The “Stand with Hong Kong, Power to the People” rally met opposition with pro-China counter protesters in front of the Massachusetts State House Sunday afternoon.
Bostonian Hongkongers and their allies marched from the State House to the Chinatown Gate to show solidarity with Hongkongers during their struggle to retain autonomy against the Chinese government.
Pro-China protesters interrupted the rally, waving the flag of China and chanting that the Hongkongers had been fed “fake news”. Police officers were forced to line up their bikes to separate both parties and keep things peaceful. Although loud confrontations erupted between the two, no physical altercation was observed during the rally.
Both sides claimed to be supporters of Hong Kong with pro-China protesters maintaining that the conflict is being misconstrued by the media. Pro-China protesters chanted “One China” while pro-Hong Kong protesters responded, “Two Systems”.
Following violent protests that erupted recently in Hong Kong and Australia, tensions were high as the crowd grew. Protest host Frances Hui addressed protesters saying, “We have journalists and police here to look after us. Don’t be afraid. We are protected. This is America, we have the freedom of speech and the freedom of assembly.”
The Hong Kong political crisis began in June in response to a contradictory extradition bill that has since been suspended. Protest demands have broadened to address alleged police brutality and insist on a full democracy. Bostonian Hongkongers marched to demand more U.S. involvement including aid to Hong Kong victims who fear police arrest if they were to seek medical treatment.