Hongkongers crowdfund nearly S$1 million to place anti-extradition bill ads during G20 meeting
Raising the profile of the issue.
The issue of the controversial extradition bill at the heart of the Hong Kong protests does not appear to be dying down any time soon.
Crowdfunding campaign for ads on bill successfully crosses target
A crowdfunding campaign has been launched by several Hongkongers online over the issue, Hong Kong media Apple Daily reported.
The aim of the campaign is to raise enough money to take out advertisements in major foreign publications, so as to place the issue of the bill on the agenda of the upcoming G20 meeting in Osaka, Japan, on June 28 and 29.
These publications include the New York Times, Financial Times and Washington Post.
The campaign was launched on gogetfunding.com on June 24.
It was set up by some Hongkongers congregating in the online forum, LIHKG.
As of June 26 , the campaign has since stopped, with more than 22,000 backers, and a total of over HK$5.4 million (S$950,000) raised — or 182 percent of its goal funded.
Additionally, remaining funds not used for advertising will go towards helping protesters who have been arrested by the Hong Kong authorities.
Part of a wider campaign to raise the issue of the bill internationally
According to the South China Morning Post, the crowdfunding effort is part of a wider campaign to raise the issue of the extradition bill among the wider international community.
On June 26, hundreds of protesters gathered to march to multiple foreign consulates in order to distribute a petition about the bill.
These included the consulates of the U.S., UK, European Union (EU), Germany, Japan, Canada, Australia, Russia and Mexico.
SCMP further reported that a total of 19 consulates were visited by protesters.
However, no petition was handed to Beijing’s liaison office, or the Chinese foreign ministry’s commissioner within the city.
Protesters allege that the Hong Kong government has not listened to them
One of the organisers for the march, Ventus Lau Wing-hong, stated that such a campaign was being undertaken as the Hong Kong government had purportedly continued to ignore their demands.
As per Lau:
“We had to bring it to the international level because the Hong Kong government has been ignoring our demands.”
His sentiment was echoed in the caption for the crowdfunding campaign, which also alleged that the Chief Executive Carrie Lam had ignored the protesters.
The caption added that if Lam was to restore the people’s trust, she had to:
- Release peaceful protesters,
- Conduct an independent investigation into police brutality, and
- Completely withdraw the extradition bill.
Lam’s announcement bill would be suspended not withdrawn triggered Hong Kong’s largest protest
Previously on June 15, Lam announced that the extradition bill would be suspended, but refused to state that the bill would be withdrawn.
This resulted in almost two million Hongkongers taking to the streets on Sunday, June 16.
Lam also backtracked from the description of the protesters on June 12 as “rioters”.
She added that she was simply following police commissioner Stephen Lo Wai-chung in using the word to describe the protests.
Whether the bill will be raised at G20 remains to be seen
Whether the bill will ultimately be raised at the G20 summit in Osaka remains to be seen.
China’s Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs, Zhang Jun, has declared that it will not allow the Hong Kong protests to be brought up at the summit, as the situation was an internal affair of the country.
However, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the Hong Kong protests will be one of the issues expected to be discussed between Donald Trump and Xi Jinping.
Top photo by ISAAC LAWRENCE/AFP/Getty Images