An Orthodox Jewish man in London, England has been organizing regular protests in support of Uighur Muslims outside a branch of the Chinese Embassy to the U.K. Andrew, who doesn’t want his surname revealed for reasons of personal safety, says he is motivated by history and his family connections to the Second World War Holocaust. He says the detention centres holding at least one million Uighur Muslims and other minorities in China’s Xinjiang region are all too similar to the Nazi concentration camps that preceded the mass murder of millions of Jews, LGBTQ2 people and ethnic minorities from 1941 to 1945.
“When I saw the satellite images of the concentration camps that the Chinese government can’t hide, I couldn’t stay at home anymore. I had to get up and do something. And that’s why I started protesting,” said Andrew.
“Never before, except once in history, have millions of men, women and children been rounded up and put in concentration camps. And we know how that ended. We said ‘never again.’”
Andrew spoke to Global News during one of his twice-weekly protests, which he began in February 2019. A person inside the embassy filmed the group of nine protesters and the Global News film crew from an upstairs window. Some days Andrew is joined by more than 20 fellow protesters, but on other days, he stands outside the embassy alone, with the odd passing motorist beeping their horn in support.
“My wife’s grandparents were either gassed at Auschwitz in the extermination camp, or killed in the concentration camp there,” he said.