Protesters press Britain for lifeline

Local | Amy Nip and Agencies 16 Sep 2019

Around 1,000 demonstrators rallied outside the British consulate yesterday, calling on the UK government to take action against China for breaching the Sino-British Joint Declaration.

Waving British flags, they sang the UK's national anthem God Save the Queen and chanted "UK save Hong Kong."

One waved a banner quoting the late prime minister Winston Churchill: "We will ride out the storm of war and outlive the menace of tyranny - if necessary for years, if necessary alone."

They called on the British government to grant some 3.4 million holders of British National Overseas passports the right to live and work in the United Kingdom.

Others held banners declaring "One country, two systems is dead," while repeating calls for Hong Kong's former colonial ruler to ensure the SAR's autonomy is upheld under agreements made when it ceded power to Beijing in 1997.

Action should be taken against the mainland for breach of the bilateral agreement, protesters said.

The rally organizer, a woman surnamed Law, said she plans to lobby British lawmakers in London to secure their help.

A consulate representative said the petition will be passed on to London.

During the protest, an American woman showed up in a shirt with US President Donald Trump's face on it.

Her friend said they supported the democracy movement.

But local protesters said their rally had little to do with the United States and asked the Americans to join rallies to the US consulate next time.

Demonstrators held similar rallies on September 1 at the British mission and last weekend at the US consulate, asking for international support for the protests.

Last week they pressed the US Congress to pass the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act.

It is a bipartisan bill that requires Washington to make an annual assessment of whether Hong Kong is sufficiently autonomous to be treated differently from China regarding US trade and economic benefits.

Earlier this month, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the country "stands firm in upholding Hong Kong's way of life guaranteed by one country, two systems."

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