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Sound of solidarity

New Yorkers sing and chant in support of Hong Kong protesters

Sound of solidarity

Hong Kong protesters at Washington Square Park in New York City (Emily Belz)

A New York moment: 

While WORLD’s June Cheng faced tear gas and violence as she covered protests in Hong Kong, I was lucky to go to a peaceful, sunny gathering in New York’s Washington Square Park, where activists assembled in a show of support for the Hong Kong protests. 

New York has had several protests—in front of the Chinese Consulate and in parks—over the last few days. There is some division of opinion here, as a pro–Hong Kong wall for posters in Chinatown has been repeatedly defaced with pro-Beijing slogans. 

On this gorgeous Saturday, a small orchestra materialized in front of the Washington Square Park arch, which is emblazoned with a quote from George Washington: “Let us raise a standard to which the wise and honest can repair. The event is in the hand of God.”

The orchestra was clad in the attire of the Hong Kong protesters: black clothes from head to toe, and yellow hard hats. A small crowd gathered, also dressed in black, and the band played “Glory to Hong Kong,” an anthem of the protests, as the crowd sang in Cantonese and English. Then the band transitioned to another song identified with the protests, “Do You Hear the People Sing?” from Les Misérables.

Between the singing, the crowd chanted protester slogans: “Five demands, not one less!” People handed out literature, including “The Hong Kong Protestors’ Letter to the Free World,” which reviews the oppressive history of the Chinese Communist Party, starting with the Cultural Revolution, and paints a picture of a totalitarian regime that is trying to bring down “the new West Berlin,” Hong Kong. 

“We call for the free world to join us and stand as one against the greatest threat it has ever seen,” the letter reads. Protesters in Hong Kong have sought U.S. support, with many waving American flags and singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” as they march.

Worth your time:  

Comedian Gary Gulman, one of my favorites, appears on this podcast episode and gives a pastor advice on how to be funny in sermons. 

This week I learned: 

The only survivor from the spot where a plane slammed into the World Trade Center’s south tower on 9/11 is now a Pentecostal pastor.

A court detail you might not know about: 

Some handwritten notes that Supreme Court justices have passed to each other during oral arguments over the decades are now public. 

During the 1973 National League Championship Series, aides brought updates on the game to the justices, who passed the notes to each other while listening to court arguments: “[Ken] Griffey flied out to center, w/bases loaded. NO SCORE,” reads one note.

Culture I am consuming:

The Irishman, Martin Scorsese’s mobster film coming to theaters Nov. 1, played at the New York Film Festival last weekend. It’s very good. Joe Pesci’s performance especially stands out.

Email me with tips, story ideas, and feedback at ebelz@wng.org