Mass protests and hunger strikes erupting in Hong Kong have inspired a number of Vancouver youths to spring into action on this side of the Pacific ocean.
As tens of thousands of people streamed into the hot and humid streets of Hong Kong Thursday night, a group of young Chinese Canadians met in Richmond to figure out how they could somehow show their support.
For the past week, thousands of people have worn black and sat outside Hong Kong’s government buildings in protest of what the government calls “national education.” The protesters call it “brainwashing.”
There is widespread fear in the former British colony that proposed changes to Hong Kong’s school curriculum is a ploy to preach blind patriotism and indoctrinate the city’s children into unquestioning support for China’s Communist Party. Protesters worry the new curriculum will gloss over the disastrous Cultural Revolution and the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, two historical events that are taboo on the Chinese mainland.
On Saturday, at least 100 youths are expected to gather front of the Vancouver Art Gallery, organizers said.
“This was the least we could do to support the heroes on the other side of the world,” said Alex Cheung, spokesman for the Vancouver Alliance Against Mandatory National Education. “What (the Hong Kong government) is doing is completely shameless. It is a brainwashing program that will eventually turn our next generation into the Red Army.”
These demonstrations are the latest in a series of high profile demonstrations in Hong Kong that have reflected a growing anti-China sentiment.
“This is really going to affect the next generation and young people do see that,” Cheung said. Similar demonstrations are planned around the world, including Toronto and London.