Manila (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Thousands of people around the world have expressed their support for pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong; demonstrations of solidarity with the "umbrella revolution" have taken place in over 64 cities including London, New York, Montreal and Manila.
In the Philippines, solidarity with the Occupy Central protesters was took on a particular anti-Chinese connotation, given the long-standing territorial issues between Manila and Beijing in the South China Sea, which have raised the level of tension between the two countries.
According to the organizers, in London over 3 thousand people participated in a rally which was held outside the Chinese embassy. A "totally unexpected" turnout they add, since for a similar event held last week there were a few hundred people. During the demonstration, the crowd clamored for the resignation of the governor (pro-China) in Hong Kong, Leung Chun-ying.
Even in New York hundreds of protesters gathered in Times Square, to express their solidarity with the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong; among them were several veteran Chinese activists from the 1989 Democratic Movement (the Tiananmen Square protests, violently repressed by Beijing). They chanted various slogans, including "Hong Kong, democracy, democracy, Hong Kong".
In Montreal, in Canada, more than 200 people made their voices heard in support of the protesters of the former British colony; they included students from Hong Kong, a group of elderly originally from Vietnam, as well as human rights activists. Throughout North America over 37 thousand people wore a piece of clothing yellow, in solidarity with the protesters in Hong Kong; events were held in at least 40 colleges and universities.
In the Philippines, groups of protesters expressed their closeness to the democratic movement in Hong Kong, noting that Beijing should "stop using force" to stop the protests in the "global financial hub" or to "solve territorial disputes with the Philippines."
About 50 people of the Akbayan Party brandished yellow umbrellas to symbolize the "fight for democracy" in Hong Kong, and black to remember "the anti-democratic practices" of Beijing in the region. The protests were concentrated outside the Beijing consulate in Manila; demonstrators included the former Interior Minister Rafael Alunan, of the West Philippine Sea Coalition, active in denouncing Chinese naval incursions into Philippine territorial waters.