Tens of thousands of pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong called on the U.S. to pass a Hong Kong human rights act.
Demonstrators on Monday asked U.S. senators to support the Hong Kong Rights and Democracy Act of 2019. Speakers at the protest said the bill would be their “most powerful weapon,” Reuters reported. It would protect human rights in Hong Kong as well as provide annual reviews of its economy and allow the U.S. to place sanctions on countries that threaten its independence, according to Reuters.
The bill has not been passed by either chamber of Congress.
Protesters carried American flags and signs saying “Make Hong Kong Great Again” and featuring Uncle Sam, according to the news wire.
“All of the Hong Kong people feel hopeless and the government hasn’t listened to our voices so we need the USA to help us,” protester Edward Fong told Reuters.
Police said protests reached a “life-threatening” level Monday after a small bomb was set off and a policeman was stabbed Sunday, according to Reuters.
These protests mark the first demonstrations since newly implemented emergency laws that prevent protesters from wearing masks at demonstrations, punishable by up to a year in jail.
Violence in the protests has surged since the laws were introduced Oct. 5, and some have worn masks to protest the ban, Reuters reported.
Hong Kong protests have continued since June when a bill was introduced that would have allowed Hong Kong residents to be extradited to China.
President Trump has promised China he would remain silent about the protests in Hong Kong, according to a CNN report. But lawmakers have invited activists to Capitol Hill, who testified asking for U.S. support for the semi-autonomous country.