Alex Ko is “exactly the kind of person China is worried about,” informs the BBC.
Described as “soft-spoken” and “bespectacled,” the 23-year-old Ko lives in Taiwan, hundreds of ocean miles away from Hong Kong, where for months the streets have been consumed in protests demanding simple but difficult things: freedom, democracy, government accountability.
What can one person do — especially living far away and in a different country?
You might think: not much.
But Mr. Ko managed to do something. Two-thousand-plus somethings. With help.
Ko launched “a donation drive for gas masks, air filters and helmets at his church,” and has been able to send Hong Kong protesters “more than 2,000 sets of such gear . . . to protect them against tear gas regularly fired by the police.”
It’s sad such gear is needed but . . . “[a] new Amnesty International field investigation has documented an alarming pattern of the Hong Kong Police Force deploying reckless and indiscriminate tactics, including while arresting people at protests, as well as exclusive evidence of torture and other ill-treatment in detention.”
“As a Christian,” Ko told the BBC, “when we see people hurt and attacked, I feel we have to help them.” And then he added, “As a Taiwanese, I’m worried we may be next.”
Today I’m flying to Hong Kong in route to Taiwan to address the 2019 Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy. Because freedom and democracy must be protected and expanded the world over . . . so no one is “next.”
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.