Hong Kong, March 8, 2017 – Dozens gathered in Charter Garden and marched to the US Consulate General on Wednesday evening to support gender equality and fight against racism. Marchers condemned the US President Donald Trump for spreading discrimination all over the world.
Sally Tang Mei Ching, Chairperson at Socialist Action and organizer of the event, said this year’s rally is the most international one. “There has been a wave of women’s struggle and attacks on women all over the world” said Tang. “People are more conscious about their own rights and want to come out to fight. Refugees from different countries and migrant workers from Indonesia are participating this year too.”
International Women’s Day is for commemoration and acknowledgement of women’s social, economic and political achievements. It has been world-widely celebrated on March 8th every year since 1913. This year’s rally in Hong Kong was to vocalize criticism on Trump.
The US president’s bragging on tape that he can “grab them(women) by the pussy” and anti-women policies triggered anti-trump and feminism protests all across the states and in different countries. In addition, his policies against immigrants and refugees motivated the ones in Hong Kong to be a part of the march.
An anonymous single mother and refugee from the Philippines participated in the march to support refugees and immigrants in the US. “Our situation is okay, not like the US” she said. “In Hong Kong, the environment is more supportive. We have our refugee union. We call them whenever there is a problem and they help us. But Trump is abusing his power refugees out of his country. As a refugee, that is a very hurtful situation for me as well.
The sound of protesters chanting “global strike, women’s rights” resonated Charter Garden. Passers-by off from work gave glances at the protesters. Carmen Kwan and Justin Leung, both office workers, were about to go home when they encountered the crowd. “We thought this is something more important than having dinner” said Kwan. “Men should be a part of this kind of movements for feminism and equality” Leung added. “Equal pay and equal rights don’t mean less wage or more burden for men but more balance and opportunities for both”.
Women, men and children of different backgrounds and ethnicities raised their voice to stop sexism and violence against women and demand inclusion of migrant workers and refugees. “Anti-racism and anti-sexism movement are about unification and solidarity of women from all races, especially those working class women. It’s a movement for 99% against 1%. This is why we call it a new wave of feminism.”
Some people at the protest expressed their wish on eradicating violence on women. Some other talked about the hardships refugees go through. “We all are people. God makes us. I hope we could love each other like a human whether we are rich or poor” said the single mother.
Writer: Lauren Hee Soo Yoon
Photographer: Aung Kaung Myat
Editor: Yoan Jin Soul Lee
Online Team: Lucie Jung