On August 7th, 2020, the sixth 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 San Francisco, from London to Brisbane, thousands of activists from all over the world refused to stay silent whilst Hongkongers are still fighting for their freedom.
Just this week, China's brutal crackdown has reached a new level in Hong Kong. At least twenty-four activists, including Joshua Wong and Nathan Law, have been charged with taking part in a banned candlelight vigil on 4 June to mark the anniversary of China's 1989 Tiananmen crackdown. China's crackdown may become even harsher after the Beijing authorities' meeting this week. In fact, there is fear that after this meeting China may rob Hong Kong of any of its freedoms and effectively transform it into a branch of the Communist regime.
To ensure that the world is not forgetting about Hong Kong, more than a million people have followed online the #FridaysForFreedom action organized by NOW!, and actions are taking place in tens of cities. Even though the focus of the demonstrations has been to ensure the preservation of rights and freedoms in Hong Kong, activists are also shedding a light 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.
"A cold war is approaching: the clash between people believing in democratic values, freedoms, and human rights are incompatible with the authoritarian view of China. As such, it's time for democracies to come together, formalize an alliance, and start to systematically counter the attempt to further erode freedoms and rights." said NOW!'s co-Executive Directors, Colombe Cahen-Salvador and Andrea Venzon.
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, Brisbane, Brussels, Montreal, San Francisco, Frankfurt, Dusseldorf, Helsinki, Edinburgh, San José, Kampala, Melbourne, Sydney, Stockholm, Toronto, Washington D.C. and Tel Aviv. The next protests will take place on Friday, August 14th, around the world.
For questions or requests, please email [email protected]
To participate in #FridaysForFreedom, click here.
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)
London (United Kingdom)
Edinburgh (United Kingdom)
San Francisco (United States)