As the world shifts its attention to the G-20 summit in Osaka, a small but dedicated group of protesters in Hong Kong have delivered petitions to the consulates of G-20 members asking the countries to defy China at their meeting this week and insist on discussing the anti-extradition bill protests that have rocked Hong Kong over the past few weeks.
Beijing said last week that it wouldn't permit the issue to be raised at the meeting. Yet, that hasn't stopped demonstrators wearing shirts bearing slogans like "Liberate Hong Kong". The group started their march at the US consulate in Hong Kong, where they delivered a letter asking for American support.
Per the FT, the letter delivered to the American consulate pleaded for the "urgent intervention" of President Trump to persuade authorities in Hong Kong to withdraw the extradition bill. In the letter, the demonstrators also solicited international support for an investigation into the use of tear gas to break up protests.
"We would greatly appreciate an intervention, in the hope of a complete withdrawal of the extradition bill and an independent, open investigation on the possible use of excessive violence by the Police Force against us," according to the letter.
Notably, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said last week that he expected the protests would be among the issues Trump would President Xi Jinping when they meet at the G20 in Japan, though bringing up Hong Kong might risk angering Xi at a time when the two leaders are desperate to come up with another trade deal.
But marching to the various consulates isn't the only strategy being employed by the demonstrators to get the attention of foreign leaders at the summit. According to Bloomberg, Hong Kong activists have raised $858,000 in just nine hours in a bid to plaster global newspapers with ads demanding the withdrawal of a controversial extradition bill ahead of the G-20 summit.
Legislation to protest the extradition bill will run in the New York Times and the Financial Times. Other publications, including the Washington Post, the Australian and the Japan Times had been contacted.
The ad will read "Save Hong Kong at G20" and include the text of the letter being handed out to consulates.
So far, Beijing has left protesters mostly alone though many worry about their digital footprints being used against them. But after this international embarrassment, the party leaders in Beijing might be prompted to act.