“The question before us in the Council today comes down to this: are we going to take the honorable stand to defend the human rights and dignified way of life that millions of Hong Kong citizens have enjoyed and deserved . . . or are we going to allow the government in Beijing to undermine their international legal commitments and force their will on the people of Hong Kong . . . ?” Statement; Remarks as delivered
Prominent rights advocate Xu Zhiyong was taken away by police in Guangzhou on Saturday, February 15, 2020. He was a founder of Gongmeng, Open Constitution Initiative, a legal research an aid organization that was shut down by the authorities in 2009, and a leading advocate of the New Citizens’ Movement, which advocated for the protection of rights of citizens through nonviolent means. He served four years in prison but has continued to speak out since his release in 2017. He was one of the participants in a private gathering in Xiamen in early December 2019, where lawyers and other right advocates shared ideas about promoting the growth of a civil society in China. In late December, the authorities detained, summoned, or disappeared more than 20 attendees (some were subsequently released), and Xu went into hiding. On February 4, 2020, Xu published “Admonition to Resign,” an essay urging President Xi Jinping to step down, in which he cites Xi’s incompetence in governing and attempts at covering the truth of the coronavirus outbreak. The quote above, “Always wanting to go against the course of history—that is your biggest problem,” is taken from this essay.
Tuesday, September 17, 2019 - 10:00am to 12:00pm