My name is Turnisa Matsedik-qira. I am a resident of Vancouver, British Columbia.
I belong to the Uighur nation from East Turkestan, occupied by China. The Chinese government is perpetrating a genocide against Uighurs and other Turkic minorities.
I and my two Canadian friends have been protesting outside Vancouver’s Chinese Consulate every week for four months.
While I was standing with a banner, two Chinese men spat on my face and one of them shouted, "I wish you, people, all die (meaning all Uighurs). I hate your maozi (Chinese word for Hijab). He cursed me with the ugliest words, one after another.
These incidents happened in the past too.
We were harassed at least five times. My kids were also scared a few times.
Nonetheless, it was the first time, that I took out my camera to take a picture or video. Watching my phone, the man who harassed me hid his face and drove away in his car. Yet, I was able to take a picture of his van as the traffic light was red.
I immediately called the police. I had witnesses and a picture of his van. Police traced the aggressor. Yet, they just warned him and did not take any action.
It is scary because China's official's dehumanization, insults, and criminalization of Uighurs have now reached Canada. They are perpetrating a genocide of my people in East Turkestan and now they are harassing us here in Canada.
The consequences can be worse in the coming days and months as we will not stop protesting.
I request Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Members of Parliaments, and all political parties to take notice of this harassment, hate speech, and attack on peaceful Uighur protesters.
Based on an interview with Turnisa, this personal narrative is penned by Tazeen Hasan
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