Americans in Hong Kong cook up a sweet plan to protest Trump

Two ex-pat Americans far from home take their anger at US president Trump and turn it into a tasty protest to raise money for resistance to his policies

PUBLISHED : Friday, 24 February, 2017, 6:33pm
UPDATED : Friday, 24 February, 2017, 7:58pm

Resistance is sweet – that’s the rallying cry for many Americans in Hong Kong against what they see as the “bitter state of democracy” back home. In a sign of protest, two long-term Hong Kong residents Shelly Hayashi and Jen Kentrup organised a charity bake sale this Saturday to put their skills as “aggressive bakers” to good use.

The event, which will take place at Studio 9 on Wong Chuk Hang Road, aims to bring in some 100 people to raise US$4,000 (HK$31,050). Donors can choose to have their funds go to the American Civil Liberties Union, Planned Parenthood, or the National Endowment for the Arts – all of which support causes undermined by President Donald Trump’s administration.

“What’s happening in the US right now is not right,” Hayashi said, referencing misogyny from the election cycle, and Trump’s Cabinet picks and policies. “It’s been very difficult to watch, especially from abroad, because you feel helpless. We’re sleeping, while they’re living it.”

But armed with sweets from home-made salted chocolate toffees to pecan pies and gluten-free treats, the two hope a bake sale – a “super American thing to do” – will empower themselves and others to make their voice heard.

“I wanted to take the feelings that I’m having and do something positive about it,” said Kentrup, who has been in Hong Kong for nearly 17 years.

The fund-raiser will also feature a lucky draw with prizes from sponsors such as salon Fox and the Barber, and vegetarian restaurant Mana.

Kentrup said the event, which welcomes everyone, is an educational way to show her kids that they don’t have to sit on the sidelines.

“We want to let the world know ... that the international community is watching, and that they’re not alone and we’re in this with them,” added Hayashi, who has lived here for six years. “This is coming from our hearts.”