Sid Chow Tan

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Sid Chow Tan

Sidney Ming Fai Chow Tan (born May 20, 1949), also known as Chow Ming Fai is a social justice and environmental and human rights activist. He is based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.[1]


A communications and media producer, Tan is involved with several movements. Perhaps best known for his long opposition to Canada's head tax and exclusion (1885–1947) imposed on Chinese immigrants, he also co-produces the weekly community television programs EarthSeen (since 1994) and Saltwater City Television (since 2001) and regularly contributes reports and political commentaries to the Coluimbia Journal and other print and new media publications.

Arrested several times for civil disobedience, he has been a community television volunteer since 1987.

In his only run for public office as a civic Green Party candidate for Vancouver City Council in 1999, Tan received around 22,800 votes in the unsuccessful bid. He helped found the human rights group ACCESS Association of Chinese Canadians for Equality and Solidarity Society and the media literacy group Community Media Education Society, which begat ICTV Independent Community Television Co-operative, in which he has been a director.

When the Nigerian government, with what activists alleged to be the complicity of Shell Oil, hanged writer Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight other Ogoni activists in 1995, Tan and other activists organised the Ogoni Solidarity Network. After 72 consecutive weekly Boycott Shell rallies at Shell stations in Greater Vancouver, members helped build two primary schools in Nigeria's Niger River delta, the homeland of the indigenous Ogoni people.

His volunteer community service includes terms as vice-president of the Firehall Arts Centre, national director of the Chinese Canadian National Council and director of the Slim Evans Society, Environmental Fund of British Columbia and the British Columbia Environmental Network and its Educational Foundation. He recently helped organise the Head Tax Families Society of Canada, becoming one of its founding co-chairmen.


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