Protesters who purport to oppose the Chinese Communist Party have shattered the peace and quiet of a cul-de-sac near Surrey’s Bonaccord Elementary School on a near-daily basis.
Surrey RCMP have made at least five visits to the neighbourhood since Sept. 14 to after complaints about protesters chanting and waving professionally produced signs reading “Take Down CCP” and “CCP lied, Canadians died.”
Cpl. Elenore Sturko told theBreaker.news that officers responded to five calls for reports of protesters, on Sept. 14, 15, 19, 20 and 21.
“Our members attended when appropriate and have also spoken directly to the concerned members of the public,” Sturko said. “We received calls for service when events were unfolding, and after the events had concluded officers may not have physically attended the area for reports made on the day after the protest. Attending officers were not provided information regarding any violent activity. However, if witnesses have further information regarding these events which they wish to provide, they can contact Surrey RCMP.”
The protesters are targeting journalist Bing Chen “Benson” Gao, who they accuse of spying for the Chinese government. Gao denies the allegations and says the protesters are slandering him.
Gao, who reports under the pen name Huang Hebian, was fired as columnist for the Global Chinese Press newspaper in 2016. He criticized Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi for lashing out at reporters in Ottawa after they asked about China’s human rights record. In 2018, a B.C. Supreme Court judge ordered Gao to pay just $1 in defamation damages to Miaofei Pan, who hosted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for a private 2016 fundraiser. Pan is the former head of the Canadian Alliance of Chinese Associations, a Richmond, B.C.-coalition aligned with the CCP’s United Front foreign influence campaign.
Gao has lived in the Surrey neighbourhood near Green Timbers with his family for the last decade. He is part of a network of critics across North America focusing on Guo Wengui, aka Miles Kwok, the billionaire Chinese real estate developer who fled to New York. Chinese authorities want to prosecute Guo for alleged criminal and civil corruption.
In a letter to his neighbours, Gao claimed Guo organized his supporters to retaliate against critics, including him.
In August, Donald Trump’s former campaign mastermind Steve Bannon was arrested on Guo’s yacht by U.S. Postal Service inspectors and charged with siphoning $1 million from a charity scheme aimed at building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Gao’s wife Alice Zheng told theBreaker.news on Sept. 23 that protesters had returned yet again and were standing closer to their house, even barricading the garage and yelling profanities. Zheng was too scared to take her daughter to a piano lesson and her 70-year-old mother could not go outside for daily housework. Zhang said police told her the group has a right to peacefully protest, but she said the protesters are crossing the line.
“I told them it’s not only the protest, it’s harassment,” Zheng said.
The most-notorious recent B.C. case of a residential protest that crossed the line happened in Premier John Horgan’s Langford neighbourhood last February.
Three Extinction Rebellion protesters were arrested by Westshore RCMP and later charged with mischief for trespassing and blocking Horgan’s driveway in a bungled citizen’s arrest attempt. The eco-radicals were protesting the Coastal GasLink Pipeline.
Regine Monika Klein and Mark William Nykane signed $500 peace bonds, agreeing to not reoffend for two years. Howard Gerard Breen will go to trial.
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