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Friday, June 30, 2006

CRTC: Say no to CCP-controlled hate channels

It will soon be a crime in Communist China to report on disasters: (WSJ Chinese Journalists Condemn Planned Disaster Reporting Law) ... The measure is part of a bill being considered by China's parliament on how to respond to emergencies such as natural disasters, industrial accidents and health and security hazards. News media "making reports on the handling of and status of public emergencies without approval" or "issuing false reports" would be fined between 50,000 yuan and 100,000 yuan ($6,250 and $12,500), the official Xinhua news ...

Why would we, or anyone, be interested in having the Communist state-controlled channels air their fairy tales and hate propaganda on our airwaves? The Coalition against the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) Infiltration sounds the alarm. Take a look at some of the worthy reasons they have to offer. Of course, Rogers doesn't necessarily agree with that! Comments filed at CRTC can be viewed here--Oops, they've vanished--PN 2005-124, 2004-96 have been removed folks! How something fishy going on...paging the Honourable Bev Oda!

Coalition against the CCP's Infiltration sent message to the CRTC, "Don't let the CCP's hate TV into Canada."

Photo: Coalition Protests Proposal to Bring CCTV to Canada

( 30 June 2006 - On the afternoon of June, 28, 2006, the Coalition against the CCP's Infiltration, formed with twenty-eight organizations, rallied to protest in front of the headquarters of the Canadian Radio Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) in Ottawa. To carry out the persecution of Falun Gong, the CCP and its state-controlled media have coerced Ms. Jin Jin and her family to take a stand against their will and utilized it to mislead the public and to incite hatred. Ms. Jin Jin, a software engineer who has immigrated to Toronto, talked about her bitter experience at the rally.

The organizer of the activity said the rally was protesting against Rogers Cable's proposal to bring nine channels of CCTV to Canada. They called for the CRTC to take responsibility for blocking out hate propaganda and safeguarding Canadian values.

Witness Exposed How the Mouthpiece of the CCP Fabricated Stories to Mislead the Audience

Ms. Jin Jin, Falun Gong practitioner and software engineer in Toronto, talked about her experience in China. After the CCP launched the persecution of Falun Gong on July 20, 1999, Jin and her family were forced to a brainwashing center. During one of the sessions, CCTV asked the Party Secretary in Jin's workplace to pressure Jin and her family for an interview. Under the threat of losing their jobs and education, Jin and her family were forced to declare their opposition to Falun Gong.

Jin found out later that their interview was not only broadcast around the nation, but also sent overseas. Jin said, "The end of the program said that this family started their happy lives after (they gave up the belief). As a matter of fact, in the two years following the interview, my husband was detained for 15 days for appealing for Falun Gong and was fired. My job contract was stopped during my pregnancy because I refused to give up my belief. My brother was sent for forced labor camp for a year and half. My whole family was under strict monitoring around the holidays. Is this what they called 'happy lives?'"

Jin said, "The CCTV personnel called my interview 'voluntary.' I am the one who is most clear about whether it was voluntary. I would like to ask them, are my words under brainwashing, coercion and pressure are more voluntary, or are my words from the bottom of my heart on a free land more voluntary?"

Hate Propaganda Rejected by the Canadian People

Non-governmental organizations provided CRTC with 24 videos as evidence of how the CCP had incited hatred with CCTV programs. One Canadian TV station that broadcasted one of the videos was punished by the CBSC.

A letter of protest signed by 1,282 individuals prompted the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council on August 16, 2002, to announce a decision concerning a rebroadcast from CCTV by Talentvision, a Canadian Chinese-language TV station. The CBSC decision stated that Talentvision's broadcasting the CCTV news program, the "Fu Yi-bin murder case" on December 16, 2001, had breached four articles of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters' Code of Ethics and Violence Code and the Radio and Television News Directors Code of (Journalistic) Ethics. Talentvision was directed to air this decision twice within seven days.

"The panel found that the references to Falun Gong in the news report constituted unfair comment, on one hand, and that the repetition of the violent video clips was excessive, on the other. It found no fault with the broadcaster, however, in airing a newscast originating with the state-run television organ, CCTV." (CBSC Decision 01/02-0416+)

To Resist the CCP's Mouthpiece TV Station Is Not an Issue of Freedom of Speech, But an Issue of Responsibility

CCTV (Its subsidiary CTITVC) and Rogers Cable jointly wrote a letter to CRTC on May 26 to refute the Coalition against CCP's Infiltration and attacked the coalition and other organizations. However, they couldn't respond to the charge of inciting hatred, nor could they deny the hateful nature of the CCTV programs.

Dr. Zhu Xueye, a Falun Gong practitioner from Montreal, said the CCP's media can't be called true media. Jiang Zemin himself called the media the CCP's mouthpiece at an overseas interview. The Chinese people's freedom of speech and freedom of belief are trampled upon because of the two means of the CCP, violence and lies. The CCP-controlled media promote these lies.

Dr. Zhu mentioned the draft law regarding sudden events, recently published by the People's Congress. Chinese media outlets will be fined as much as ten thousand dollars each time they report on "sudden events" without prior authorization from government officials. Dr. Zhu said just like the CCP's media handling of SARS, if SARS breaks out again, none of the nine TV channels will dare to report the truth. The CCP's mouthpiece will seriously mislead the audience and that could result in even more tragedies. Therefore, resisting the nine channels is not just an issue of freedom of speech, but an issue of responsibility.

Related Articles:

Tortured for Television

Rogers to offer China's propaganda package by Joel Chipkar

CRTC yields on Chinese channels

The China conduit: What Rogers Communications wants to beam straight into the homes of Chinese-Canadians: Raw, unfiltered, Chinese-state sanctioned TV

Communist TV not wanted here

Communist Spy TV: Phoenix television rises

Beijing wants to beam government-controlled TV broadcasts into Canada

Cable firms' request to air channels from China raises concern--Critics say broadcasts are Communist propaganda

Stop 9 Chinese TVs from broadcasting in Canada

The Global Online Freedom Act Advances - Chris Smith

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Beijing pressures Hong Kong to outlaw Falun Gong

One country, two systems--Hmmm--look who's meddling with Falun Gong in Hong Kong! Capitalizing on their 'harmonious society' slogan, a BBC newswire shows Wang Fengchao's prep talk leading to the major order from Beijing to ban Falun Gong--how ridiculous and immoral. The buzz (SCMP: Pushing Unity too far) is that the dictators are ticked off because charges against Wang Wenyi were dropped in the States. How far will this backfire? Far enough!

According to the Dow Jones, (June 21, 2006-China Official Alleges Falun Gong Damages Harmony In HK)…Falun Gong commented on the situation as follows:

Later, Falun Gong spokesman Kan Hung-cheung said members were merely alerting Chinese and Hong Kong people to the communist government's alleged persecution of the group. "The aim of our demonstrations is to spread the truth of the persecution, which has continued for nearly seven years. Our activities are peaceful and disciplined and cause no harassment," he said. (CW: Hong Kong: Falun Gong Practitioners Protest against Criminal of Torture Jia Qinglin)

Barrister Phillip Dykes said: (SCMP: June 25, 2006 - Laws exist to ban sect, says institute; experts doubt it) "If [the police commissioner] has the power, he is surely aware of it and is not exercising it because he does not see grounds for it. Many things [that are unlawful] on the mainland are lawful here."

