As Beijing lavishly celebrated 70 years of communist rule, thousands of protestors in many countries gathered to condemn the brutal regime.
by Li Bei
Last weekend, at least 65 cities in 24 countries joined the “Global Anti-Totalitarianism” rallies to support the Hong Kong pro-democracy movement. More protests were held around the world on October 1, the National Day, marking the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the People’s Republic of China.
“Holding a belief is not a crime,” “Export Chinese-style censorship? No, thanks,” “Nazi China – Dictatorial China” – protestors in Germany, Belgium, Canada, and other countries chanted in rallies and demonstrations, protesting against the atrocities perpetrated by the communist regime.
Germany: “There’s nothing to celebrate on October 1”
In Berlin, Germany, the Society for Threatened Peoples (Gesellschaft für bedrohte Völker), an international human rights organization that advocates for ethnic and religious minorities, held a protest in front of the Chinese Embassy to commemorate millions of victims that the Communist dictatorship has slaughtered since coming into power.
The association’s spokesman, Hanno Schedler, called on people to be wary of propaganda and lies, created and disseminated by the CCP – a dictatorial political party that has been systematically persecuting people for 70 years. It has killed many; large numbers are still being imprisoned merely for practicing their faith.
Alan Li, a proponent of Hong Kong independence who was granted refugee status in Germany after fleeing Hong Kong in 2017, said in an interview at the rally that “there’s nothing to celebrate, because, for the Hong Kong people or people who are being threatened by the Chinese government, today is the birthday of the devil.”
Commenting on the October 1 police crackdowns against protestors in Hong Kong, which, according to police reports, resulted in the arrests of 269 people, Alan Li said that it was the worst day for the pro-democracy demonstrators in the past few months. “The police used a real bullet to shoot someone in the chest. … It is a crazy escalation of their violence, of their brutality. For us, today is a tragic day.”
Also participating in the protests were members of The Church of Almighty God (CAG), who have long been subjected to cruel suppression by the CCP. The CAG has become the most targeted and heavily persecuted religious movement in China. Under the CCP’s ruthless oppression, many CAG members have gone into hiding, and some members have been forced to flee abroad.
Li Lan is one of them. “I’m lucky to be standing here today. In mainland China, many brothers and sisters have been arrested for their faith and subjected to inhumane torture and violent indoctrination. Some have even been persecuted to death,” she told Bitter Winter. “To date, more than one million CAG believers have been arrested, 114 people have been persecuted to death.”
Belgium: Members of European Parliament express solidarity with protestors
More than 700 Uyghurs, Tibetans, and members of the CAG from European Union countries, as well as people from all walks of life who support Hong Kong’s democracy movement, gathered outside the European Parliament in Brussels on October 1. They protested against CCP’s repressions and appealed to the Chinese regime to respect the fundamental rights and freedoms of all Chinese people. Several members of the European Parliament from the Czech Republic, France, the UK, and other countries also took part in the protest.
In an interview with Radio France Internationale, Raphaël Glucksmann, a French member of the European Parliament, within the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, remarked that it is essential for people to support Hong Kong, Tibet, Uyghurs, as well as all Chinese prisoners of conscience, because their rights are much more important than economic and trade contracts with China.
When the procession arrived at the Schuman Square, where the European Commission and other major EU institutions are located, Phil Bennion, a British Liberal Democrat member of the European Parliament, spoke of the need to hold the Chinese government responsible for its crimes. He also called on the European Union to put pressure on China.
Canada: 70 years of CCP repression is enough
In Toronto, more than 100 people gathered in front of the Chinese Consulate General to protest against the ethnic genocide of Uyghurs and express their support to the people of East Turkestan or Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.
From the Consulate General, the demonstrators, including members of Students for a Free Tibet Canada and the Federation for a Democratic China, marched to Queen’s Park in downtown Toronto. Carrying flags of Canada and East Turkestan, the protesters chanted: “Release my brother. Release my mother and sister,” demanding to stop sending innocent Uyghurs to transformation through education camps in Xinjiang
Video: The procession walks along Bloor Street West, as marchers shout “Fascist China” and “Terrorist China.”