During the Acton Institute’s 30th Anniversary Celebration, streamed online, media entrepreneur and pro-democracy activist Jimmy Lai was presented with the 2020 Faith and Freedom Award. The award was well deserved, as Jimmy Lai has displayed sterling character in the face of totalitarian adversity. Lai’s love of freedom recently landed him in government confinement. More than 200 police officers stormed the offices of Lai’s newspaper on August 10 to arrest him and two of his sons for violating China’s draconian “national security law.” He was acquitted of that case in September, but the possibility of a longer prison term looms over the 71-year-old.
The one-hour celebration traversed the full history of the Acton Institute, from the day co-founders Rev. Robert A. Sirico and Kris Alan Mauren met to their trips through the rubble of the Berlin Wall and their triumphant visits to the ash heap of socialism as the free market outperformed command economics in the former Eastern Bloc.
The evening’s penultimate event came as Mauren and Rev. Sirico presented Lai with the 2020 Faith and Freedom award. “I thank Friedrich Hayek for his inspirations for me to determine to fight for freedom in my life,” said Lai. “I came here with one dollar, and the freedom here has given me the opportunity to build up myself. And the value that is underlying this freedom is so precious, and that’s exactly what we are fighting for in Hong Kong now.”