At tomorrow’s City Council meeting Councilman John J. Igliozzi, Esq. (Ward 7) will be introducing a resolution in support of the Pro-Democratic protests in Hong Kong and will be asking the City of Providence to avoid buying items for city use from China – whenever possible.
Since March of 2019 the City-State of Hong Kong has been embroiled in mass protests surrounding the Anti-Extradition Law Amendment Bill known as the Anti-ELAB movement. The law would allow local authorities to detain and extradite criminal fugitives who are wanted in territories with which Hong Kong does not have extradition agreements, including Taiwan and mainland China. The law has been of concern for many pro-democratic residents of Hong Kong because they believe the law would subject residents and visitors to mainland China jurisdiction, undermining the autonomy of the region and its civil liberties.
“President John F. Kennedy once said that, ‘Democracy is the superior form of government, because it is based on a respect for man as a reasonable being,’” stated Councilman John J. Igliozzi, Esq. “China has been known to have incurred, and continues to incur, many human rights violations over the decades, and the pro-democratic residents of Hong Kong are rightly concerned that this is another step towards a lack of government transparency and a violation of their basic civil rights. As an elected official I feel it’s my responsibility to call out injustice when I see it – not just at home, but abroad as well. If there is something we can to show support for the residents of Hong Kong I believe it is our moral obligation and duty to do so.”
The pro-democratic protesters in Hong Kong have laid out five key demands, which include the investigation into the alleged police misconduct and resumption of democratic reforms, which are promised in the Basic Law but have stagnated since the Umbrella Revolution of 2014.
Since June, protesters have been holding some of the City-States’ largest protests on record. Including the protest on August 18, 2019 where an estimated 1.7 million people attended a rally condemning police brutality – inspired by the Baltic Way – protesters created a human chain of 50 kilometers long to create the Hong Kong Way.
Councilman Igliozzi continued, “As the riots continue, as recently as this past Sunday, it is clear that the residents of Hong Kong are being ignored, and it seems to be at the hands of the Chinese government. As a City Councilor, I believe that we can help show support for this pro-democracy movement by working to eliminate our dependence on products made in China as best as possible. I realize that’s a tall order, but we have to start somewhere to help amplify the voices of those fighting for democracy.”
The protests are nearing the six-month mark because of their distrust of the mainland Chinese government, and their belief that the counter-attacks on protesters have been orchestrated by the Chinese government. The City Council of the City of Providence stands with the residents of Hong Kong who are resolute in their desire for a pro-democratic government.