LONG BEACH — Activists rallied for Chinese american human rights defender Brandon Lee, who was gunned down int he Philippines earlier this month.
The incident isn’t the first time activists say its happened to one of their own.
It’s been three weeks since American human rights volunteer, Brandon Lee, was shot four times outside his home in Ifugao province after he was tagged ‘enemy of the state’ on social media.
But his friends, loved-ones and supporters here in the US continue to hope against hope that the 37-year old would recover.
He remains in critical condition after he suffered cardiac arrest during an operation to remove one of the bullets lodged in his body.
“It’s amazing that he’s alive and he’s fight, it’s important to know he hears all of us. He hears the messages,” says his cousin Lauren Quirarte.
They formed the Justice for Brandon Lee campaign — hoping to raise funds at the Filipino-owned Romeo Chocolates, to help support Lee’s medical expenses.
Lee had moved to the Philippines about a decade ago where he volunteers for the Ifugao Peasant Movement, a community group that protests a hydropower project, as well as military presence in the Cordillera region.
Activists believe his shooting was politically motivated.
While not everyone may have known Brandon personally, his story hits close to home for some activists, who say they have experienced different types of intimidation in the Philippines during their humanitarian work.
Since Lee’s shooting, the Philippine Commission on Human Rights has also called for the passage of a bill that seeks to prevent violations and abuses against human rights activists.