Outside the B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Monday, January 20, protesters had gathered where a buzzworthy hearing was underway. The authenticity of those protesters is being called into question now as locals say they were offered money to join in the protest.
Meng Wanzhou, the CFO of Chinese tech company Huawei, is in court in Vancouver this week.
Meng was arrested in December of 2018 at the request of the U.S. government. Right now, she's facing possible extradition to the United States.
A documentary maker on the scene, Ina Mitchell, spoke to one of the protesters, an unnamed man, who told her that he joined because he thought he'd get paid for his participation.
"I was told I was gonna be in a music video," said the man to Mitchell.
He said he was promised $100 for the shoot and it made sense because there were a lot of cameras around.
However, when journalists started asking the protesters questions, he reportedly became doubtful.
"There was all these cameras, for a long time I believed it was filming a scene where someone was coming out of a car,” the man said to Mitchell. “...Then reporters start showing up and, I don’t feel great about this anymore. I haven’t done anything wrong."
He was part of a group of similar protesters, all of whom were holding paper signs. His read, "Equal Justice." According to TheBreaker.news, other signs read "Free Ms. Meng. Bring Michael home. Trump stop bullying us. Equal justice."
Happening now: students parroting the message of ex-Chrétien chief of staff Eddie Goldenberg await Meng Wanzhou’s a… https://t.co/vmvuRAzvae— theBreaker.news (@theBreaker.news)1579540428.0
"The other protestors refused to speak," said Mitchell to Narcity on Twitter. "There were a couple of aggressive pack leaders who basically spoke on behalf of everyone."
"They said that they would not answer personal questions," Mitchell wrote. "I watched several reporters try to ask them for a comment on why there were there...what their position was. They refused to answer and would only point to their signs."
Update on Vancouver's paid Meng Wanzhou 'protesters'. CBC News has been contacted by Huawei. They say company was "… https://t.co/32w2zFhF1X— GeorginaSmyth (@GeorginaSmyth)1579633667.0
According to Mitchell, the unnamed man never received his payment and heard about the job from his roommate, who was offered the gig from an unknown source.
Paid to protest. Woman from Burnaby admits she took $150 to hold sign at #MengWanzhou's hearing. @martinmacmahon'… https://t.co/vgQDNRqQmD— Tim James (@Tim James)1579644129.0
Similarly, a Burnaby woman has anonymously told News 1130 that she too was offered money to join in the protest and support Meng.
China's Vice Foreign Minister summoned Canadian Ambassador to lodge solemn representations and strongly protest the… https://t.co/txwBGm8XSt— People's Daily, China (@People's Daily, China)1544282806.0
Meng's lawyers are arguing Canada has no right to arrest her. She only broke the U.S. law, they say, but she's done nothing wrong in Canada, reports Global News.
If Meng is found guilty, she will be extradited to the U.S.