Washington, DC – Chinese atrocities against minority groups in Xinjiang, or ‘East Turkestan,’ – home to Muslim Uyghur people- political and cultural repression in occupied Tibet and recent suffocation of democracy in Hong Kong, boiled over on “Resist CCP: Global Day of Action” as protestors marked China’s National Day with protests and street theatre in front of the Capitol Reflecting Pool here on October 1, 2020.
“The Chinese regime is foolishly clinging to their evil ways,” noted Campaign for Uyghurs founder and director Rushan Abbas.
The DC event was part of a rolling chain of events as Tibetans, Uyghurs, Southern Mongolians, Hong Kongers, Taiwanese, and other Chinese people staged protests in over 50 cities across 25 countries.
The rally became a reflection of what’s really going on with the brutal occupation of Tibet, arbitrary detention of millions of Uyghurs in internment camps, loss of fundamental freedoms in Hong Kong, erasure of Southern Mongolian culture and language, intimidation and bullying of Taiwan, and the detention, disappearance, and silencing of countless Chinese lawyers and activists.
The protestors got big boosts as US lawmakers made appearances at regular intervals as Tom Suozzi, Ted Yoho and Scott Perry addressed hundreds of protestors right at the event with the Capitol Hill dome as the background against a clear blue sky.
In addition to the address by American lawmakers, the highlight was a presentation of a political theater where 100 Uyghur activists staged a political action calling attention to the millions of Uyghurs in Chinese internment camps.
The theater presented by the Uyghur American Association showed a heart-wrenching episode of a little girl crying for her parents and then dragged by the Chinese authorities to an orphanage. The incarceration of many Uyghurs on flimsy pretexts was also highlighted during the performances.
The other leaders who addressed the gathering were: Omer, Executive Director, Uyghur Human Rights Project; Engabatu, Director, Southern Mongolian Human Rights and Information Center; Ngodup Tsering, Representative of His Holiness Dalai Lama and Office of Tibet; Kristine, Victims of Communism; Joyce, HK Student Activist; Dr. Yang Jainli, Initiative for China; Frank, Vice Chairman, Committee on the Present Danger: China; Isshat, World Uyghur Congress; Jeffrey Ngo, DC4HK – Washingtonians Supporting Hong Kong; and Tenzin Barshee, Capital Area Tibetan Association.
The rally was against human rights abuses by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in the past 7 decades. Digital and onsite protests at Chinese embassies and other PRC representatives happened as China celebrated its National Day in Beijing as well.
Such protests again raise a question on the cost which people and communities at the periphery are paying for maintaining the “Middle Kingdom” of the Hans of mainland China. As the Han Chinese leadership embarks on its journey to “world domination,” the hopes, dreams and liberties of its minorities are being crushed.
Chinese leadership has been successful in buying the silence of others in the name of Neo-colonial projects like One Belt One Road (OBOR) Initiative. It may finally fall on US and other democratic allies to stop this ruthless crushing of minorities under the wheels of ‘Han Express.’ The protest also made many wonder whether Asia and the world would be a safer and better place if these peripheral Minorities- East Turkestan, Tibet, Southern Mongolia, Hong Kong were independent democratic nations- like Taiwan.
The list of organizations which participated in the protest show included:
Students for a Free Tibet, World Uyghur Congress, Campaigns for Uyghurs, Capital Area Tibetan Association, Uyghur American Association, Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center, Uyghur Human Rights Project, Victims of Communism, Formosan Association for Public Affairs, We the Hong Kongers, International Campaign for Tibet, Tibetan Youth Congress, Initiative for China, China Against Death Penalty, Committee on the Present Danger: China (CPDC), DC4HK – Washingtonians Supporting Hong Kong and Humanitarian China.