Hong Kong Activists And Supporters To Hold Pro-Democracy Discussion On Capitol Hill
Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation to host forum on Hong Kong freedom
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Recent pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong have reached historic levels of participation and impact in the ongoing effort to defend the freedoms of Hong Kong against the Chinese Communist Party. In response to this summer’s ongoing protests, the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation (VOC) will host its first-ever Hong Kong Human Rights Forum. This event will be held in conjunction with the Hong Kong hearing held by the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, and the forum will feature a diverse group of panelists fighting for democracy, freedom, and human rights in Hong Kong. The VOC is also partnering with allies in the human rights movement for this event, including both Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.
Taking place on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, September 18th, the forum will include several speakers who have been on the frontline of Hong Kong’s fight for freedom, ranging from activists, to students and artists -- and more who have asked to remain anonymous to protect their identities as a safety precaution. The forum will also include an artistic component as well with photo displays from Kacey Wong and Dan Garrett, giving spectators a visual into the scale and makeup of the protests; Badiucao’s prolific satirical cartoon artwork commenting on CCP repression will also be on display.
WHEN: Wednesday, September 18
TIME: 4:00-6:00 pm ET
WHERE: U.S. Capitol Visitors Center, HVC #215
First Street NE
Washington, DC 20515
Pro-Democracy Rally - WHO:
- Marion Smith, Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, Executive Director.
- Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), Sponsor of the Cruz-Markey Hong Kong Policy Reevaluation Act of 2019. Cruz serves as a current member of the Committee on Foreign Relations.
- Badiucao, Chinese-Australian political cartoonist, artist, and rights activist. Regarded by many as one of China’s most prolific and notable political cartoonists, his work has been used by Amnesty International, Freedom House, BBC, and CNN, to name a few. His name will remain private to protect his identity.
- Irving Alfred Baleros, Social worker and activist. Baleros is pro-Hong Kong freedom and works with the Reclaiming Social Work Movement.
- Sunny Cheung, Spokesperson of HKIAD and former member of the Hong Kong Federation of Students. Cheung is a Hong Kong University student, pro-democracy protest leader, and member of Hong Kong Higher Institutions International Affairs Delegation (IAD), a lobby group founded by student unions of HK universities. He is currently working in Australia on behalf of student protestors lobbying for their pro-democracy cause.
- Claudia Rosett, American investigative journalist and editor. Rossett has covered Asia for more than three decades, and she earned an Overseas Press Club Citation for Excellence for her frontline coverage of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests. A former staff writer for the Wall Street Journal, Rossett broke the story of North Korean labor camps in Russia’s Far East, exposed the United Nations Oil-for-Food scandal, and has appeared before Congress to testify on UN-related corruption, earning her the 2005 Eric Breindel Award and the Mightier Pen Award.
- Dan Garrett, Author, photographer, political scientist, and visual sociologist. Studying China’s securitization of Hong Kong, his first book examines the Region’s active protest culture and defends the Hongkonger identity. His second book investigates China’s post-Umbrella national security crackdown on protest/protesters and the militarization of SAR protest policing.
- Denise Ho Wan-see (“HOCC”), Hong Kong-based Cantopop singer and actress. A pro-democracy activist, Ho has been blacklisted by the Chinese government for her participation in the Umbrella Movement of 2014.
- CK, Activist. Her work focuses on countering the CCP’s disinformation campaign in Hong Kong. Her name will remain private to protect her identity.
- SH, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Associate Professor. SH trains fellow frontline social workers.
- LV, Front-line activist. LV is at the forefront of the extradition protest movement in Hong Kong. Her name will remain private to protect her identity.
- Kacey Wong, Hong Kong visual artist and educator – formerly Assistant Professor at the School of Design, Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Wong is the recipient of the Hong Kong Contemporary Arts Award (Best Artist Award) from the Hong Kong Art Museum, along with the Rising Artist and Outstanding Arts Education Awards
- Joey Siu, Spokesperson of HKIAD and Vice President of the Students’ Union of the City University of Hong Kong. Founded in July amidst the political unrest, the IAD is composed of student representatives from twelve higher education institutions in Hong Kong aiming to mobilize international support, organizing a peaceful rally and class boycott most recently.
The forum will serve as a platform for first hand accounts of the current unrest and how the U.S. can provide assistance. Marion Smith, Executive Director of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, says:
“Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam’s withdrawal of the extradition bill last Wednesday is too little, too late. This action has failed to appease protesters, and the ongoing unrest coupled with additional demonstrator demands from the government highlight Hongkongers’ continued desire for democracy and freedom.” Smith hopes that the forum will “shed further light on the importance of the protesters’ efforts in the fight for democracy.”
The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation (VOC) is a Washington-based, non-profit educational and human rights organization devoted to commemorating the more than 100 million victims of communism around the world and to the freedom of those still living under totalitarian regimes. VOC was established by unanimous act of Congress on December 17, 1993 and signed by President Bill Clinton.