NZ support for Hong Kong protests

A demonstrator in Hong Kong.
Getty Images

A demonstrator in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong expats across New Zealand are staging a show of support for pro-democracy protests.

Demonstrations in Hong Kong have stretched seven straight days, with crowds of students bringing parts of the city to a standstill.

Protesters have pushed for a right to a democratic vote without interference from the ruling Chinese Communist Party.

In Auckland about 300 people filled into downtown Queen St this afternoon to echo their calls in a sit-in protest.

The group were motivated by Hong Kong police using tear gas and pepper spray against students, event MC Richelia Yu said.

Yu said she wanted to voice her solidarity with her family and friends in Hong Kong.

The 14-year-old has been in New Zealand two weeks and said students from her school are caught up in the protests.
 
"I want to support the students being attacked by police and I wanted to help them even though I'm in New Zealand."

Yu said she was not nervous speaking in front of the crowd because she wanted to raise awareness for the protests.

"I'm glad to help the students raise their voice."

Organiser Bevan Chuang said the plans for the protests had come together in the past few days and drawn hundreds of people in support through Facebook.

"This is all about supporting those students," she said.

"Even if it is wearing black or a yellow ribbon for universal suffrage, or even if it's just sending a tweet, we can show we're there for them."

Today is also the National Day public holiday in China, marking the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China.

Events are also being held in Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin and Palmerston North.

Around 60 pro-democracy protesters were outside the Chinese Embassy in Wellington to show solidarity with Hong Kong's demonstrations.

They occupied the Tinakori Rd pavement outside the embassy and had been singing and chanting for democracy, including a Cantonese rendition of "can you hear the people sing" from Les Miserables.

Organiser Kiki Yip, a student from Hong Kong, said her heart ached to see what was happening in her home.

Other protesters include students from across Asia and Chinese New Zealanders.

Hany Vi, from Vietnam, said she wanted to support the students she had seen getting beaten by police in Hong Kong.

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 - Stuff

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