The Korean student activist standing up for Hong Kong democracy

One year ago, about 250 university students and youth group organization members gathered at the Chinese Embassy in Seoul to denounce Beijing’s brutal engagement in the Hong Kong protest. Among them stood Park Dohyung, a 23-years-old student activist who organized the rally.

One year on, Park is now a co-representative of The Declaration of Global Citizen in Korea, a non-governmental organization supporting peace and democracy around the world. He has continued to voice out his support for the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong.

“I wish the movements in Korea will give hope to pro-democratic citizens in Hong Kong,” said Park, “I would like to inform them that many Korean citizens are ready to stand up for Hong Kong’s pro-democratic movements.”

Park feels that the South Korean government can do more, hoping the Korean government can make a statement to support Hong Kong’s protest movement. “ I think the our movements in Korea should not stop in supporting the HK citizens, our goal is to move the Korean government.” he said.

Park Dohyung, a student activist in Korea, has been supporting the Hong Kong protest since 2019. (Photo by: Alex Lee)

Park began his career as a student activist for the Hong Kong protest in October 2019, establishing Students Speak for Hong Kong, a Korean student organization that supports the Hong Kong protest.

Speak for Hong Kong started South Korea’s first “Lennon Wall” in Seoul National University, leading a nation-wide movement to establish “Lennon Walls” on different university campuses. “Lennon Walls” are walls posted with multi-colored post-it notes, inspired by the Lennon Wall in Prague. These mosaic walls have become a fixture of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement.

The organization also conducted a silent march at Seoul National University and a rally at the Chinese embassy in Seoul last November.

On December 2, 2019, Park organized a one-man protest relay campaign to support the Hong Kong protest in front of the Chinese embassy at Seoul, initiating seven more one-man protests from seven other activists in different parts of Korea.

In order to trigger more direct actions from the government to support Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movements, Park established The Declaration of Global Citizen in Korea along with several political party members on June 2020.

Under the new organization, Park organized a proclamation ceremony to boycott the movie Mulan in front of the Walt Disney Company’s Korean Headquarters in Seoul on July 1. They asked for instant apologies from the film’s cast for writing posts in support of the Hong Kong police. The ceremony received a huge amount of attention from the media, attracting reporters from 24 news agencies.

Park further held a press conference denouncing the Hong Kong national security law on July 14, 2020.

In October, Park organized another rally in front of the Chinese Embassy in Seoul asking for the discharge of 12 Hong Kong activists detained in China for their attempt to flee Hong Kong last August.

Despite his efforts, the situation in Hong Kong has shifted dramatically, with the imposition of the National Security Law and the recent disqualification of four lawmakers from the legislative council.

“It is a shame,” said Park on the current situation of Hong Kong. “Hong Kong protest received huge support from various citizens around the world, but all the support seems to be neglected.”

“In fact, we are all connected,” added Park. “Government brutality is not necessarily limited to Hong Kong, but it happens in various countries around the world. We should all unite to raise our voice against such violence.”

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: