This year’s July 1st rally had a few non-Chinese participants in the crowd. Here is a snapshot of what they thought of the march and why they attended.

Joe Wyatt, 20, Scotland

Wyatt, a student at Edinburgh University, said: “I’m here because I think it’s very important to stick up for Hong Kong. I’ve lived here for the majority for my life. The veto was a good step, but it’s a first step in a long fight against this fake suffrage that’s being forced upon us, and achieving true universal suffrage.”

Photo: Paul Benedict Lee

Charles Limbumba, 44, Tanzania

Limbumba has been a refugee in Hong Kong for six years. He was at Victoria Park to protest against the territory’s denial of refugees’ right to work.

Photo: Paul Benedict Lee.

Juliette Lailler, 21, France

Lailler is a university student in Hong Kong doing an internship. she said: “I am from France so was very impressed at how peaceful and quiet the protests were”. Lailler added she was happy to see the yellow umbrellas were still being unfurled.

Photo: Paul Benedict Lee.

Sheila Estrada, 55, The Philippines

Estrada (left) is a domestic worker. She said: “We want Hong Kong to have universal suffrage. We also need democracy to fight for our rights to stop exploitation.”

Photo: Eric Cheung.

Tom Midgley, 50, United Kingdom

Midgley, who owns a coffee shop on Lantau Island, says he wants to have a separate culture from the mainland, and to “stop it from being diluted by China”. He thinks the Basic Law needs to be rewritten. “China has interpreted it in quite an unfair way. It should be rewritten in a way that Beijing cannot interfere,” he said.

Photo: Paul Benedict Lee.

Additional Reporting by: Eric Cheung and Vicky Wong.


Paul Benedict Lee

Paul Benedict Lee is an undergraduate law student at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Paul has previously contributed to HK Magazine and Radio Television Hong Kong, covering issues ranging from local heritage conservation to arts features. He has also worked as a legal intern at local human rights firm Daly & Associates.