Hong Kong protesters march on U.S. consulate

(Photo by Aidan Marzo/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

By the thousands, protesters calling on President Donald Trump to intervene in their struggle for greater political freedom marched on the U.S. consulate in Hong Kong on Sunday.

Hundreds of American flags flew in the crowd as they called on the U.S. to pass the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, which would require Washington to annually assess the enclave’s level of autonomy from Beijing and cancel its trading privileges if that autonomy is compromised, Time reported.

“We hope Congress will pass the act. The session resumes next week, so this is good timing,” a protester told Time. “The U.S. government treasures values like democracy, justice and human rights.”

Residents have been taking to the streets of Hong Kong since early June to protest a planned extradition bill, with Chief Executive Carrie Lam announcing last week that the measure would be withdrawn from the local parliament.

(Photo by Aidan Marzo/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

But it may be a case of too little, too late, as the protests have expanded into broader demand for greater democracy and civil rights.

Or, as Time characterized it, “a rebellion against the territory’s unrepresentative, Beijing-backed government.”

More from the magazine:

The democratic movement is calling for universal suffrage as well as exoneration for all protesters arrested to date, and an independent inquiry into alleged police brutality in the handling of the protests. Many protesters also want self-determination, or even independence, for the territory, which was retroceded to China in 1997 after 156 years of British rule and promised a “high degree” of autonomy as part of the handover deal.

But asking President Trump to intervene may be asking for too much as his options are limited without risking much greater problems with China.

Some are asking for the impossible.

“When the American Army comes, I’ll lead the way,” one protester scrawled outside the Bank of China, according to Time.

Kelli Lo, 28, who was waving two small U.S. flags, said they’re hoping Trump will lean on China to back off on the former British colony.

“We want the international community to care about what is happening in Hong Kong and to help us,” Lo said. “Trump can push China to step back.”

(Photo by Aidan Marzo/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

There have been accusations from China that Washington is behind the three-month long demonstrations, according to CNN.

“It is an open secret in Hong Kong that the forces protesting the extradition bill have been sponsored by the U.S.,” the Chinese state-run Global Times said in an editorial in July.

The network reported that the State Department responded to say the Chinese claims of their involvement are “ridiculous.”

Sunday’s march reportedly started out peacefully, but became more contentious as the day wore on, with some protesters erecting barricades and starting fires. Scuffles with police also took place.

Here’s a sampling of tweets about the protest posted on Twitter:


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