Edmontonians, Calgarians gather to show support for Hong Kong protesters

Edmontonians and Calgarians met in Red Deer on Sunday to show support for pro-democracy protesters who are clashing with authorities in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong's protests erupted in June in response to an extradition bill that would have allowed people to be sent to mainland China for trial. The bill was withdrawn in September, but demonstrations continue.

Students from the University of Alberta and University of Calgary met to draw local attention to the ongoing unrest.

"We're just out here to … let the western world know what's going on in our city," organizer Alan Chan told CBC News.

"Violence ... against the protesters is not the way to solve a lot of the problems."

Gabrielle Brown/Radio-Canada

Many people involved in the anti-government protests are students. Some protesters have built barricades and weapons, while police have responded with force and tear gas.

Hong Kong is a special administrative region with a poprotpulation of seven million. Some of its citizens want full democracy and an independent inquiry into perceived police brutality.

Dozens of protesters in Red Deer stood on a roadside, portraying police brutality with fake guns and batons. They carried Canadian flags and signs featuring messages of solidarity with protesters in Hong Kong.

"Hopefully the government will listen and then we can actually sit down and talk with them and solve this in a peaceful way," Chan said.

Gabrielle Brown/Radio-Canada

Hong Kong's pro-democracy candidates romped to a landslide in district council elections Sunday after residents turned out to vote in record numbers.

Pro-democracy protesters are hoping the results will bolster their calls for reform and political freedom.

"They're worried for their families," said Nik Jarvis, a Calgarian who protested in Red Deer. "They're worried for their nieces and nephews and their future because whatever democracy Hong Kong had, it's being eroded."

Gabrielle Brown/Radio-Canada