Demonstrators gathered at Boston City Hall Sunday to protest a flag-raising ceremony to mark the 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China.

Protesters said they were standing in solidarity with pro-democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong and against the Chinese government, which they said was violent, repressive and nothing to celebrate.

“The flag-raising here is a real honor, a privilege to be at Boston City Hall, this place where the American Independence was founded, and that flag stands for none of the values that this country was founded on,” said Lhadon Tethong, director of the Tibet Action Institute.

This marks the 17th weekend of protests in Hong Kong, where police used a water cannon filled with blue dye as well as pepper spray and tear gas on protesters.

Supporters at the ceremony said it’s important to build relations between the U.S. and China.

“We need to learn from each other and understand each other better to promote a more peaceful world,” said Suzanne Lee, founder of Boston’s Chinese Progressive Association. “But I think it’s important to keep that information going, rather than hitting head to head. Nothing can come of it when people don’t talk to each other.”

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