TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Student and civil groups in Taiwan are planning a solidarity march in support of Hong Kong’s anti-government protests and in defiance of China’s increasing authoritarianism, at the end of September.
The event is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 29, and should coincide with weekend protests in Hong Kong, in the run-up to Oct. 1, which marks the 70th anniversary of the Peoples’ Republic of China. The procession will start at Jinan Road, next to the Legislative Yuan, and march through Ximending and Taipei Main Station before returning to the starting point.
The march is organized by approximately 20 student and civil associations, including a Taiwan-based Hong Kong student group, and local and international non-governmental organizations promoting human rights, according to Chiang Min-yan (江旻諺), a representative from the Economic Democracy Union (EDU). More than 100 civil groups have signed up for the march, he added.
Chiang called on the public to join the march and show solidarity with Hong Kong’s people, who are facing a dire situation. He added the event is also intended to make Beijing realize that Taiwanese are determined to safeguard their democratic freedoms and human rights.
China and its authoritarian government is expanding its influence worldwide, said Lai Chung-chiang (賴中強), a lawyer and EDU convener. “As Taiwan and Hong Kong are both on the frontline of Beijing’s threats, their citizens should stand shoulder to shoulder,” he said.
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s announcement last week is not a great concession, said a spokesperson for a Taiwan-based Hong Kong student group, who identified himself as “Kuma.” Having lasted for three months, the protest movement in Hong Kong is no longer about anti-extradition legislation, “We must insist on the five demands without compromising any one of them.”
A solidarity rally was organized in June in Taipei with a turnout of about 10,000 people. Organizers said for the march later this month, new demands will be included, in addition to backing the five demands. These include asking the Taiwan government to mull over substantive mechanisms that will grant asylum to Hongkongers facing prosecution due to their involvement in the protests.