Simon Young, of the University of Hong Kong, said prosecuting the Falun Gong would be easier said than done. "From what I know, the Falun Gong uses peaceful means and has no political agenda. Anyone can complain about them but so far there is not enough evidence to meet the condition [to prosecute them]," he said.

Mr Chen warned the government of disastrous consequences if the Crimes Ordinance was used to prosecute Falun Gong. "Section 9 ... constitutes an excessive restriction on freedom of speech that is inconsistent with ... the Basic Law. Any attempt to enforce it will be perceived as a grave threat to freedom of speech in Hong Kong," he said.

Meanwhile more attacks on Falun Gong keep on happening in China--AP reports on the arrest of (HK) 66 year-old Liu Ding. (June 26, 2006- Detained Falun Gong Follower Expelled From Hong Kong)--Chinese authorities have expelled a Hong Kong follower of the Falun Gong spiritual group after detaining her for two weeks in Beijing for distributing leaflets urging people to quit the ruling Communist Party…Liu was picked up on June 6, and about a dozen police and national security agency officers seized a computer, cell phone, books and computer CDs from Liu's home the next day, the Falun Gong said.…The group said in Monday's statement that four Hong Kong residents are known to have been jailed in China, and that three have been released.

KyodoNews reported on June 27 (China's top political adviser wants to see H.K. prosperity) that Jia Qinglin, a CCP official, was in HK for 3 days where he met with government officials to apply more pressure.-- "I am looking forward to seeing for myself the new development and changes in Hong Kong in the next two days," he said. …His visit instilled a protest from the Falun Gong: …"They blamed Jia for playing along with former President Jiang Zemin, who they claimed has masterminded a large-scale persecution and inhumane treatment against Falun Gong members in China and wanted Jia to be prosecuted"....And more resistance from the April 5 Action Group with a Canadian connection…"In an open letter, Leung criticized Jia for ignoring and even facilitating corruption and bribery in China's Fujian Province when he was the provincial secretary, and asking him to step down. …Lai Changxing, a Fujian businessman who fled to Canada in 1999, was accused by Chinese authorities of smuggling tens of billions of dollars' worth of diesel fuel, cars, petrochemical products and rubber into China during the period when Jia was the provincial secretary. Jia has denied any criminal connections with Lai." (full report)

South China Morning Post: Pushing unity too far by Frank Ching

27 June 2006 - Beijing is raising the pressure on Hong Kong to curb the activities of Falun Gong, apparently in reaction to the heckling President Hu Jintao received from a member of the spiritual group at the White House in April.

Prominent officials called for the city government to take action during a forum last Tuesday in Hong Kong. One was Wang Fengchao, deputy director of the central government's liaison office in Hong Kong. Falun Gong was outlawed on the mainland in 1999.

Mr Wang said: "Under the principle of 'one country, two systems', capitalist Hong Kong and the socialist motherland must get along with long-term accord, achieving mutual development through a relationship of mutual benefits."

He noted that Beijing respected the city's autonomy, but called Falun Gong an "undesirable factor affecting Hong Kong's harmony". The group, he said, was "fabricating rumours to attack the central government".

Other speakers went even further, charging that Falun Gong's activities in Hong Kong "have gone beyond the scope of 'two systems', and threatened the one-China principle". They called on the Hong Kong government to outlaw the group.

The fact that pro-mainland figures - and Hong Kong's pro-communist press - are openly calling for action against Falun Gong suggests that Beijing is getting impatient with the city government. It also suggests that, after the chief executive election next year, there will be pressure from Beijing for Hong Kong to roll out, once again, national security legislation to implement Article 23 of the Basic Law.

The Tung Chee-hwa administration came under great pressure from Beijing to enact legislation to outlaw "evil cults". While Mr Tung publicly called Falun Gong "more or less an evil cult", his administration deserves credit for resisting such pressure.

Beijing was furious when his government allowed Falun Gong to use City Hall to hold an international conference in January 2001. That decision was reportedly made by then chief secretary Anson Chan Fang On-sang, who resigned soon afterward. The two events could very well have been connected.

If Beijing really respected the principle of "one country, two systems", it would not put pressure on Hong Kong to act on Falun Gong.

Mainland officials, as well as pro-China figures, often say that "one country" is the precondition to "two systems". Without one country, they say, there would not be two systems.

However, to say that "one country" trumps "two systems" is meaningless, since both are necessary if "one country, two systems" is meant to be practised.

Moreover, the whole world recognises that Hong Kong is part of China. Chinese sovereignty over Hong Kong is reflected in the fact that Beijing is responsible for the city's defence and foreign affairs.

Thus, "one country" is not an issue. It is "two systems" that needs to be safeguarded. Putting pressure on Hong Kong to outlaw an organisation that is legally registered here is contrary to the very concept of "one country, two systems".

It should not be done if Beijing really upholds the concept of "two systems".

If there is such pressure, it should be resisted by all Hong Kong officials, from Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen on down.

No doubt, the fact that the United States has dropped charges against Wang Wenyi - the Falun Gong member who heckled Mr Hu during his speech in Washington - has further angered mainland officials. However, they must be careful not to take their anger out on Hong Kong.

After all, "one country, two systems" is a basic policy of China. It is more important than any temporary loss of face by any mainland official, or even by Beijing itself.

Frank Ching is a Hong Kong-based writer and commentator

BBC: Chinese official stresses social harmony Hong Kong, slams Falun Gong

23 June 2006 - Text of speech delivered by Wang Fengchao, deputy director of Chinese Central People's Government Liaison Office in Hong Kong, at the forum "Advocating spiritual civilization and building a harmonious Hong Kong", entitled: "Coexisting in harmony under 'one country, two systems'", published by Hong Kong newspaper Ta Kung Pao website on 21 June

It is my great pleasure to be invited by the Hong Kong Society for Cultural Advancement [HKSCA] to take part in the forum "Advocating a Spiritual Civilization and Building a Harmonious Hong Kong". This is indeed a truly meaningful forum, with scholars, experts, and people from various walks of life gathered here to discuss issues revolving around the theme of "Advocating a Spiritual Civilization and Building a Harmonious Hong Kong". It will be conducive to the building of a harmonious society in Hong Kong.

Over the past two years, a consensus has evolved on the mainland on the theme of building of a harmonious socialist society. Since Hong Kong is a highly developed society in terms of materialistic civilization, its citizens generally strive for the city to become a civilized and harmonious society as well. During Vice-President Zeng Qinghong's visit to Hong Kong last year, he raised two earnest expectations regarding Hong Kong society - "Seize the chance and speed up development" and "Be accommodative, lend a hand to each other, and promote harmony". Early this year, Director Gao of the Central Liaison Office in Hong Kong also offered these words to HKSCA on its fifth anniversary: "Advocating Refined Culture and Building a Harmonious Hong Kong Society." We believe that there are two aspects in the building of a harmonious society in Hong Kong. First, under "one country, two systems", Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the main body of the nation, respectively practicing capitalism and socialism, will have to coexist in harmony over the long term, with the two being mutually beneficial to each other and progressing in step. Second, in a pluralistic society such as Hong Kong, people from all walks of life and various interests groups will have to coexist in harmony so that the general populace will live and work in joy. The fulfilment of these two aspects calls for concerted efforts from various parties.

