Protesters are staging a rally tonight at Tower Hill in front of the proposed new Chinese embassy over the treatment of Uyghur Muslims, Tibetans and people in Hong Kong.

They are gathering from 6pm in front of the Royal Mint site opposite the Tower of London, which the Chinese government purchased three years ago and is the subject of a planning application.

%image(14914809, type="article-full", alt="Visit to proposed embassy in 2018... Tower Hamlets mayor John Biggs (left) with the council's chief executive Will Tuckley.")

They want Tower Hamlets Council to rename streets around the Royal Mint as Uyghur Court, Tibet Hill and Hong Kong Road “in recognition of these peoples' struggles for justice and freedom”.

The local authority agreed in March to investigate the name changes proposed by opposition Cllr Rabina Khan, but protesters say no action has been taken yet by the town hall — while the embassy planning application is still being processed.

%image(14914810, type="article-full", alt="Cllr Rabina Khan... reminding Chinese authorities that "the East End is sanctuary for oppressed people"")

“We want to make sure the council renames those streets,” Cllr Khan told the East London Advertiser.

“This is a symbol of human rights and to remind the Chinese authorities that the East End has always been a sanctuary for oppressed people. It’s traditionally been a place for refugees escaping persecution.”

Cllr Khan is addressing the rally, along with other speakers such as Tower Hamlets Tory group leader Peter Golds, representatives from Stop Uyghur Genocide, the World Uyghur Congress, Tibetan Community in Britain, Free Tibet, Hong Kong Liberty and Power to Hongkongers organisations.

%image(14914811, type="article-full", alt="Cllr Peter Golds... raising Tibet's flag at the town hall on Tibet national day, March 10")

Cllr Golds intends to denounce “the evil treatment of the Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang”.

He spoke of reports emerging from the region which allege that the Chinese Communist Party is taking people from their homes, forcibly sterilising women, separating children from their parents and detaining people without trial in camps.

“Tower Hamlets must make a stand in support of the Uyghur Muslims," he added.

%image(14914812, type="article-full", alt="Royal Mint courtyard of proposed Chinese embassy")