is imperfect. There’s a small but very vocal group of far-right, pro-Trump folks — conspicuous in rallies and online — who celebrate his rhetoric, political incorrectness, and allegedly “tough on China” attitude.
18. Others may be reluctant to speak up because they see such imperfections of the U.S. movement as looting and the indiscriminate destruction of private property. But I believe these are mere distractions from what’s really at stake: systematic racism.
19. Ultimately, those of us who have the privilege never to endure the prejudices black Americans face on a daily basis are in no position to criticize. I’ll defer to this powerful statement by @repjohnlewis on moving forward.
20. As a young activist, Lewis met with Kennedy and marched with Martin Luther King Jr. back in the 1960s. He, too, has followed developments in Hong Kong and joined @RepTomSuozzi last year to share his wisdom. For this video, we’ll always be grateful.
21. Hong Kongers have a lot of challenges to face ahead. We’ll continue to seek the support from the international community. Living up to our values, we must also support all others fighting for them.
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