Calgarians demand resignation of Sean Chu during city hall protest – .

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Calgarians demand resignation of Sean Chu during city hall protest – .


An estimated 450 people attended the protest against Chu, who won a third term as Ward 4 councilor last week by a margin of just 100 votes.

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Voters from Ward 4 and survivors of sexual assault were among Calgarians who rallied outside City Hall on Sunday afternoon to demand the resignation of Sean Chu, as supporters of the besieged councilor gathered from the across the street.

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An estimated 450 people attended the protest against Chu, who won a third term as Ward 4 councilor last week by a margin of just 100 votes. He is under pressure to resign after a CBC report published after the advance polling period revealed details of his inappropriate physical contact with a 16-year-old girl when Chu was a police officer in 1997.

Among the rally’s organizers was Amanda Hu, who said voters who voted early did not have all the information they needed to make a decision in the Ward 4 race because details of the 1997 incident were lacking. known only three days before election day.

Hu added that Chu’s unwavering refusal to step down means that residents of Ward 4 like her will not have a representative capable of serving these communities due to a now broken relationship with the residents.

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“Her campaign slogan was ‘Your voice’, but I don’t see anyone I would less like to represent us with,” she said.

Chu clinched a narrow victory over competitor DJ Kelly, with voting data showing his share of the vote dropped significantly between advance polls and election day.

Rally in opposition and support for Ward 4 Coun. Sean Chu at Calgary City Hall on Sunday October 24, 2021. Photo de Darren Makowichuk/Postmedia

Across the street, a competing rally was held at Olympic Plaza, where around 200 people gathered to express their support for Chu. Organizers said in an open letter distributed at the event that they “categorically condemned sexual assault” but defended Chu, saying the timing of the news a few days before the election appeared to be “an assault on political figures. Echoing Chu’s comments last week. .

Yangfa Tu said he attended the rally to defend democratic voting processes. He said he did not believe all the media reports on Chu.

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“I thought, ‘I should support whoever gets elected on election day.’ And no matter what happened before, everyone made a mistake. (No one) is perfect, ”Tu said.

Participant Cynthia Shi also said she took care of “respecting the voters,” saying it was not her role to judge Chu for the events of 1997.

Supporters of re-elected Councilor Sean Chu gathered at Olympic Plaza while those calling on him to step down gathered nearby at Calgary City Hall on Sunday, October 24, 2021. Photo de Gavin Young/Postmedia

Among the speakers at the “Resignation Sean Chu” rally was Edward Tse, a longtime Calgary resident who recently ran for commissioner of a separate school.

He said Calgarians expect a lot from advisers to be not only community representatives, but role models as well. He said that by entering the race for trustees, he did not have to go through a check-up or even confirm his identity. He said this system needs to be improved so Calgarians are aware of the candidates’ backgrounds.

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“Informed people make informed decisions,” Tse said. “It is very important, not only for this event but for our democracy, to know (this context). “

Chu has faced considerable public and political pressure since his re-election to the council, with nearly all of his fellow councilors elected as well as mayor-elect Jyoti Gondek calling on him to step down.

This pressure continued on Sunday, with several politicians present at the rally. This included Gondek, who said she was there to show solidarity with the protesters. Other people at the rally included elected councilors Courtney Walcott, Gian-Carlo Carra and Evan Spencer, as well as NDP MPPs Shannon Phillips and Irfan Sabir.

“We believe that people in public office should be held to a higher standard, and this is not the level we want to see,” Sabir said.

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Rally in opposition and support for Ward 4 Coun.  Sean Chu at Calgary City Hall on Sunday October 24, 2021.
Rally in opposition and support for Ward 4 Coun. Sean Chu at Calgary City Hall on Sunday October 24, 2021. Photo de Darren Makowichuk/Postmedia

Opponents of Chu wrote chalk messages in front of City Hall, including “She was 16”, “I am with the survivors” and “Do predators represent us?” “

This latest post was written by a woman who said she was a survivor of sexual assault and the recent news about Chu has been heartbreaking.

“This is obviously an emotional time for the survivors,” said the woman, who asked that her name not be released. “It’s not okay to do what he did and then represent a whole population of our city. “

At 3:15 p.m., just hours after the rally, town hall teams were using a pressure washer to remove the chalk. The city did not immediately comment.

Rally in opposition and support for Ward 4 Coun.  Sean Chu at Calgary City Hall on Sunday October 24, 2021.
Rally in opposition and support for Ward 4 Coun. Sean Chu at Calgary City Hall on Sunday October 24, 2021. Photo de Darren Makowichuk/Postmedia

The two rallies turned heated when participants from both camps started singing against each other across Macleod Trail. Opponents of Chu chanted “resign Sean Chu”, while his supporters responded with “Sean Chu stay”. Police closed the street and stopped on the road between the two sides.

Speaking to Postmedia on Sunday, Chu said he supports citizens who are showing their views.

“I just want to thank everyone, no matter which side you are on, thank you for exercising your democratic rights,” Chu said.

Rally in opposition and support for Ward 4 Coun.  Sean Chu at Calgary City Hall on Sunday October 24, 2021.
Rally in opposition and support for Ward 4 Coun. Sean Chu at Calgary City Hall on Sunday October 24, 2021. Photo de Darren Makowichuk/Postmedia

– With files from Stéphanie Babych

[email protected]

Twitter: @jasonfherring

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