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PICS/VIDEOS: US colleges join China freedom protests; also spread to Hong Kong, Taiwan, more

Protesters at Columbia University echo protests rocking China. (Screenshot/Twitter)
November 30, 2022

The wave of protests currently rocking China have inspired sympathetic hearts and minds around the world to stage demonstrations of their own against the Chinese Communist Party.

Since the new protests broke out last week, likeminded demonstrations have been staged in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, the U.K., U.S. and Canada, the Washington Post reported. Reuters reported protest activity in France and Australia.

China’s large-scale protests appear to demand an end to the Communist Party’s strict “zero-COVID” policy, which continues to trigger grueling lockdowns, as well as the rule of President Xi Jinping, who recently secured an unprecedented third term.

The protests across China erupted after 10 deaths in a house fire were blamed on COVID restrictions that prevented effective escapes and rescues, which Chinese authorities denied.

Protests of this scale are rare in China, with this wave described as the most significant challenge to the Communist regime since the protests that led to the Tiananmen Square incident in 1989.

Students have come together at American universities across the nation, including at Columbia University in New York, Duke University in North Carolina, and the University of California Berkeley, according to France24.

Students at UC Berkeley chanted in Mandarin for Xi to step down, and one protestor carried a sign saying “Death to the dictator,” France24 reported.

A video posted on Twitter appeared to show an individual physically assaulting protesters at Columbia University.

Another view from Columbia University shows protesters with a sign saying, “Chinese Communist Party, Step Down! Give Me Liberty or Death!”

One video posted on social media appeared to show a row of young people chanting in front of the Chinese embassy in Tokyo, Japan, holding blank white pieces of paper – an anti-censorship symbol adopted by many Chinese protesters.

A translation of the video caption indicates one female student from Shanghai said, “Many Chinese people are living a very difficult life, and we want to speak out for them.” The caption also says protesters in the Japanese capital were chanting “Don’t be a slave, be a citizen.”

Multiple videos appear to show protesters holding white papers in Hong Kong, which has seen significant Chinese crackdown since historic protests challenged the regime in 2019. One video purports to show a sizable group holding white papers and softly singing at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.