Discover more from Human Rights in China
PRESS RELEASE: HRIC Statement on CCP-Organized Attacks and SFPD Inaction During APEC Meeting in San Francisco
Between November 15 and November 17, CCP-organized groups attacked protestors in San Francisco who were there for Xi Jinping’s visit for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting. Dozens of protestors from the Chinese, Hong Kong, and Tibetan communities were physically assaulted in these orchestrated attacks. More than ten people were bloodied, and three were hospitalized with severe injuries. Several were robbed of their phones while trying to record what was happening. Human Rights in China (HRIC) has collected numerous eyewitness accounts and reports on these attacks, and we invite journalists to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. We are able to provide evidence and connect interested parties with witnesses.
HRIC’s understanding so far is that CCP-affiliated groups were bussed in from other cities and flown in from as far as New York City and Los Angeles in groups to welcome Xi Jinping. These included pro-CCP figures in the Chinese community, including some who are well-known for violence. One Youtube account from a Chinese student confirms that, even though the groups were organized under the names of Chinese Students and Scholars Associations (CSSAs), they were paid for by the Chinese consulate, who provided funds for transportation and meals. A student who traveled to San Francisco to welcome Xi Jinping also said the Chinese consulate paid for flight tickets and hotels for pro-CCP supporters to come from New York City.
Video footage shows a pro-CCP group following a lone protestor before physically assaulting him.
Some eyewitnesses report seeing individuals within the pro-CCP groups who were wearing headsets to coordinate the attacks. Some of these individuals gave the impression of having military training, but we have been unable to confirm any identities. Additionally, some of the pro-CCP groups were wearing red headbands, which is a common feature of organized gangs. Some have compared the behavior of the pro-CCP attackers to that of the mob attacks in Yuen Long, Hong Kong, in 2021.
Unfortunately, the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) did little to protect the protestors. According to witnesses, the San Francisco police seemed unwilling to step in against the pro-CCP groups. So far, there has been no reported arrests of the perpetrators of CCP-organized attacks, but police arrested a leading anti-CCP protestor, Jie Lijian, and charged him initially with six counts, later dropped to two. HRIC seeks an investigation into how the San Francisco police handled this event, especially how they cooperated with pro-CCP groups on the ground.
Such attacks are not new, there have been similar incidents for decades. In the past, HRIC Executive Director Zhou Fengsuo has been personally targeted and beaten by pro-CCP agents at other peaceful protests while San Francisco police stood by, ignoring his repeated requests for protection. We are concerned that the California government may be trying to win favor from Xi Jinping at the expense of the anti-CCP, pro-freedom community. We are further concerned that there have been no substantial media reports on these organized attacks.
HRIC strongly condemns these recent CCP-organized attacks on U.S. territory. This is an outrageous display of transnational repression toward freedom-loving communities who oppose the CCP and its egregious human rights record. HRIC demands a public hearing on these events, and urges the U.S. govt to protect the right of free expression against the CCP’s attacks and intimidations.