For Immediate Release
December 2 2020
Anti-war protestors oppose the extradition of Meng Wanzhou
UNCEDED MUSQUEAM, SQUAMISH, & TSLEIL-WAUTUTH TERRITORY (Vancouver): On December 1st, in response to a national day of action on the two-year anniversary of the arrest and detainment of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, anti-war protestors picketed outside Liberal MP Joyce Murray’s constituency office in Vancouver. Two organizations, the Vancouver Peace Council and Red Braid Alliance, gathered to protest Meng’s extradition, bringing together roughly 20 protestors.
Red Braid Alliance distributed 200 pamphlets with the heading, “No war on China means stop the extradition of Meng Wanzhou!”
The Red Braid pamphlet argues that Meng’s extradition is a prelude to war, and that fighting a new cold war means opposing Canadian imperialism head on. It explains, “no matter how repressive a foreign state is, Canadian imperialism cannot and will never be a progressive tool to solve the problems of those states. Canadian imperialism is part of and depends on the global crises of capitalism threatening Indigenous and working class people all over the world, and as anti-imperialists located here, our primary responsibility is to oppose the imperialism of our own state, in solidarity with Indigenous and working class people all over the world.”
Red Braid member Listen Chen said, “The stakes of Meng’s extradition are greater than her personal freedom, because the trial is a fulcrum for a growing anti-Chinese Canadian nationalism. The extradition reflects the imperialist anxieties of the US and its allies around China’s economic and political rise. These state-level anxieties trickle down ideologically and are expressed at a grassroots level through anti-Chinese racism. Opposing Meng’s extradition is about de-escalating a conflict that could lead to a Third World War.”
The Vancouver Peace Council distributed pamphlets outlining the saga of Meng’s arrest and extradition and emphasized that the Canadian state has a legal mechanism to stop the extradition at any point. The pamphlet points out, “Even though Ms. Wanzhou has committed no crime in Canada, she has been taken as a political hostage, with Canada’s collusion, in order to extort economic benefit for U.S. business interests at the expense of Chinese high-tech competitors like Huawei. It is in violation of both Canadian and international law, has further aggravated global tensions, and has seriously harmed Canada-China bilateral relations.”
The Peace Council, along with the Canadian Peace Congress, is calling for Meng’s immediate release. While Canada has a legal way out of the extradition hearing, the current climate of sinophobic sabre-rattling is so strong that no major political party has mustered the political will to drop the extradition hearings and step back from aggressive policies against China that follow in the footsteps of the US.
In this nationalist Cold War climate, any dissent is reflexively dismissed as “CCP propaganda” and treated as inherently “foreign.”
While there were a few hostile passers-by, including one man who told protestors to “go back to China,” many were supportive. The most consistent support came from youth. One Latinx man agreed with the need to oppose US-led imperialism, pointing to his experiences in nations suffocated by Anglo-Western power.
The picket felt like a small but necessary intervention in a political climate that will not tolerate any critique of Canada’s sinophobic policies. The fight to de-escalate and evade a new cold war and combat anti-Chinese Canadian nationalism is far from over; this humble picket showed the need and possibilities for a movement asserting a clearly anti-war, anti-imperialist position.