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Vietnamese Americans Rally for Hong Kong Students

More than 200 Vietnamese Americans rallied late Sunday in southern California to support Hong Kong students and residents who are protesting for universal suffrage in the Chinese territory.

The crowd, filled with many students, gathered late Sunday in the Los Angeles suburb of Westminster, which has one of the largest Vietnamese communities in the U.S., with an estimated 200,000 Vietnamese immigrants.

Andrew Tran, a college student, told VOA his parents are supportive of Hong Kong’s fight for democracy.

“They were born in Vietnam, and they were taken over by communism, and they don’t want to see communism grow. They would love to see more democracy grow instead," he said.

Doctor Jonathan Huynh fled from Vietnam to the United States with his parents when he was three years old. He wants Hong Kong students to know that there are many young people overseas supporting them.

“The reason why the family, my family, came to America is to fight for freedom, to gain freedom, to have freedom. So seeing the people in Hong Kong fighting for democracy, we are here to totally support them," he said.

Diana Carey, a member of the Westminster City Council, asked everyone to sign her umbrella, which she wants to give to Hong Kong students.

“And I’m also here today to remind everyone that voting here is really important," she said. "The people in Hong Kong and the people in Vietnam are in jail and demonstrating and putting themselves in great risk, and we here, we need to honor that by voting."

In addition to Carey's umbrella, many paper-cut umbrellas with messages will also be sent to Hong Kong.

“These are letters to show our support for Hong Kong. Some of the letters are like [calling for], voting rights for all. Pray for everyone in Hong Kong," Uyen Truong, a student, said.

In addition to students, local elected officials, religious, school and community leaders also attended the rally.

This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Mandarin service.