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Friday, December 10, 2010

Valley lawyer hails ruling over Falun Gong protest

Comox Valley Echo - A Courtenay lawyer is hailing the decision of the B.C. Court of Appeal to strike down a Vancouver City bylaw as unconstitutional.

Clive Ansley is the legal counsel for Falun Gong, which for some years has staged an ongoing protest in front of the Chinese Consulate-General's office on Granville Street highlighting alleged Chinese atrocities, including organ harvesting.

The battle to maintain the protest has been the subject of past public meetings in the Comox Valley.

When the City of Vancouver launched enforcement measures to clear away the protest site, Falun Gong supporters asserted their Canadian Charter right to peacefully express political views.

Ansley said that whatever the motivation of the City's previous mayor and council, "closing down the protest was of no benefit whatever to the citizens of Vancouver or Canada; in fact, all indications are that a majority of citizens supported the Falun Gong right to protest."

Following the appeal court ruling, a formal application has now been made to the City for a permit allowing them to erect a small one-person shelter and a billboard in front of the Chinese Consulate-General.

It would, said Ansley, feature "printing and graphics with information about continuing crimes against humanity being perpetrated by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)."

Ansley added: "The CCP has been remarkably successful in buying politicians in western democracies, usually at bargain basement prices.

"Often all it takes is a free trip to China with a few banquets thrown in, a scholarship for study in China awarded to the politician's offspring, or an investment opportunity."

But the appeal court decision here proved that politicians in Canada could not flout the law and get away with it when challenged.

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