Jasper Lim, an international student from Hong Kong, holds a place card marked “universal suffrage.” He’s in attendance to show his support for his fellow students back home in Hong Kong.
“I am from Hong Kong, I have been here for a year, I have been keeping up with the news and feel that I should do something,” Lim said.
Lim, 19, studies political science and psychology at the University of Toronto. He and hundreds of students from Hong Kong participated in a solidarity demonstration on Wednesday in support of the pro-democracy student protests happening in Hong Kong. The event, organized by the Ontario United Front of Hong Kong Students (OUFHKS), took place at the University of Toronto’s St. George campus.
According to Lim, many of his fellow students want “across the board” universal suffrage in Hong Kong. He says each citizen should be given the opportunity to select whomever they want to represent them in government.
“We are demanding universal suffrage without the screening of candidates and allowing the nomination of candidates by any citizen,” Lim said.
Other student organizations also joined in the demonstration. Speaking on behalf of the Canadian Federation of Students of Ontario, chairperson Alastair Woods announced to demonstrators his organization’s support for the students of Hong Kong.
“Students have always been at the forefront of social justice protecting the values, democracy, fairness and justice for everybody,” Woods said. “We will continue to be watching and supporting and standing in solidarity with the people of Hong Kong.”
Students and non-students alike from across Ontario also made the trip to Toronto to show their support for the cause. Rhiana Ehara, 32, and her daughter made the drive from Hamilton. Ehara, who once lived in Hong Kong, said she still loves Hong Kong and came to show her support for democracy.
“Universal suffrage is so important and I support the peaceful protesters today, a chance where they can express their views through voting.” Ehara said.
The crowd was peaceful throughout the demonstration. Many carried place cards, and were singing and chanting in support of the protestors in Hong Kong.