The hashtag #PrayForHongKong trended on Twitter in the Philippines as Filipinos offer their solidarity to citizens of the special administrative region of China amid attacks on pro-democracy protesters.
Videos and pictures of Hong Kong citizens being attacked made their way to the microblogging platform. Filipino users are reposting the images with messages of support.
— Aira Marie Gonzaga (@officialaira11) July 25, 2019
God help people of HK to seek for their peace and justice! 🇭🇰 #PrayForHongkong
— AngieDaBaddest (@angelaarcache) July 24, 2019
A moment of silence to #PrayForHongkong and for violence to stop.
— the average pinoy (@COCOhernandez) July 24, 2019
Rep. Sarah Elago (Kabataan party-list) expressed solidarity with Hong Kong residents, particularly pro-democracy protesters pushing for political reform, specifically continued autonomy from China’s control.
Solidarity from the Philippines!
THE PEOPLE UNITED WILL NEVER BE DEFEATED ✊
— Sarah Elago (@sarahelago) July 25, 2019
Some Filipinos, however, criticized their fellows for comparing the scenes captured on video to “The Purge,” an American thriller featuring state-sanctioned violence.
— JOLLIBEE🐝 (@jollideekay) July 24, 2019
Y’all please stop being disrespectful calling this “the purge” it’s a very serious topic and y’all making fun of it,is so disgusting there’s so many people that have gotten seriously ingured because of this. #PrayForHongKong pic.twitter.com/HoeI6n89QL
— ♡Jocey♡ (@btsfreakkk) July 24, 2019
“The Purge” is based on fictional events and deals with how violence is legalized and encouraged. Citizens in Hong Kong, in contrast, are clamoring for political reform and complete withdrawal of the extradition bill.
Unfolding events in Hong Kong
Despite the admission of Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam that pushing for extradition bill allowing mainland China to try Hong Kong citizens is a “total failure,” the proposed legislation has not yet been completely withdrawn.
Fresh violence surged last Sunday when a group of men in white shirts carrying sticks and metal bars attacked anti-China protesters in Yuen Long, a town in Hong Kong near the border of mainland China.
Among those injured were journalists and a pro-democracy lawmaker, Lam Cheuk-ting.
The lawmaker said the attacks appeared to have been carried out by pro-Chinese government “gangsters” with the aim to intimidate protesters.
“I have strong reason to believe they were gangsters. I don’t think any ordinary citizens have done such sophisticated, organized attacks on this kind of level,” Cheuk-ting said in an interview with The New York Times.
“They repeatedly went into the train and were using batons to indiscriminately attack all the people on the train. Many journalists, even a pregnant woman, all ordinary citizens of Hong Kong, were attacked by those gangsters,” he added.
Hong Kong citizens have begun to call for wider democratic reforms—including directly electing their own leader—and a thorough investigation into police authorities supposedly using extreme force against the protesters.