For a good nine years since Hong Kong reverted back to China, the central authorities have remained steadfast in putting into practice the notions of "one country, two systems", "Hong Kong people governing Hong Kong", and a high degree of autonomy. They have also been offering unyielding support to the government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region [HKSAR] in its administration on the basis of the Basic Law, bolstering the economic development of the territory, and endeavouring to safeguard its long-term prosperity and stability. The central authorities have all along paid respect to the existing social system of Hong Kong, to the existing lifestyle of the local citizens, to Hong Kong's freedom of press and the existing legal system. All such efforts of the central authorities have been affirmed by the local citizens. After the handover, the HKSAR government has been faced with and has successfully resolved a multitude of challenges, endeavoured to safeguard the overall prosperity and stability of the territory, and accomplished a great deal of pioneering work that has paved the way for the successful implementation of "one country, two systems" here in Hong Kong. It is indeed the concerted efforts of the central authorities, HKSAR government, and the general local populace that ensures the harmonious coexistence of the "two systems" under the premise of "one country" and enables the great undertaking of "one country, two systems" to achieve great performance with international acclaim.

Having said that, we must recognize the existence of certain phenomena and factors unfavourable to social harmony in Hong Kong. In particular, the Hong Kong "Falun Gong" organization has been cooking things up frequently and attacking the central authorities. They have been present constantly in certain tourist spots and major business areas, harrassing mainland visitors specifically, who are inconvenienced by such actions. Increasingly, these activities are resented and rejected by the citizens of Hong Kong.

We are making a proposal - that all walks of life, various organizations and various interests groups should, on the premise of the "one country, two systems" notion and the Basic Law of Hong Kong and taking into account the territory's overall and long-term interests, jointly do their part towards the construction of a prosperous and harmonious Hong Kong.

It is our hope that, through the discussions at this forum, a consensus may be reached amongst the general Hong Kong populace, whereby they consciously safeguard the positive developmental trend of the territory and the building of a harmonious society, and whereby they strive to safeguard the harmonious relations between the HKSAR and mainland China. In this way, the people of Hong Kong will be able to contribute their part to the great revival of the Chinese people.

Source: Ta Kung Pao website, Hong Kong, in Chinese 21 Jun 06

Sunday, June 25, 2006

The Chinese head tax blues: Apologies s.v.p.

All will agree that an apology for the Chinese immigrant head tax was long overdue as an attempt to rectify mistakes from the past. Cindy Drukier is right on the mark when she highlights the NCCC/CPP connection in this whole ordeal. It seems that every media that reported on this story failed to mention the punch line--including the Western Standard!

Epoch Times Cindy Drukier reports: The rub that's galvanizing the Chinese-Canadian community is that the deal was negotiated with a single organization, the National Chinese Canadian Congress (NCCC). The NCCC does not represent any head tax payers, nor does it have a track record on rights issues. Many Chinese-Canadians also dislike its close ties with the Chinese Communist Party. (full report)

How fair is it? Is this just the tip of the iceberg--time for more apologies perhaps? Absolutely!

Barbara Yaffe, Vancouver Sun offers her viewpoint:

More than 80,000 paid the tax; 20 remain alive. Why should it take so long to resolve such blatant injustices experienced by so many different ethnic groups?

Late last week representatives of the Jewish community were appropriately calling for a federal memorial to another despicable event in Canadian history -- the 1939 turning away of more than 900 desperate Jewish refugees on the ship St. Louis. Passengers were forced to return to Germany where they are believed to have perished. (full report)

From the GungHaggisFatChoy blog, Todd Wong looks at the big picture and comments:

"If the government uses ill-gotten money because of racism for it's own it right for the government to profit from racism? What is the amount of $500 with accrued interest from 1903 to 2006? If the Government was to charge the equivalent of the head tax amounts today... people would be outraged. The Martin government removed the $1000 immigrant landing fee, because it was seen as prohibitive for new immigrants. What would the equivalant racist head tax be if it was charged today?"

From the Chair of the National Conservative Caucus, Rahim Jaffer MP for Edmonton Strathcona wrote:

...On Thursday June 22, 2006 on behalf of the Government of Canada, the Prime Minister apologized in the House of Commons for the implementation of the Head Tax. The Government also announced its intention to offer symbolic individual payments of $20,000 to living Chinese Head Tax payers and living spouses of deceased payers.

The Government will also be establishing a $24-million community historical recognition program to provide grant and contribution funding for community projects linked to wartime measures and immigration restrictions and a $10-million national historical recognition program to fund federal initiatives, developed in partnership with other stakeholders. The specifics of each initiative (symbolic payments, community programs and national recognition programs) are being finalized, and implementation is anticipated to begin in Fall of 2006. Information on eligibility, verification and the application process will be made available once finalized...

Vancouver Sun: Head tax: The right thing to do, the fair thing to do by Daphne Bramham "Apologizing to Chinese-Canadians and paying redress for racist policies goes a long way toward squaring the books"

"They need to remember that the head tax raised more money than that at the time it was charged. It was a time before income tax was charged, and the $500 was equal to two years' salary for an average Canadian or the price of a decent house."

June 24, 2006: There was a sense of history being made on Thursday in an ornate hotel ballroom that was filled with ghosts and overflowed with stories of separation and loss, of bitter memories and reopened wounds.

Ninety minutes before the doors were even opened, hundreds of elderly Chinese-Canadians were lined up to get a seat to see and hear Prime Minister Stephen Harper apologize on behalf of all Canadians for more than six decades of racist and exclusionary immigration policies.

Nearly every one of the 1,000 people seated in the Hotel Vancouver ballroom had a story to tell. Most carried worn documents, photocopies of old documents and photographs that they readily pulled out in explanation of who they are and where they came from.

A few among the rapidly dwindling number of head-tax payers, their spouses and descendants had come to see if they would finally get their money back. But most of the ones I spoke to were there to hear the prime minister say sorry.

King Ming Wong, 75, was there with his wife, Po Chun, and daughter, Grace Schenkeveld, to hear the government acknowledge his suffering. His father paid the head tax on May 19, 1919, and worked as a cook and then in a cannery. First, he couldn't afford to bring his family to Canada, and then Canada wouldn't let him.

King Ming Wong was was six when he saw his father for the last time. His mother died of starvation during the Second World War when his father couldn't get money through. Wong was 13.

It wasn't until 1959 when Wong was 28, a qualified aircraft mechanic married to an architect that he was finally able to immigrate to Canada after having been rebuffed twice.

What the Wongs wanted and got Friday was what they described as fair treatment -- one compensation cheque for each head-tax certificate and money for community recognition of and education about what had happened.

Tim Jay, 63, had driven from Nelson with this 93-year-old mother, Qui Far Jay. He said his mother had "lived, lived, lived and dreamed, dreamed, dreamed until this day would come."

What she had lived for and dreamed of was that Canada said sorry for having charged her husband a $500 tax to immigrate and sorry for its exclusionary immigration act that had kept them separated for most of three decades.

Neither mother nor son wanted or expected the $20,000 that the government has promised to pay to living head-tax payers or their spouses.

Too frail to be able to accept Harper's invitation to witness the apology in Parliament, Jay and her son instead watched it on a huge screen in Vancouver and were satisfied. "I'll never forget this," Tim Jay said. Nor would his mother.

