Video shows activist beaten, kicked amid unusual protest outside B.C. journalist's home
VANCOUVER -- A strange protest targeting the home of a Metro Vancouver-based Chinese journalist turned violent Wednesday, with an attack on an activist caught on home surveillance video.
Two people in the protest, which has been going on every day for at least two months, beckoned over human rights activist Louis Huang and got into an argument, he said.
The video, obtained by Bob Mackin of TheBreaker.news, shows Huang getting sucker-punched and then kicked in the head.
“One of my teeth were broken. My eyes are swollen. I can’t see out of that eye anymore,” Huang said Thursday after returning from the hospital.
“The bones under my right eyes were broken,” he said. “In my life I’ve never been beaten so badly, by strangers.”
Huang is a member of Vancouver Chinese Human Rights Watch, which has been critical of the Chinese government. He was visiting his friend Bing Chen Gao Wednesday morning, whose writing has targeted several prominent Chinese businessmen.
The Surrey RCMP confirmed police were called about 10:45 a.m. to the Surrey cul-de-sac. They arrested two people and released them with orders to stay out of the neighbourhood.
So far, the Mounties have allowed the protest to continue on the grounds that the protesters have a Charter right to freedom of expression.
But Cpl. Elenore Sturko hinted that after the arrests, more action could be coming.
“We have people working with us to translate some of the videos that were provided to us and we’re aware of a lot of allegations that have been made,” she said.
None of the dozen or so people circling the block around Gao’s house, wearing matching rain covers, stopped to talk to a CTV News crew.
But neighbours said they had introduced themselves months ago as being connected to billionaire Miles Guo. The group could be seen live-streaming to GTV, which is a group launched by Guo and Steve Bannon, a former key advisor to U.S. President Donald Trump. That site also has several messages critical of the Chinese Communist Party.
Gao, the journalist, has been critical of Guo in his writings, Huang said.
It’s long past time for the protesters to leave Gao’s home, and their cul-de-sac, in peace, said resident Bob Petersen.
“To see them run over and actually attack my neighbour’s friend, punch him and kick him down on the ground, that’s just scary,” Petersen said.
It’s time for the City of Surrey to ask a court for an injunction to keep these protesters away, he said.
Huang believes the group is no longer a protest — but a co-ordinated intimidation effort over Gao exercising his freedom of speech. And he’s says, despite his injuries, he’s not intimidated.