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March in support of Hong Kong democracy activists winds through Richmond streets

Several Hong Kong-Canadian groups protest the arrest of 47 Hong Kongers

Richmondites took to streets of Richmond to protest in solidarity with pro-democracy activists who were recently detained and arrested in Hong Kong.

An organizer of the protest, who didn’t want to give his name for fear of retaliation, said the goal of the event was to raise awareness about the 47 Hong Kong pro-democracy activists being detained as well as the “ongoing concern” around the Hong Kong national security law.

“The regulations of the national security law (in Hong Kong) don’t only apply to Hong Kongers, but also everyone all over the world,” said the organizer of the march, which started at Brighouse Skytrain Station and ended at Brighouse Park.

“Everyone is scared because of (the Hong Kong national security law), but because we’re scared we need to bring this issue up even more so our next generation doesn’t have to suffer the blackmailing and pressure of it.”

On Feb. 28, 47 democracy activities were detained and charged for their involvement in an unofficial primary election last year that authorities believe was part of a plan to paralyze Hong Kong’s government.

Hong Kong’s national security law, which China imposed on Hong Kong last June, makes it a crime to interfere, disrupt or undermine the country’s government. This includes banning words or phrases related to “Freedom for Hong Kong.”

Richmond’s protestors were joined by Hong Kong pro-democracy groups – Alliance Canada Hong Kong, Vancouverites Concerned About Hong Kong and Canadian Coalition to Save Hong Kong – in their walk from Richmond’s Brighouse Skytrain Station, past Brighouse Park, Richmond Oval, city hall, near Richmond Centre and ended at Brighouse Park on Saturday afternoon.

“We got lots of honking and support from community members and it was great to see the response,” said the organizer.

“There were many people who supported our cause and message, and it wasn’t just Hong Kong immigrants, but also Canadians of many cultures who understand what’s happening in Hong Kong.”

He told the Richmond News that the Richmond RCMP was present to make sure everyone was safe and COVID-19 protocols were being followed.

“There was no harassments and everything went smoothly, which we thank the RCMP for.”

An online petition for the release of the pro-democracy activities in Hong Kong is circulating and will be passed onto Steveston-Richmond East MP Kenny Chiu to present at the House of Commons.

-with files from Canadian Press