Eighty-six-year-old Li Wei Ping has no memory of his father. Both he and his sister were conceived on his father's three -- possibly four trips -- back to China. And Li Wei Ping only came to Canada in 1986 after his son -- Cecilia's father -- immigrated a few years earlier.

Li Sam paid $500 for the privilege of coming to Canada in 1916 to work first as a mine worker. He worked hard, saved his money and opened a laundromat. But it burned down. So he went back to the mines and saved enough money to open another. But he could never save enough money to bring his family to Canada before 1923 when Canada amended its Immigration Act which had excluded Chinese from Canada.

When Li Wei Ping heard about the head-tax redress movement, he enlisted the help of his Canadian-born granddaughter Cecilia to find out when his father had come and what had happened to him. The 21-year-old SFU student knew nothing about her great-grandfather or even that he had lived in Canada.

Yet on the sixth floor of the Vancouver Public Library and after two hours of plowing through the lists of the 82,000 people who paid the head tax between 1885 and 1923, she found her great-grandfather's name. She also found that he died in Toronto and for many years had been buried there.

"We can't keep hating the government for what it did," Cecilia said. "It is great what they [the government] are doing. It is giving back part of what these families deserve. To us, the apology is the most important thing."

There will be those Canadians who quibble that the cost of redress is too high -- the $20,000 for the few remaining head-tax payers and their spouses, the $24 million for community projects linked to wartime measures and immigration restrictions and $10 million for national historical recognition programs.

They need to remember that the head tax raised more money than that at the time it was charged. It was a time before income tax was charged, and the $500 was equal to two years' salary for an average Canadian or the price of a decent house.

There will be others who will quibble that the price paid was too low.

But the test that should be applied is the one that the Wongs used: Is it fair?

It appears that it is.

It is shameful that it has taken so long for the apology to finally be made. It is distressing that so many Chinese-Canadians died without hearing it.

But Harper's full and unequivocal expression of regret and deep sorrow couched in the most Canadian of terms should make all of us proud.

The racist policy of the past was deliberate, gravely unjust and "one we are morally obligated to acknowledge," he said

"Even though the head tax -- a product of a profoundly different time -- lies far in our past, we feel compelled to right this historic wrong for the simple reason that it is the decent thing to do, a characteristic to be found at the core of the Canadian soul."

Decent and unafraid to finally say sorry.

It is a good platform on which to continue building a diverse, just and fair Canada.

Related Articles:

Epoch Times: Head Tax Still a Headache

Western Standard: Head Tax Headaches

Epoch Times: Head Tax Redress Comes to a Head

Friday, June 23, 2006

Letter: Peace, War and Falun Gong

Dear Friends: (Vancouver World Peace Forum)

Published in Taipei Times and Clearwisdom: Much has been said about peace. So what is peace? Some may say that peace is the manifestation of compassion in human nature. For a country, peace is an ideal of mankind and is the optimal state of civilization in which people live harmoniously and advance together. When talking about peace, many people realize immediately that it is closely linked to war. In fact, there is something even more devastating than war—it is called genocide, yet another face of terror. The unjustified killing and persecution of innocent people carried out by dictatorial regimes in times of peace hardly gets the attention it deserves from the international community--including the media--until it’s often too late. According to the Epoch Times’ editorial series called the ‘Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party’, 80 million Chinese have died unnatural deaths in the last 56 years at the hands of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

Whenever the CCP encounters an important issue that demands obedience from the populace, it uses 'patriotism' and 'nationalism' to mobilize people on short notice. In all cases, including matters related to Taiwan, Hong Kong, Falun Gong, the collision between a US spy plane and a Chinese fighter jet, the CCP has used the combined method of high-pressure terror and collective brainwashing, thus bringing people to a war-like state of mind. This method is similar to that used by the German Fascists.

Seven years ago Jiang Zemin launched a genocidal campaign targeted at Falun Gong. His directive: "destroy them physically, defame their reputations and bankrupt them financially." This persecution is the number one genocide in China today. The tyrannical CCP is responsible for an estimated 10,000 deaths by torture of Falun Gong practitioners alone. We have been raising awareness about the persecution of Falun Gong since it began.

We find it unconscionable that innocent people are having their organs stolen and their bodies desecrated to line the pockets of the employees of corrupt Chinese courts, police and hospitals. The situation is most urgent. Several weeks ago a Sound of Hope radio reporter called hospitals in China posing as a transplant patient and was told repeatedly to come in before May 1 while organ supplies are plentiful. After that it’s expected there will be a scarcity of organs due to the introduction of new governmental regulations. A doctor also confirmed that the organs come from Falun Gong practitioners. Refer to the website for more on this.

There is a dire need to investigate, report on and bring a halt to this brutality, which has gone largely ignored by media and governments alike. While about 80 members of the U.S. Congress and a few representatives from the European Union have called for an investigation into this matter, Canada has taken the lead with three prominent human rights lawyers currently investigating the allegations of illegal organ harvesting from living Falun Gong practitioners. We were recently advised that the three lawyers, David Kilgour, David Matas, and Clive Ansley will be joined by Edward McMillan-Scott, Vice-president of the European Union. Both Kilgour and Matas are awaiting approval from Chinese officials to conduct an independent investigation in China in an attempt to collect more evidence.

How can you help? By joining our fact-finding delegation to China (CIPFG) to conduct a full investigation of the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners being held in Chinese labour camps and other detention facilities. As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, "The arc of history is long, but it bends toward justice." Let us board that train together.

We’d like to take this opportunity to invite you to join us at our 24-hour appeal site at 3300 Granville Street in front of the Chinese Consulate, where we have been holding a constant peaceful vigil for the past five years to call attention to the ongoing persecution of Falun Gong.

Recently Mayor Sullivan caved in to pressure from the Chinese Consulate and ordered the practitioners to pack up their exhibit or he will see them in court. This is yet another example of exporting the persecution overseas through the tentacles of the Consulate to stifle free speech. But, in the face of the most powerful, autocratic and villainous political group ever--that conducted the most malicious, horrific and atrocious genocidal atrocities in history--never once have the practitioners resorted to violence. What unveiled is a rational, non-violent, global scale peaceful resistance, similar to Gandhi's and Martin Luther King's non-violent Civil Disobedience and Civil Rights Movement. And to this day, Falun Gong is still Falun Gong--they are committed to stop crimes of torture and genocide in their tracks.

Under the principle of Truth-Compassion-Tolerance, peace and justice are building the most splendid moral statutes for the future, which has become the only hope for humankind to return to glory.

Falun Gong Practitioners in Vancouver

Related articles: Watch peaceful flash video here

Edmonton Sun: June 23, 2006 - Organs harvested from Falun Gong prisoners, Kilgour says 'Wait to be butchered for highest bidder'

David Kilgour hopes a report documenting allegations of illegal organ harvesting from Falun Gong prisoners will entice China to open its borders to international human rights investigators.

But the former Edmonton MP says he was given the run-around when he met with a political officer at the Chinese embassy in Ottawa Friday, to discuss conditions of an entry visa.

“I knew they weren’t going to allow me the type of access we need. But I’m hoping our report will generate enough international pressure for them to let us in,” he told the Sun.

