Hundreds of demonstrators are expected to attend a rally in downtown Toronto on Saturday in support of ongoing anti-government protests in Hong Kong.
Between 500 and 1,000 people are expected to attend the rally, which is set to start at 3:30 p.m. in front of Old City Hall.
“We wanted to send a message that we stand with Hong Kong,” said John, who did not want his name used citing safety concerns. He’s originally from Hong Kong and helped organize the event.
The Toronto gathering coincides with months of sometimes-violent demonstrations in the former British territory, now in their 11th weekend.
“(Violence is) not acceptable,” John said, referring to clashes between police and protesters last weekend. “We call on the Hong Kong government to respond to the protesters and also we want to call on the Canadian government to provide more support to Hong Kong.”
On Saturday in Hong Kong, several thousand teachers braved thunderstorms to take to the streets. A larger demonstration is planned for Sunday in Hong Kong’s Victoria Park.
Among other demands, protesters want the complete withdrawal of a controversial bill — currently suspended — that would allow extraditions to mainland China.
They also want the Hong Kong government to launch an independent investigation into police brutality and drop all charges against protesters.
John said a pro-China protest is expected to take place alongside his demonstration. He said he has asked for police support to keep the peace.
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