Hundreds of people protested outside the Chinese consulate in Vancouver on Sunday against controversial plans to allow extraditions from Hong Kong to the Chinese mainland.
“This amendment will affect millions of people, not just Hong Kong people — people around the world,” Mabel Tung, the protest organiser and chair of the Vancouver Society in Support of Democratic Movement, told AFP.
Tung, who migrated to Canada from Hong Kong 40 years ago and has advocated against human rights violations in China, is concerned that activists like her would face the risk of extradition when transiting through Hong Kong if the bill passes.
The demonstrators carried signs against the extradition law and yellow umbrellas as a nod to the series of 2014 pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong that are known as the ‘Umbrella Movement’.
Several protesters also held signs calling for the release of two Canadians, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, who were detained in China after the December arrest in Vancouver of Meng Wanzhou, a top executive with Chinese telecoms giant Huawei.
Thousands of immigrants from Hong Kong settled in the Vancouver area in the 1980s and 1990s because of uncertainties related to the handover of Hong Kong’s governance from the Britain to China in 1997.
“We don’t want Hong Kong to become just another city in China, that people have no freedom at all,” said Jeremy Cheng, a protester and immigrant to Canada who left Hong Kong in 1997.
Jackie Law, a social work student from Hong Kong who is in Vancouver for an internship, said the solidarity of protesters in Vancouver was “very touching.”
“Even though they now stay in Vancouver with a stable life, they are voicing out for Hong Kong people, which is very great to me,” she said.