Open letter to Mayer Brown law firm RE: Pillar of Shame (with follow up)

We the undersigned, human rights and civil society organizations around the world, respectfully ask the Mayer Brown law firm to rescind their agreement to represent the University of Hong Kong in their attempt to remove the famous “Pillar of Shame’ sculpture from the university’s campus. The sculpture was created by Danish artist Jens Galschiøt in 1997 to commemorate the 1989 Tiananmen massacre.

The Mayer Brown law firm stated as their mission to “contribute when and where we can have a great impact. We encourage and enable our lawyers and business services to play a role in making a positive difference in the lives of others.”

The sculpture has been at the University of Hong Kong campus for over 20 years. For the Mayer Brown law firm to demand that it be removed after all these years when there had been no objections from the university officials nor from the student body in the past, shows that Mayer Brown has violated its stated mission to make a positive difference in the lives of citizens in Hong Kong.

We therefore expect Mayer Brown law firm to safeguard their reputation and their integrity in defending the right of freedom of expression by rescinding their agreement with the University of Hong Kong.

[Follow up on 2021-10-15]
Under public pressure including this open letter co-signed by TADC, Mayer Brown has ceased to be the legal representative for HKU to seek removal of the Pillar of Shame.

U.S. law firm Mayer Brown to cease work for University of Hong Kong in dispute over Tiananmen memorial’s removal, The Washington Post


  1. Visual Artists Guild, Ann Lau
  2. Humanitarian China, Zhou Fengsuo, President
  3. Women’s Rights in China, Jing Jiang, President
  4. Chinese Democratic Education Foundation, Fang Zheng
  5. Hong Kong Affairs Association of Berkeley
  6. Committee for US International Broadcasting, Ann Noonan, Executive Director
  7. Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, Reggie Littlejohn, Founder and President
  8. Northern California Hong Kong Club
  9. DC4HK – Washingtonians Supporting Hong Kong
  10. SEArious For HKG
  11. US Hongkongers Club, Bruce Lee, Chairman 
  12. Hong Kong Democracy Council (HKDC)
  13. Vancouver Society in Support of Democratic Movement 
  14. Hong Kong Committee in Norway
  15. Hong Kongers in San Francisco Bay Area
  16. Cornell Society for the Promotion of East Asian Liberty
  17. Germany Stands with Hong Kong
  18. Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong.
  19. Hong Kong Watch
  20. Hong Kong Social Action Movements in Boston
  21. Democracy for Hong Kong (D4HK)
  22. NY4HK
  23. Torontonian HongKongers Action Group
  24. Canada-Hong Kong Link
  25. Toronto Association for Democracy in China
  26. Hong Kong Forum, Los Angeles
  27. Las Vegas Stands with Hong Kong (LV4HK)
  28. Netherlands for Hong Kong

Background Information

Hong Kong university hires US law firm to seek Tiananmen statue’s removal

Pillar of Shame

Mayer Brown (wikipedia)

Mayer Brown (official)