TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Pro-Taiwan groups and overseas Taiwanese in the U.S. converged in New York City on Saturday (Sept. 7) to march for Taiwan’s inclusion in the United Nations and to raise awareness of Taiwan’s struggle for international recognition.
Marching ahead of the 74th UN General Assembly this month, the “Keep Taiwan Free” has become an annual event with a history of over 20 years. This year the march began at Astor Place near New York University before proceeding to the west side of midtown Manhattan to protest outside China’s Consulate General Office in New York City.
Marching alongside the pro-Taiwan demonstrators were supporters of the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong as well as activists working to bring attention to the brutal oppression of ethnic minorities in Xinjiang and Tibet under the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Organizers also carried a Lennon Wall, inspired by the one in Hong Kong, allowing participants and passers-by to offer their thoughts and words of encouragement for Taiwan and those already suffering under the authoritarian CCP regime, reports CNA.
Keep Taiwan Free marchers in Times Square, Sept. 7 (CNA photo)
Organizers said the ongoing protests in Hong Kong and international media attention have brought heightened awareness to threat China poses to democracy this year. As a result, the number of marchers this year included a higher turnout of young people in their teens and twenties than seen in years previous.
Although the number of marchers was higher at the start and finish of the march, organizers estimate that about 500 people made the entire trek from start to finish. Many pedestrians the march passed along the way offered encouragement and expressed support for Taiwan’s democratic future, reports CNA.
Keep Taiwan Free march in NYC (CNA photo)