Ethnic tension in China rippled into Toronto yesterday when local Uighur protesters burned a Chinese flag and threw water bottles at a Chinese man who taunted the crowd on his way to his car.

About 150 people gathered outside the Chinese consulate on St. George Street yesterday morning wearing T-shirts that said “Get out of our land!” and carrying graphic posters of Uighurs who were killed in China.

Local Uighurs say the Chinese government has since clamped down on their family and friends in the region, setting curfews and imprisoning people.

Despite organizers’ attempts to keep the protest peaceful, a Chinese flag was set on fire by a protester and tossed over a barricade police had set up.

A scuffle broke out when officers moved in to stop the protester.

“(I did it because) they keep killing our people,” said Anvar, who would only give his first name.

Things got rowdy again shortly after, when a Chinese man leaving the consulate heckled the crowd, inciting screams and raised fists. Protesters said they heard him say “Kill the Uighurs!” But the man, who wouldn’t give his name, said he shouted “It’s lunchtime.”