Kilgour is investigating allegations that an underground network of Chinese surgeons, nurses, and hospital administration staff are harvesting organs for sale.

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a quasi-religious movement that was banned in China in 1999

“Falun Gong members are (allegedly) being held in pens, waiting to be butchered for the highest bidder in need of a cornea, a kidney, or a heart.

“Some of these organs are immensely expensive. This is becoming an export business for China, and the world is doing nothing about it.”

International human rights lawyer David Matas of Winnipeg hopes to travel to China with Kilgour.

Two years of investigation has netted the lawyer piles of testimony from people like the former spouses of Chinese harvest surgeons.

“I’ve heard of things being done to the Falun Gong prisoners so horrifying I can’t repeat them,” Kilgour said, adding China recently admitted to the international community that its government executes Falun Gong prisoners.

Kilgour said it took one UN official 10 years before he was granted a ‘full access’ visa to investigate torture in China, and the conditions of his visa were not respected when he arrived.

Matas and Kilgour will release a preliminary report exposing the organ harvesting network July 6.

A subsequent report substantiating or debunking those claims would follow any future investigative visit.

Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (CIPFG)

EU Parliament VP Seeks Release of Falun Gong Practitioner

Canada: Renowned Lawyer Joins Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong in China

Canadian Team to Investigate Live Organ Harvesting in China

Gao Zhisheng Invites Investigators to Inspect Persecution of Falun Gong

Essential Information on Organ Harvesting from Falun Gong Practitioners in China

Going Public About Communist Concentration Camps

Sujiatun is merely one of 36 concentration camps for Falun Gong in China

Military Doctor Reveals Process of CCP's Organ Harvesting

Chinese lawyer Gao Zhisheng's open letter

Friday, June 16, 2006

Mayor Sullivan, democracy, Communist Consulate, and Falun Gong Protest

UPDATE here: Here’s the latest on the Vancouver Falun Gong 24-hour appeal site. News1130 have a poll running for a short while, so please cast your vote here ASAP. The question was 'Do you agree with Mayor Sullivan that Falun Gong protesters should pack up and leave?' The final results were Yes: 613 and No: 2270 in favour of Falun Gong. Click on Tara Nelson reports to see a live coverage from Global National TV. Tell us what you think by calling CKNW.
Our online petition is still active and more support is needed here.

In Quotes:

Clive Ansley, a lawyer for the Falun Gong, said the group believes the city's order is unconstitutional because it violates its charter rights.

"This is a matter of freedom of expression and freedom of speech," he said.


Vancouver Sun: City considers asking for an injunction to force Falun Gong to remove protest signs and shack

Falun Gong protest could head to court

By: Reshmi Nair

News 1130: June 16, 2006 - Both sides involved in the Falun Gong protest in Vancouver are now weighing out their options now that the city's deadline to remove the site has come and gone. Since the protest hasn't stopped, this issue could be heading to court. Tom Timm with the City of Vancouver says nothing is going to be happening immediately as city staff need to meet with lawyers to decide what course of enforcement action they'll take and that probably won't happen before Tuesday. Clive Ansley, the lawyer representing the Falun Gong practitioners, says there's only one thing that will stop this protest: the end to what he calls the mass murder and torture campaign being waged by the Chinese government. Ansley says the protestors will obey a court order, but he doubts the city will be able to obtain one.

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Voices of support:

Province: Falun Gong responds

Province: 21 June 2006 - When I returned to Canada after 14 years in the Chinese police state, the Falun Gong signs on Granville Street were a sight for sore eyes rather than an eyesore.

To echo your editorial writer, we all have our annoyances.

I get very annoyed by little things like genocide, mass executions of people condemned through judicial travesty, involuntary organ harvesting and the routine use of torture.

I was also extremely annoyed at the Tiananmen Square massacre.

But, of course, Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan is right to insist the signs be removed. He is just demonstrating the tolerance for which Canada is renowned.

Under extreme provocation, he is extending the olive branch of tolerance to the perpetrators of genocide.

He has effectively told the Chinese government: "We do indeed understand that the lives of mass murderers and torturers are seldom easy and, in the spirit of friendship, we are happy to assist you in stifling the voices of Canadian victims, which so embarrasses you."

And The Province is wrong to state that the Falun Gong have been allowed for too long to ignore city bylaws prohibiting the erection of structures on public property.

That is the mayor's song. And, in the near future, we will demonstrate that the practitioners have at all times been in compliance.

Clive Ansley, Falun Gong Legal Counsel

Letter from Fred Muzin, President of the Hospital Employees’ Union

Dear Mayor Sullivan:

Your recent action to enforce the city by-law and order the removal of the Falun Gong shelter in front of the Chinese embassy on Granville St. is extremely distressing.

Personally and as the President of the Hospital Employees’ Union, I have supported this peaceful group in opposing the blatant human rights violations of the Chinese government. The Falun Gong practitioners are extremely committed to the principles of Truth, Justice and Forbearance, despite being confronted with persecution, murder, unauthorized human organ transplants in China and surveillance and intimidation by Chinese government agents and some controlled media in foreign countries such as Canada.

Canada has a long standing reputation for fairness and advocacy for human rights. Certainly Vancouver, prides itself on diversity, with our large multicultural communities being a strength and an example to others as to how we can work together to support Canadian values.

The Falun Gong shelter on Granville has been in place for four years, with no groundswell of opposition and has not been disruptive to the city. Vancouverites support the ability for peaceful protest – it is fundamental to democracy – and a civic duty to keep governments accountable for their actions.

Your instructions, whether intentional or not, sends a clear signal to the Chinese regime that we are abandoning our Chinese community in their struggle for justice and dignity.

Please reconsider this deplorable decision.

Fred Muzin

From China e-Lobby

"I hope Mayor Sullivan sees the benefits his city can reap by standing for freedom, and reverse his decision to order the exhibit down."

A letter from Charles Lee, an American citizen and practitioner of Falun Gong who was tortured for his belief.

Dear Mayor Sullivan:

I am the direct victim of the Chinese Communist Party's brutal dictatorial regime, and I have suffered three years of inhuman torture and brainwashing.

It is up to our conscience to have a heart for those innocent people under the persecution by the CCP. The protest beside the Chinese Consulate is one of the good ways to help stop the persecution. To dismantle it would definitely mean to be subdued to the pressures from the CCP.

When the CCP still exerts its evil power mainly on Chinese people in China, we should have a chance to stop it and save the world to be consumed by this communist cancer. If we sit around doing nothing now, it will eventually get you, one way or the other.

Even if there is a bylaw that is conflicting with the protest site, we should change the law instead of ordering these people to leave, because this is really what democracy and human value means.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely

Charles Lee, New Jersey, USA


The Vancouver Question was vigorously discussed on these blogs:

Shotgun, Sagebrush, and Small Dead Animals. It's not too late to post your own comment. Thanks everyone for the support!

Two favourite pieces:

Democracy sometimes isn't pretty, Mr. Mayor: Sullivan has heightened vantage of mayor's chair but can't see beyond the limit of his little laws by Pete McMartin

Vancouver Sun: 16 June 2006 - It is the habit of Sam Sullivan, Vancouver's vague and boyish mayor, to explain how being in a wheelchair has informed many things in his life, from his take on crack addicts and sex workers, to welfare assistance and living in poverty. Sullivan -- and I loosely paraphrase another idiosyncratic leader who I never had much time for, either -- feels the downtrodden's pain, having felt it himself.

