Image Courtesy of Noah Slayter
By Noah Slayter
Under drizzling rain and chilly temperatures, Catholic University’s Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) club organized a protest outside the Chinese embassy. Over 30 protesters gathered in front of the embassy shouting “CCP not for me!” (referring to the Chinese Communist Party) and “Free Taiwan, Free Hong Kong, Free Tibet!” The Catholic University of America (CUA) students were joined by numerous Chinese dissidents who gave testimony in front of the building about how they fled China for fear of repercussions due to their Christian faith. Some of the dissidents also had family members who spoke out against the CCP’s human rights atrocities, which necessitated them to flee the country. Many students held signs with slogans that said “Free the Uyghurs” and “China Lied People Died,” referencing claims that China lied about the virality of COVID-19 causing deaths worldwide. Others’ signs said “Shoo Away Pooh,” poking fun at Chinese President Xi Jinping who censored Winnie the Pooh when comparisons were made between him and the stuffed bear.
Of the dissidents who spoke out, Lou Shengchun, whose husband was taken away 10 years ago in April of 2013, said “I started to open my eyes, to see what happened in China. And I was so shocked, at all the evils done by the CCP.” Shengchun talked about how China is “so good at brainwashing people. They are good at making all the white things black. The good, bad.” Shengchun fled to the US to escape punishment for her husband’s anti-Communist rhetoric. Her husband is currently missing, and presumed by her to be dead or imprisoned by the Chinese government. “It’s no longer the Republic of China, it’s now the empire of China. The empire of Xi Jinping.”
Another Chinese non-conformist, Guangcheng Chen, who was blinded by sickness at 6 months old, spoke out against China’s one-child policy and other human rights abuses. Because of his statements, he has been imprisoned, beaten, and put under house arrest in the past. Eventually, he escaped to the American embassy in Beijing. Guangcheng is now a professor at the Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies at CUA.
CUA Student Alex Diaz noted that Americans are seemingly unaware or apathetic about the human rights abuses spread by the CCP. “The sad truth is that a lot of people aren’t concerned about communism like Americans were during the Cold War. We’re out here to raise awareness about the atrocities the Chinese Communist Party facilitated upon the world.”
The protest comes on the heels of the CEO of TikTok testifying in front of the House of Representatives. The representatives of the Energy and Commerce Committee grilled the TikTok executive about the company’s connections to Chinese government officials and the national security risk these would have on the 50 million American TikTok users.