From agitated Hong Kongers and members of the Tibetan diaspora to offended Indians after the Galwan Valley face-off and even progressive Iranians, an uncommon coalition is taking shape in Canada to collectively protest against the Chinese authorities in cities throughout the nation.
A sequence of such protests have taken place since late June when the Regional Tibetan Youth Congress in Toronto staged a protest close to the Chinese Consulate in solidarity with India and against China’s actions in Ladakh. Since then, protests have occurred in Vancouver, extra in Toronto and Montreal.
On Saturday, a rally was organized in downtown Toronto and amongst those that participated was Gloria Fung, president of Canada-Hong Kong Link – a platform for 15 teams countering China’s strikes in Hong Kong together with a latest nationwide safety regulation.
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“I do not support China’s move towards India, that’s the reason why I participated in this rally. I would like us to show our solidarity to each other because we are facing a common threat,” she stated of her presence on the Toronto rally.
The Hong Kongers have been agitating against China for the previous couple of years and held a significant rally in Toronto final August, as did Tibetan immigrants to Canada. Sunny Sonam, vice-president of RTYC in Toronto, stated they needed to make the most of the truth that the world was “right now focused on China” partly as a result of unfold of the Covid-19 pandemic and due to its actions in Hong Kong and the Galwan Valley. And whereas the Tibetan group has held many protests over time against the Chinese occupation of the plateau, their trigger is getting a raise due to the present circumstances, as he stated, “Because of that, Tibetan people are getting more attention.”
Other disparate teams have additionally joined in these marches and demonstrations against China in Canada, together with Taiwanese and Vietnamese-origin Canadians, even Bangladeshi minorities. Toronto-based Salman Sina of the International Human Rights Centre in Canada helmed protests in July in town and this Sunday in Montreal. A refugee from Iran, Sina stated of his motivation, “As human rights defenders, we are seeing what’s going on with the Uighurs, Tibetans and Hong Kong because of China. I decided to unite people suffering because of the Chinese regime. Unity is better than division. We have a common cause.”
Such protests even have resonance in Canada as a result of two residents, together with a former diplomat, have spent greater than 600 days in jail in China in what Ottawa has described as “hostage diplomacy” by Beijing in retaliation against the detention of a senior government of the Chinese telecommunications agency Huawei in Vancouver in late 2018.
As Fung prepares for a big protest in August in Toronto, she is hopeful there might be larger cooperation and collaboration between these teams going forward, as she stated, “We hope to invite other communities and civil society organisations to come together for a unified voice.”