But Sullivan sits in another chair now, the mayor's. And the altitude change must have gone to his head because it was from that chair's lofty heights that Sullivan declared he was cleaning up the litter on our streets, namely, the Falun Gong.

Enough was enough, he declared. After five years of keeping vigil outside the Chinese consulate-general, and meditating like statues in their little shack, the Falun Gong had to go. Sullivan was going to make Granville Street safe for, well, if not democracy, then for . . . um . . . pedestrians! And motorists! Who were put off by posters and Chinese people weirdly meditating on the sidewalk!

If you are a journalist in this town, you should be intimately accustomed to the Falun Gong, since they send out e-mails about every five minutes decrying their persecution by the Chinese government. It is a curse to be on their mailing list.

But they are also harmless, and their message is always on point, which is:

We are being persecuted, tortured and incarcerated by the Chinese government for our beliefs.

Not: We want to bring down the Chinese government.

Not: We wish to embarrass the Chinese government.

Just: Could the Chinese government please stop persecuting us?

The Chinese government, and I use the term loosely, labels the Falun Gong a "sect," which is doublespeak for "loony." This is a wonderful irony, coming from a business-suited thug-ocracy whose military leaders casually discuss in public the possibility of a nuclear exchange with the U.S., and then just as casually calculate how many of their own citizens they might lose in such an exchange -- the weight of numbers being on their side, of course.

This is also the Chinese government whose own way of dealing with litter is sweeping it away with tanks and AK-47s. Tiananmen Square is spotless today. No weird meditators or posters there, much to the relief of pedestrians.

Sullivan's impulses aren't as savage, of course, but more firmly rooted in law. That is, he only wishes to apply the law equally and across the board, as banal and utilitarian as the law may be. It is that very banality that demands the removal of the Falun Gong.

Why, they've built their shack on public property! Technically, they're littering! The same law would be -- nay, must be -- applied to helmetless bicycle riders, False Creek boat squatters, reckless users of noisy weed-whackers, the wanton discarders of candy bar wrappers, etc., etc., etc. -- in other words, The Nitpick Level of Law Enforcement. Sullivan wants to clean up Vancouver, literally. So why should the Falun Gong be allowed to maintain what one newspaper editorial bravely called an "eyesore" in front of the Chinese consulate-general?

Well, for one thing, one could argue, sometimes democracy isn't pretty. It can be hard on the eyes. For another thing, a democratic government committed to encouraging democratic impulses should sometimes let its moral compass dictate its actions, not the frigging letter of the law.

Nor, it could also be argued, should those democratic impulses come with past-due dates. Five years? One thinks of the early Christians, and those centuries of their being led off to the Colosseum for lion feed. Or the civil rights protesters in the U.S. who, it should be noted, were breaking the law of the land at the time. It took more than five years for them to get to the front of the bus. And as I remember, there were actually some people in the U.S. federal government who were on their side. They saw the big picture.

Sullivan? More of a detail man, I guess. Who might have bought crack for an addict and given money to sex trade workers but will keep your streets clear of dangerous shacks.

Who knows littering when he sees it, but not purpose.

Who has the heightened vantage of the mayor's chair, but can't see beyond the limit of his pitiful little laws. or 604-605-2905

See no evil

VANCOUVER North Shore News - 16 June 2006 - Mayor Sam Sullivan's decision this week to remove the long-standing Falun Gong protest shelter on Granville Street is disturbing not for what it means to one small protest, but for what it symbolizes in terms of our country's attitude as a whole.

By dismantling the structure - which has caused little trouble in the five years it has been there - for violating city bylaws, Sullivan is demonstrating that he puts aesthetics above larger issues.

His attitude, sadly, is reflective of that held by our nation as a whole.

China's habitual violation of civil and human rights is no secret. But while our country loudly criticizes the abuses of other, smaller powers, we remain markedly silent about the behaviour of the rising giant across the Pacific.

Vancouver's planned port expansion is testament to the eagerness with which we are embracing our new friendship.

And the Falun Gong protest, with its rickety structure and unsightly posters, is an uncomfortable reminder of what we are ignoring about our new friend. By effectively shutting the protest down, we are allowing ourselves to hide from an unpleasant truth: when we have nothing invested in another nation, we quite happily call out its every misstep, but when a nation is closely tied to our own economic well-being, we are much more hesitant to criticize.

That the Falun Gong images and the protest shelter are offensive should not be of real concern to us. And it should not be of concern to Vancouver's mayor.

Rather, it is when these things cease to offend that we should begin to worry in earnest.

Letters to the Editor:

Bronwen’s letter was published in the Vancouver Sun...

Thank you, Jonathan Fowlie, for your insightful coverage of Mayor Sam Sullivan's plans to remove the Falun Gong protest site.

Ironically, I think that two recent articles appearing in The Sun are related to the mayor's "personal decision" to disband the site. The first article said that Beijing has been holding off on granting Canada "approved destination status," which would effectively double the number of Chinese tourists visiting Vancouver. The second article said that British Columbia has signed an agreement with Beijing to facilitate trade missions.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that closing the Falun Gong site would be one of the hoops the city has to jump through to be granted approved destination status. And last week Sullivan leapt through this hoop.

The Chinese Communist Party is scared to death that the genocide being committed against the Falun Gong will be fully revealed. Part of the propaganda passed off as news in China is that the Falun Gong is banned all over the world. It is troublesome for the communist government when mainland Chinese come here and see that not only is Falun Gong legal, but that our governments actually allow peaceful appeals -- even in front of Chinese consulates. What a loss of face for the regime.

The truth is that Sullivan has simply fallen into the same pit that most politicians and businessmen fall into when they do business with the leaders of this brutal dictatorship. The communists are only too aware of the weaknesses of mankind. Our desire for power and financial gain creates a propensity to sell our souls for profit. In this case, we are complicit with a genocide of a group of gentle and innocent people. I hope Sullivan will wake up soon to the need to protect our Canadian values, and will stand up to an oppressive regime issuing orders to our free country.

Why not ask the Chinese communist regime to stop persecuting the Falun Gong and respect life in order to do business with us?

Joan's letters also published...

Voice of the People

Letter writer xxx is mistaken. It's the Chinese communist regime that spreads hate, not the Falun Gong.

When Chinese government officials started their vicious persecution of the meditation practice seven years ago, they used their powerful propaganda machine to spread lies and misinformation about the Falun Gong, not only in China but around the world. That's their way of justifying the persecution. It's too bad that people like xxx have fallen for it.

Mayor should resist China pressure

TC 20 June 2006 - In an attempt to call attention to the vicious persecution of their family
members and fellow practitioners in China, Vancouver Falun Gong practitioners began a constant 24/7 vigil outside the Chinese Consulate five years ago. While this effort probably hasn't lessened the persecution in anyway, it has had the effect of embarrassing the dictatorship in Beijing, and as such it should remain.

Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan's sudden decision to oust the protesters has little to do with a bylaw and everything to do with pressure from the consulate. It's well-known that previous Vancouver mayors stood their ground against such pressure.

So were mine or at least a portion of it leaving out the main part - that is - the Consulate is behind Sullivan's motivation to crackdown on Falun Gong through this fake bylaw campaign...

