A seven-day hearing to decide the fate of the Falun Gong protest site outside the Chinese Consulate began yesterday with Counsel for Falun Gong cross-examining city officials.
“It’s become the most well-known protest in the world — the only one that is there 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” said Clive Ansley, counsel for the Falun Dafa Association.
Falun Gong practitioners first set up banners and a small structure in 2001 to “protest the killing of scores of thousands of people in order to facilitate the theft of their organs as well as massive use of torture against them,” according to Ansley.
The City wants to tear down the structure because it says it violates a by-law regulating streets and sidewalks.
The Falun Gong argue that their freedom of speech is being muzzled.
“This is a way of bringing these kinds of abuses to the attention of the public,” Ansley said.