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Culture


RSS FeedsHow Canadians are part of an underground network helping Hong Kong protesters in their struggle against Chinese control
(The Star Books)

 
 

14 july 2019 16:11:27

 
How Canadians are part of an underground network helping Hong Kong protesters in their struggle against Chinese control
(The Star Books)
 


VANCOUVER AND HONG KONG—Dark circles ring Abraham Wong’s eyes. The Vancouver realtor’s phone has been on 24 hours a day since early June, when a series of protests against Hong Kong’s controversial extradition bill intensified.In a downtown Vancouver office Thursday, Wong’s phone continually buzzed with messages from protesters on the ground in Hong Kong. He is texting and talking to people as young as 14, answering questions about everything from how to immigrate to Canada to how overseas audiences perceive the police crackdowns on protesters.The 32-year-old businessman, who has both Canadian and Hong Kong citizenship, said he is one of hundreds of Canadian-based supporters of the pro-democracy movement that has spilled onto the streets of the former British colony.Protests have become part of life for Hong Kongers, ever since it was returned to Chinese rule in 1997 under a “one country, two systems” agreement, which requires Beijing to respect the autonomy of its rule-of-law legal system for 50 years.Tens of thousands of people from Hong Kong immigrated to Canada in the years surrounding what is known as the 1997 “handover,” but many remain engaged in the city’s struggles. Wong is the public face of the Canadian supporters, who are part of an informal, international network that has expanded in recent weeks to help Hong Kongers who are protesting the extradition bill.The unnamed network provides free legal information, public outreach to raise awareness and media relations for protesters, including some who broke into and vandalized the Hong Kong legislature on July 1 and now fear they will be arrested by police. “If protesters seek asylum in our countries, we are prepared to do whatever we can do to help them settle safely,” says Wong, who was born in Hong Kong and participated in pro-democracy protests before he immigrated to Canada in 2003.“We would help them find accommodation, f ...


 
39 viewsCategory: Culture > Literature
 
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