As hundreds of thousands prepare for another day of protests in Hong Kong, a small group gathered in Regina to voice support for their cause.
“Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere. These are systemic issues. We live in a global world. Everything is connected,” Birell said. “If we allow things to slide in one place, if we don’t show up and recognize how the systems in Hong Kong affect the systems here, we will lose these things. We will lose these freedoms.”
Around 10 people met Saturday afternoon in front of Regina City Hall. They held signs, chanted and went over five key demands made by those protesting against the Hong Kong government:
- The withdrawal of a proposed extradition bill.
- The release of arrested protesters and dropping of any related charges.
- “Universal suffrage.” Hong Kong’s chief executive, for example, is elected by a committee rather than by its citizens.
- Independent investigation of violent police action.
- A retraction of the use of the word “riot” to describe the protests.
Hong Kong has been embroiled in protest since June when a bill that would allow extradition to the Chinese mainland was proposed by the Hong Kong government. Hundreds of thousands took to the streets demanding the bill be axed and, while the bill has been suspended, protests have been continued ever since.
“It’s important to show up even if it doesn’t affect us in any way,” said Birell. “These are human beings who are suffering. They’re fighting for justice and their own freedom. We have a duty to stand up for that.”
Birell also said that while Hong Kong might seem far away, she feels Canadians don’t have to look far to see systemic problems.