Mayor should focus energy elsewhere

Why did Mayor Sam Sullivan ask Falun Gong to pack up?

Using the pretext of wanting to abide to bylaws just doesn't cut it. It seems to me that there are more pressing issues at hand to deal with than wasting resources on people holding a peace vigil. Falun Gong practitioners living in China have been enduring a seven-year long persecution by the most despotic and corrupt regime around that goes as far as harvesting their organs for profit.

Mayor should allow Falun Gong Protest--He should honour the permission granted to the group by the previous administration five years ago.

Invitation: Sit by our side

Today, Friday the 16th, Falun Gong practitioners are holding a peaceful appeal in front of the Vancouver Chinese Consulate on Granville. Please come and sit by our side.

Sit by my side

Closing your eyes

Together in silence

We call for

The end of torturing

The end of killing

The end of the persecution

Compassion grows in our hearts

Together in silence

Our wishes can make a difference

This poem was translated into many languages and appeared beside Falun Gong practitioners holding peaceful appeals in front of Chinese embassies and consulates around the world.

Over five years ago, not long after Jiang Zemin's faction and the Chinese Communist Party started the persecution of Falun Gong, Falun Gong practitioners have continuously appeared in front of Chinese embassies and consulates in several countries. They meditate, practice the Falun Gong exercises, or distribute flyers to passers-by to clarify the truth about Falun Gong and the persecution in China.

More than five years have passed, and more and more people have joined us. Our peaceful sit-in protests have extended to Chinese embassies and consulates in dozens of countries across four continents. Those who come to appeal are from all over the world and from all ages. Out of a sense of conscience and following the principles of Truthfulness,Compassion and Forbearance, we gather voluntarily in front of Chinese embassies or consulates after work or school and appeal to the Chinese regime to stop the persecution of Falun Gong.

Whether in cold weather with snow or during the hot summer with temperature soaring, people see the practitioners continue their peaceful appeal. We come to the Chinese consulate not for ourselves, but so that other people,including the staff working in the consulate, can come to know the facts of the persecution. Our goal is to end this persecution that is based only on lies, fabrications,torture and threats and enticement, which involves the whole Chinese population.

We appeal in front of consulate is not because we oppose China, but on the contrary, because we love China. We see that those who claim to represent the Chinese people's interests instead kill Chinese people and damage morality and humanity in their persecution of Falun Gong practitioners who follow Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance.

Passers-by change from apathy to understanding, offering support and expressing respect. Over the course of the days and nights in front of the Chinese consulate, Western and Chinese people have stopped to see the poster boards and catch news that was not covered by media in China. Those who learned the truth asked for more literature to give to their friends, and some have even started to practice Falun Gong.

"Please sit by our side, please sit by our side, together in silence, together we call for the end of torturing, the end of killing." The torturing and killing have been going on for more than five years. Nevertheless, we uphold goodness, we are still appealing to all kind-hearted people with uncompromising courage. Through our more than five-year silent persistence, we have expressed our heart-felt faith. Although the evil may act violently for a while, the dark cloud will not block the sun forever and the viciousness will not shut out the brightness of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. The day will eventually come when the evil in the human world is completely cleansed by the force of Truth, Compassion, and Forbearance.

Related Article:

Mayor getting tough on Falun Gong

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Vancouver Mayor getting tough on Falun Gong

Appeal to Kind-hearted People

Support Falun Gong Peaceful 24-hour Appeal Site

in front of the Vancouver Chinese Consulate

Add Your Voice to Call “Stop Killing!” by signing the Petition

***Look here and here for an update

Dear Friends:

On June 8, Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan ordered local Falun Gong practitioners to dismantle the appeal site they've maintained outside the Chinese Consulate 24/7, rain or shine, for the past five years. Mayor Sullivan said the group's signs and booth erected by the consulate contravene a city bylaw.

The Falun Gong practitioners say they were initially given verbal permission to hold a constant vigil at the site in order to raise awareness of the persecution against Falun Gong in China, now in its seventh year. They say the site bears witness to the thousands of practitioners who have been tortured and killed as a result of the persecution, and believe they should be allowed to remain until the persecution comes to an end.

I'm writing to ask for your support by signing the online petition. It would also be very helpful and much appreciated if you would write a letter to Mayor Sullivan asking him to re-think his stance on the bylaw, as the site is not a safety hazard, and previous city councils were not averse to it.

Send your letter of support to the Mayor and Council by Friday, June 16, 2006. You don't need to be from Vancouver to support this effort.


Fax: 604-873-7685; Tel: 604-873-7621

Mailing address: 453 West 12th Ave., Vancouver, B.C. V59 1V4

Related News Articles:

Vancouver Courier: Time to get tough on Falun Gong, says mayor

Epoch Times: Chinese Consulate Protest Display Must Go, Says Vancouver Mayor

Vancouver 24 Hours: Time to dismantle: Sullivan
Falun Gong protest By JOHN PIGEON, 24 HOURS

According to Mayor Sam Sullivan, the Falun Gong protest stationed outside the Chinese consulate has to go.

"I had to be pretty clear that it was a [bylaw] violation and that there is sympathy to the issues of Falun Gong and we wish them well in their efforts to protest," he said.

The bylaw states that no structures may be built on public property.

"There's a lot of issues of public disorder that I think over time my plan is to every couple of months take on a new bylaw that needs attention," he said.

The B.C. Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) says the mayor has overstepped his boundary.

"The city has no rights here. They have a duty and an obligation to conduct themselves according to Charter values," said BCCLA associate policy coordinator Micheal Vonn. "The position of the Falun Gong would be 'the human rights issue hasn't gone away, so why should we?'"

Send your comments:

CBC: Mayor orders Falun Gong to pack up protest sign, hut Vancouver mayor orders Falun Gong to end 5-year consulate protest

Fri Jun 09, 11:50 AM - Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan has set a deadline for Falun Gong protesters to remove their protest wall from the sidewalk in front of the Chinese Consulate.

The group has erected a wall of photographs of its members who they say have been tortured by the Chinese government.

The group has also maintained an around-the-clock vigil in a small booth built on the sidewalk as part of the protest, which has been going on for the past five years.

The mayor said the group has until June 19 to take down the structures, as they contravene city bylaws. If they're not removed, the city will move in.

"I have expressed to the Falun Gong that I respect their issues with human rights, but I have told them that I expect them to adhere to the bylaws the way any other citizens would."

That prompted a demonstration by a group of Falun Gong practitioners at Vancouver City Hall on Thursday.

Micheal Vonn of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association says it's not up to the mayor to decide when a protest has gone on long enough.

"The mayor doesn't get to say when citizens have finished expressing themselves," she said. "Certainly, the position of the Falun Gong would be the human rights issue hasn't gone away, and why should we."

The group said it's not going away, and intends to maintain the vigil outside the consulate until the persecution in China comes to an end.

The Falun Gong spiritual movement was first introduced to the public in 1992, and now has an estimated 70 million practitioners in China.

It has been outlawed by the Chinese government, and the group says followers in China have been persecuted, with more than 2,800 people tortured to death.

