After 10 people died in an apartment fire in Urumqi, the capital city of the Xinjiang region in China, protesters blamed the country’s zero-COVID restrictions as a reason for their deaths. Firefighters were allegedly obstructed from entering the building, slowing rescue efforts. The deaths sparked a wave of protests in China, demanding the removal of COVID-19 restrictions and for freedom of speech.
In response to the fire and the protests that followed, a group of Angelenos organized and held a vigil on Sunday in front of the Chinese Consulate General.
About a hundred people came to show support, bringing flowers and candles. Many held a blank piece of paper as a symbol against state censorship in China. Attendees also sang songs such as “L’Internationale,” as a show of solidarity with the protesters.