Between July and November 2019, ap- proximately 8,000 Hong Kong protesters against the now-withdrawn extradition bill were arrested.
Civil Rights Observer, a Hong Kong organization formed during the 2014 Um- brella Revolution to monitor police abuse of powers and political rights in Hong Kong, interviewed 45 of those arrested. It revealed at least 13 suffered “severe assault or inju- ries” inflicted by the police; 16 said access to lawyers was delayed and three claimed they were sexually assaulted.
One of those arrested said police slammed his head into the door of the police van 12 times, hit him with batons and, when at the police station, three officers continued the abuse, taking turns hitting him for 15 minutes, with one officer kicking him in the abdomen. South China Morning Post reported he had to be sent to hospital for “treatment in a neurosurgery ward.”
The pro-Beijing camp argued force used was necessary to “re- store law and order.”
The Independent Police Complaints Council will report on its fact-finding exercise to “identify any fault or deficiency in any practice or procedure adopted by the police force.”
Apparently, investi- gations are no deterrent. Commenting on po- lice use of pepper spray on May 27 against pro-
testers in opposition to the National Anthem Bill, Amnesty International condemned the crackdown. “Today’s excessive and indiscriminate use of force by the police to
disperse protesters once again exposes the authorities’ utter disregard for human rights on the streets of Hong Kong.”
During Nov. 21-Dec. 1, 2019, a group of 18 Hong Kong graphic designers held an exhibition titled “Yellow Objects.” The theme of the 18 finish-it-yourself posters was “Yellow object is ____________” where visitors were encouraged to fill in the blank themselves.
“Yellow object” became an internet meme after a policeman was caught on a widely circulated video kicking a pro-democracy protester in a dark alley on Sept. 21, 2019. At the police briefing the following day, the police superintendent said the officer kicked a “yellow object on the ground.” At that point, a reporter interjected, “He is a human, not an object!”
“It’s a communist tactic: You dehumanize, you demonize, you reduce your enemies to nothing and then you attack,” said one of the pro-democracy legislators.
The pro-democracy protests began as peaceful marches in March 2019 after the publication of the 2019 Hong Kong extradition bill. By October, property damage and throwing objects at police had become part of the exercise. So were street posters and graffiti. On the other hand, police also had stepped up arrests and use of force. Distrust of the police force escalated. And the growing animosity from either side showed no signs of abating.
The 18 yellow and black posters of the exhibit mock the brutal and ruthless police reference of a human being as an “object,” and serve as a reminder to defend and uphold human dignity. They are all copyright-free for download and distribution. The designers hope the audience would bring the message back to their community by putting up these posters in their neighborhoods. “It will be a perfect demonstration of our outcry for freedom, that will not be silenced by violence, “they said.
An online post by Openground Café where the exhibit was held, read
18 anonymous designers, 18 voices, 18 posters, both objects and not only objects. Graphic Design is a container, printed as a poster, and becomes organic. Every Poster of the exhibition is available for free of charge, and everyone is invited to share and spread the message together in their respective communities to infect more people. This is just a demonstration that people call for freedom, not violence can be put out.”
Less than a month after Andrew Yang, the first Chinese American candidate for president of the U.S., arrived in Minnesota to appear at a rally and a separate fundraising dinner, CNN released their latest rankings for the 2020 Democratic field. Out of 24 candidates, only 10 are placed in the ranking.
“For the first time,” Yang stated, “they placed me in the Top 10. That places us far ahead of sitting senators, governors, members of Congress, and former Cabinet members. We are gaining serious momentum — and the media is finally starting to catch on.”
According to the CNN rankings of the 10 men and women most likely - as of May 23 - to wind up as their party's nominee, two new faces got added this time around, which means two people had to drop off the list. The two eliminated? Former San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro and New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.
With President Donald Trump’s signature on Dec. 20, 2018, the "Chinese-American World War II Veteran Congressional Gold Medal Act," became law, making it official that this group of Chinese Americans will finally be recognized for their loyalty, patriotism and service to the United States during World War II. (Final version of signed bill)
By the start of the war in 1941, more than 100,000 Chinese and Chinese Americans had made a life for themselves in the U.S. Chinese Americans faced major challenges, including racial discrimination, under laws such as the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act, which limited Chinese labor immigration, the size of their population and their ability to build thriving communities. Nevertheless, almost 20,000 of these brave men and women served in the armed forces in every theater of battle and every branch of service, earning citations for their heroism and honorable service.
The Chinese Americans is the only U.S. minority group that has not been recognized for their service. Native Americans and Navajo Code Talkers, Tuskegee Airmen, Montford Point Marines, Women Air Force Service Pilots, Japanese Americans and Filipino Veterans have all been recognized for their service during World War II with Congressional Gold Medals — the highest honor that Congress can bestow.
By Elaine Dunn
Sherry Chen, the award-winning hydrologist who was falsely accused of espionage in 2014, and whose charges were all dropped prior to trial in 2015, has the solid support of the Committee of 100 (C100), the United Chinese Americans (UCA), the Ohio Chinese American Association (OCAA) and nine additional community groups in her quest to get her job at the National Weather Service back.
The April 2018 Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) ruled that the Department of Commerce (DOC), which oversees the National Weather Service, did not have cause to fire Chen back in 2016. Chen, it said, was “a victim of gross injustice.” Chen’s attorney noted, “In their appeal brief, the Department of Commerce has re- cycled arguments that Judge Schroeder rejected and, worse yet, ignored once again exculpatory evidence presented at the hearing that the agency buried during the criminal and disciplinary investigations preceding Sherry’s ar- rest and termination.”
Community groups feel that the DOC’s decision to appeal rather than comply with the MSPB’s further de- lays justice for Chen,.
“The Commerce Department is clearly embarrassed by the publicity of its scandalous activities,” noted
Jeremy Wu, trustee of the Sherry Chen Legal Defense Fund. “By appealing the MSPB decision, the Department further shows its blindness to the truth and innocence of Sherry Chen and risks additional scrutiny of its prohibited practices and loss of pub- lic trust.” Wu added, “Supporters for Sherry Chen, including her colleagues in the National Weather Service, will redouble their commitment and have faith that justice and fairness for Sherry Chen shall prevail and those who abuse and misuse authority shall eventually be held accountable.”
On May 23, 2018, C100, UCA and the OCAA along with members of the
Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), including Chair Rep. Judy Chu, Ted Lieu, Grace Meng and Raja Krishnamoorthi organized a press conference on Capitol Hill a to draw attention to Chen’s wrongful termination case and to issue a letter signed by 31 members of Congress requesting the Commerce Inspector General conduct an independent inves- tigation into the mishandling of Chen’s case. More than 130 Asian American community organizations supported the press conference.
(For details about Sheery Chen’s case, see p. 5 of June 2018 issue of China Insight, www.chinainsight.info.) ♦