A fundraiser for the current political unrest in Hong Kong exceeded its target amount of US$1 million, or HK$7.8 million, the same day it was set up on GoFundMe on Sun (11 Aug).
The fundraising effort on Sun, according to organiser Freedom HK – International on behalf of the Hong Kong Add Oil movement, serves as “a contingency measure to the emergent situation” in Hong Kong, after another bout of violent clashes between police and pro-democracy protesters surfaced in various parts of the city last weekend.
“G20 Team decides to once again join forces with LIHKG Scorched-Earth Team to initiate the 8.17/18 worldwide advertisement campaign and second-wave counterattack against the Hong Kong puppet government and its police force,” the organiser’s statement read on the crowdfunding page.
The organisers also said that the G20 Team and LIHKG Scorched-Earth Team intend to “expose to the global community how the HKSAR government suppresses voices of dissidents, launches chemical weapons to civilians indiscriminately, [and] opens fire from rifles within 1 meter of civilians”.
“In light of our dire situation, we Hong Kongers, need to initiate a new wave of actions to garner international attention, to blockage and sanction HKSAR officials, pro-Beijing parties, and any members of the HK Police Force who has committed misconduct or criminal behaviours,” the statement added.
Such misconduct include firing poisonous tear gas indoors, shooting a first-aider in the eye “from point blank range”, and attacking civilians indiscriminately on the street, according to the statement by Freedom HK – International.
“[The] Hong Kong government, meanwhile, packages these criminal activities and war crimes as ‘the lowest degree of force necessary to stop the protests’? Will you let them be?”
The statement on the crowdfunding page indicated that through a US volunteer’s personal account entrusted with the amount collected from the fundraising effort, “any funding exceeding the target will grant us extra leverage in fighting for the cause, and any remaining funding will be donated to 612 Humanitarian Relief Fund or equivalent charities”. The total amount raised was US$906,980 more than the original target of US$1mil, as seen on the GoFundMe page.
“Meanwhile, since the transfer process would take several days, we have other funder volunteers who would pre-pay the campaign expenses out of her/his personal funds. Finally, the US volunteer would reimburse the funder volunteers.
“As usual, our fund flow and expenses will be properly documented by our accountant and submitted for an external independent audit,” the statement read.
Freedom HK – International also called upon HongKongers abroad – in the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand or anywhere around the world – to also mobilise themselves and “organize large scale rallies” this Sat (17 Aug).
Lynn Lee, a Singaporean journalist and film producer at Lianain Films, who has been covering the protests on the ground herself, said on Mon (12 Aug) that the fundraising campaign meeting its target amount in less than a couple of hours is a clear indication of how “seriously pissed off” the protesters are with the current political situation in Hong Kong, particularly regarding the alleged widespread police brutality with each protest.
In a response to The Straits Times former editor Leslie Fong’s op-ed on the 1 Jul protests, Lee previously said that Hong Kongers are protesting against the government as they are “appalled by the steady erosion of the one-country-two-systems framework”.
Fong, in his op-ed for ST on 5 Jul, branded the protesters as “rioters” and said that Singaporeans watched television footage of them “ransacking and vandalising” LegCo in “sadness and bewilderment”.
Highlighting the mistrust many Hongkongers have against the Chinese Communist Party, Lee said that the city’s denizens “owe it to themselves to say something now even if they’re sure China and the HK government won’t listen”.
“A people who can organise – as the young protesters in HK have organised – is a frightening thing for authoritarian regimes. Some people, somewhere, are getting their knickers in a bunch, not because they care about Hong Kongers, but because they’re afraid of what we might learn from their struggle,” she warned.