News 1130: All new radio: Sullivan tells Falun Gong protesters to pack up

By: Claudia Kwan

June 08, 2006 - 2:31 pm - If you've driven past Granville and 16th in the past five years, you've seen them around the clock: Falun Gong practitioners protesting outside the Chinese consulate. Now, they say their right to protest is being affected by Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan. The mayor has personally intervened in what he's calling a bylaw issue. An enforcement order is now up at the protest site, ordering the removal of a hut which he says has been built on public property. The Falun Gong practitioners have been given until noon next Friday to comply. The question becomes why now, and whether this is motivated by political pressure. Sullivan insists it's all about being equal with the way bylaws are enforced. The mayor admits this is a delicate situation and says he does sympathize with the Falun Gong cause. He says they will still be allowed to picket. Protesters say removal of the hut will seriously affect their ability to continue their protest 24 hours 7 days a week, and they say they've been ambushed by this order. They are vowing to check out all their legal options before they comply. Sullivan refused to say what would happen if the hut isn't down by the deadline.

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Vancouver Sun: Mayor orders Falun Gong hut removed: Structure and sign outside Chinese consulate 'contravene bylaw'
Byline: Jonathan Fowlie, with a file from Frances Bula

Ward Perrin, Vancouver Sun
BYLAW CRACKDOWN COULD END UP IN COURT: Falun Gong supporters line 12th Avenue outside of city hall to protest against removal of structures at the Chinese consulate.

Friday, June 9, 2006 - Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan has called for removal of a five-year-old Falun Gong protest structure outside the Chinese consulate, saying it contravenes a bylaw and must be taken down as soon as possible.

"We claim to be a nation that lives by the rule of law and if we want to be serious about that we have to enforce our bylaws equally," Sullivan said at a news conference Thursday.

"Nobody is allowed to build structures on public property and this is public property."Sullivan said that on Thursday morning, city staff posted an order on the large blue billboards and hut attached to the fence outside the Chinese consulate on Granville Street near 16th Avenue, demanding the entire structure be removed by noon on June 16.

Signed by city engineering manager Tom Timm, the order says the structures "encroach upon and obstruct the free use of the street and are illegal."Practitioners of Falun Gong are at the site 24 hours a day to protest what they say is China's persecution of followers. On Thursday, a sign at the site said members have been holding constant vigil for 1,754 days.Reacting to news of the order on Thursday, Falun Gong practitioners and other supporters gathered outside city hall to voice their opposition.

"The signs are not just signs. They are the voice of people and the image of people being persecuted," said Mansour Sedighi, who helped found the display in July 2001."This is how we can tell people what's going on -- the only thing we have," he added.

Micheal Vonn of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association said she believes
Sullivan's decision was politically motivated and called on him to change his mind.

"It is a grand day for democracy when the mayor of Vancouver invokes the rule of law to shut down a peaceful protest against genocide," she said.

"This has been a five-year-long peaceful protest that the mayor is now
saying is illegal because he won't issue a permit to allow it to continue."

Sullivan said the protest display has always contravened a city bylaw and he is moving on the issue now because it is finally within his power to do so.

"I'm the mayor now. I was sympathetic to them [when it went up] and I still am, but now that I'm the mayor I believe it's my role to ensure that our bylaws actually have meaning and that they are equally maintained by all groups," he said.

Former mayor Larry Campbell said on Thursday he agrees the Falun Gong installation violates the bylaw but he doesn't see a need to take it down.

"If Sam takes that down, they will be back every single day," Campbell said from Ottawa, where he is a senator.

"I agree that it is an infraction of the bylaw, but is this the best use of
our police resources? There's bylaws being broken in this city every day."

Campbell said he was approached by the Chinese consulate on the issue during his time in office, but he never saw a reason to act. He said he doesn't necessarily agree with the protest.

At his news conference, Sullivan said he would have no problem with further protests at the site as long as the signs and hut came down. He also made it clear that his decision had no basis in politics, and that he was in no way influenced by the Chinese government or consul.

The mayor added this will not be an isolated case, and that he intends to personally tackle other bylaw infractions in future. "My plan is to every couple of months take on a new bylaw that I think needs attention," he said.

In an interview Thursday, Falun Gong lawyer Clive Ansley said he thinks Sullivan's decision goes beyond dutiful adherence to bylaw enforcement and is likely politically motivated."If you believe [Sullivan's explanation] you probably believe in the tooth fairy as well. I think he is being a bit economical with the truth," he said.

Ansley said he believes the city is acting in "bad faith" and that it should issue a permit to allow the structure to remain. He said he would like to negotiate a solution with Sullivan, but is willing to go to court. If it comes to that, he said, he believes Falun Gong will win.
"If [Sullivan] wants to make it a legal issue, then I think the law is quite clear that when it comes to permits, you can't exercise discretion in bad faith."
- - -

A look at a practice that is banned in China.

What: Also known as Falun Dafa, Falun Gong is a spiritual discipline that combines exercises, meditation and a moral philosophy based on truth, compassion and tolerance.

Origins: The Falun Gong has roots in ancient Chinese culture and was first introduced to the public in China in 1992.

About the protest: Practitioners of Falun Gong have been outside the Chinese consulate in Vancouver seven days a week, 24 hours a day for about five years. They are attempting to publicize the persecution of Falun Gong members in China. They say that as of March 2006, more than 2,800 practitioners have died as a result of torture. Members are protesting in other Canadian cities as well, including Toronto where they continue to stand in front of two large wooden signs erected in front of the Chinese consulate.

The Province: Falun Gong told to move along

Victoria Times Colonist: Vancouver mayor demands end of Falun Gong protest

VANCOUVER: 2006.06.09 - Mayor Sam Sullivan has called for the removal of a five-year-old Falun Gong protest structure outside the Chinese Consulate, saying it contravenes a city bylaw and must be taken down as soon as possible.

"We claim to be a nation that lives by the rule of law and if we want to be serious about that we have to enforce our bylaws equally," Sullivan said at a news conference Thursday.

"Nobody is allowed to build structures on public property and this is public property."

Sullivan said that on Thursday morning, city staff posted an order on the large blue billboards and hut attached to the fence outside the Chinese Consulate on Granville Street near 16th Avenue demanding the entire structure be removed by noon on Friday, June 16. Signed by city engineering manager Tom Timm, the order says the structures "encroach upon and obstruct the free use of the street and are illegal."

Practitioners of Falun Gong sit at the site 24 hours a day to protest what they say is persecution in China.

Metro: Falun Gong Rally puts focus on consulate hut
by Jeff Hodson

Vancouver: 09 June 2006 - Falun Gong practitioners rallied outside city hall yesterday, protesting the city's demands to dismantle a protest hut that has stood outside the Chinese Consulate for the past five years.

While sympathetic to the Falun Gong 's protest, Mayor Sam Sullivan personally intervened to have the hut removed. because it violates a bylaw prohibiting structure from being built on city lands.

Sue Zhang, a Falun Gong practitoner since 1998, accused the Mayor of bowing to political pressure from the Chinese government.

While the Chinese government had appealed to past administrations to have the protesters removed, the mayor was adamant that there was no such pressure.

"I have met with the Chinese consul General and it never came up in conversation...It has nothing to do with the Chinese government, the Chinese consul "Sullivan said.

The group has protested alleged human rights abuses outside the consulate 24 hours a day for the past five years.

The group is still free to protest outside the consulate, Sullivan said.

Additional reports from NTDTV News, Talent TV News, and Global TV.