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Photos: San Francisco Chinatown vigil mourns Xinjiang fire victims

An individual who did not want to give his name kneels while laying candles at a vigil in solidarity with protesters advocating an end to China’s COVID 19-lockdown policies in San Francisco Calif., on Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022. | Benjamin Fanjoy/The Standard

About 200 people gathered in San Francisco’s Chinatown Tuesday night to mourn the 10 victims of a deadly fire last week in Xinjiang, China.

The vigil is part of a series of Bay Area events, held in solidarity with protests in China against the Covid lockdown policy.

The protests have grown into urging for greater political changes in the country. Many protesters believe that China’s “zero-Covid” pandemic rules made it difficult for the fire victims to escape—the Chinese government denied this.

Protesters surrounded the Goddess of Democracy statue in Portsmouth Square. The protests included moments of silence, singing songs and speeches.

On Sunday night, protesters held a similar vigil and marched on the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco. The consulate wall was later vandalized with graffiti.

Benjamin Fanjoy contributed additional reporting for this story.
Han Li can be reached at