British Columbia

'It affects everybody': Vancouverites protest Hong Kong extradition bill

A massive protest in Hong Kong against a proposed extradition bill has sparked similar protests around the world, including one in Vancouver.

The proposed bill would send suspects to mainland China, where the legal system is not transparent 

In Vancouver, hundreds of protesters gathered Sunday morning outside the Consulate General of the People's Republic of China. (CBC)

A massive protest in Hong Kong against a proposed extradition bill has sparked similar protests around the world, including one in Vancouver.

Hundreds of thousands of people marched through Hong Kong Sunday to voice opposition to government-sponsored legislation that would allow people to be extradited to mainland China to face charges.

Police estimated the crowd at 240,000 but protest organizers said more than one million people took part. 

In Vancouver, hundreds of protesters gathered in solidarity Sunday morning outside the Consulate General of the People's Republic of China.

The proposed bill would send suspects to mainland China, where the legal system is not transparent. 

Protester Bill Chu said everyone should be concerned about this bill because it affects everyone who goes to Hong Kong — even if they're just passing through the airport. 

"This law is going to impose something which Canadians are not familiar with, which is someone [having] a hammer over your head," Chu said. 

"They can just grab you because you're reporting something they don't like. It endangers not just Chinese, it affects everybody."

Alan Chan, a 14-year-old student in Vancouver who is from Hong Kong, said he is concerned the proposed bill targets those who oppose the sitting government.

"It's my hometown and I don't want to see it essentially get screwed over by China. I don't want my relatives to get sent to China simply because they don't support the communist party," he said.

Protester Bill Chu said everyone should be concerned about the bill because it affects anyone who goes to Hong Kong. (CBC)

'You could quite literally be taken away'

UBC student Anson Cheng is in Hong Kong visiting family and says the mood there is tense — many people see the bill as a way for China to target political enemies, he said.

Cheng said he has not been to a protest, but his family is concerned.

Hong Kong's Legislative Council plans to vote on the bill on Wednesday and Cheng believes it will pass.

He doesn't believe it will affect him much and still plans to visit Hong Kong in the future. 

Not everyone will feel so welcome, he said.

"I'm not a big activist, but I can see people that speak a lot of their mind and stuff, those people could be more concerned because there is more reason for China to basically extradite you back to the mainland," he said. 

"If the law is passed … people are not going to be willing to speak up. You say something wrong and you could quite literally be taken away."

With files from the Associated Press

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