Canada: Falun Gong Practitioners' Peaceful Appeal Draws Attention During Wen Jiabao's Visit to Canada

Since the evening of December 10, 2003 when Wen Jiabao arrived in Ottawa, no matter where his motorcade went on his visit--in front of the hotel, Parliament Hill, Rideau Hall and the National Civilization Museum where the former prime minister held a state banquet--it passed Falun Gong practitioners peacefully performing the exercises, and the occupants saw the banners Falun Gong practitioners held that read, "Welcome Wen Jiabao to Canada," "Bring Jiang Zemin to Justice," and "Falun Dafa is good." Nearly 200 Falun Gong practitioners held their peaceful appeal on a snowy day for more than twelve hours, calling for the end to the persecution and bringing the head criminal, Jiang Zemin to justice.

"Welcome" and "Punish"

Falun Gong practitioner Dai Gongyu who participated in the appeal said, " 'Welcome' and 'punish' banners clearly express Falun Gong practitioners' position and attitude. In the past four years, Falun Gong practitioners have been unceasingly calling for the end to the persecution, not only to safeguard our belief in 'Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance' and basic human rights, but also to set the public free from the lies concocted by Jiang and his cohorts. We don't get involved in politics, nor do we target the government; we only oppose the evil persecution, and call for bringing head criminal Jiang Zemin to justice. He doesn't represent China, nor does he represent the Chinese government and the Chinese people. We 'welcome' all people, including other Chinese leaders to come to learn the truth about Falun Gong, to get the facts to make wise judgments, and to be responsible for their future, the country and the Chinese people. We also want to express to the Chinese leaders and all people in the world that we won't give up our endeavour of peacefully appealing, so long as the persecution continues, and head criminal Jiang and his cohorts who persecute Falun Gong are not held accountable."

The assistant to a parliament member saw Falun Gong practitioners' peaceful appeal in front of the Parliament Hill, and said to practitioners, "You are different from other groups, you are indeed doing well." Ms. Carole Channer from Amnesty International expressed her appreciation for Falun Gong's attitude of "Welcome" and "Punish."

Attracting extensive attention from the Canadian people

The Chinese premier's visit to Canada was the focus of political and business interests, and the media from both countries. Falun Gong practitioners' appeal activities this time once again drew the attention of the Canadian people to the brutal persecution Falun Gong practitioners suffer in China.

Falun Gong practitioners held banners and performed the exercises in the places where Wen Jiabao visited, including Parliament Hill, Rideau Hall, North Telecom, and the Civilization Museum. Most of the time they kept practicing the exercises across from the front gate of the hotel where Wen stayed.

Those who went to the hotel to meet with Wen Jiabao, including former Canadian Prime Minister Chretien, New Prime Minister Martin, new and past important members of the government and dignitaries from business fields, as well as hundreds of dignitaries in political and business fields from both China and Canada, all passed by Falun Gong practitioners who held huge banners reading, "Falun Dafa is good," "Welcome Wen Jiabao to Canada" and "Bring Jiang Zemin to Justice," and peacefully practiced the exercises in the rain and wind. Many people were moved.

The Canadian people pay special attention to the brutal persecution Falun Gong practitioners suffer in China. Canadian MPs appealed to the Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister to raise the issue of stopping the persecution of Falun Gong during Wen Jiabao's visit. Amnesty International published a statement to appeal to the Prime Minister to help stop what is happening in China, including the human rights violations against Falun Gong.

Most national media made positive reports on Falun Gong practitioners' appeal activities. These media outlets included Globe and Mail, Canadian Press, The National Post, Toronto Star, CBC TV, CBC Radio Broadcast Station (in both English and French). Other local media such as NewRo TV Station, Ottawa Citizen, FairChild Radio Station in Chinese also reported on Falun Gong practitioners' appeal activity.

Canadian's second largest newspaper, The National Post, published an editorial on December 13 to appeal for Falun Gong. The article mentioned, "Falun Gong practitioners are subjected to beatings, torture, being sent to labour camps and incarcerated in mental hospitals. Outside of China, Falun Gong practitioners stand peacefully in front of the Chinese Embassies and Consulates around the world, symbolizing negation to a regime that arrogantly believes that using autocratic and brutal means could forever eradicate a group. Falun Gong practitioners' appeal is to peacefully seek help from the perspective of freedom in human nature." "They deserve support."

The police's trust

During the whole process, all appeal locations Falun Gong chose were at front gates. The Canadian police arranged conventional routes for Wen Jiabao' motorcade, that is, the front gates of places being visited. The Canadian police permitted Falun Gong practitioners to appeal across from the hotel where Wen Jiabao stayed. So, every time when Wen Jiabao's motorcade passed by, they would clearly see Falun Gong's banners and their peaceful exercise scene.

On the spot of appeal, Canadian police showed appreciation for Falun Gong practitioners' peaceful demeanour.

Getting along with a welcoming group

At noon on December 11, Chinese Embassy personnel directed Chinese students they organized in front of the hotel to stand in front of Falun Gong practitioners. They waved flags and used their banners to block the banner reading, "Bring Jiang Zemin to Justice." The personnel shouted, "You must block it." Some students were very hostile to Falun Gong practitioners because of the lies spread by Jiang's regime. Falun Gong practitioners were not affected and took opportunities to peacefully clarify the facts about Falun Gong to those Chinese people on the spot.

Falun Gong practitioners introduced to the Chinese students a lot of related information and answered their questions. Regarding the lies Jiang's regime fabricated to make Chinese people misunderstand Falun Gong, including, "not patriotic," "getting involved in politics," "anti-government," and "buying off with money", practitioners used their personal experiences as examples to tell those Chinese students, "Those are all lies concocted to find excuses for them to persecute Falun Gong. We only ask for the right to peacefully practice. We oppose the political persecution and the evil suppression imposed upon us. We are not involved in politics, nor are we against government. That is our basic right." "Jiang Zemin doesn't represent the country, nor does he represent the government and the people. Jiang used a large quantity of the country's material resources to persecute innocent Falun Gong practitioners. It is unreasonable, illegal and a disaster to the country and the people, from the perspective of law and morality. Punishing him is good for the country and the people." "Falun Gong's peaceful appeal to stop the persecution does not bring shame on China. Those vicious people who are in power and who murder innocent people are bringing shame on China. We are concerned for the country and the people, so we hope to end the persecution as soon as possible. "A Falun Gong practitioner in his 60s said, "Look at me, and you will know [the truth.] I'm nearly 70 years old this year. I didn't sleep last night, and from morning until now I haven't eaten anything. Yet in such a weather I'm here calling for an end to the persecution. I'm still very energetic. This shows that 'Falun Dafa is great.' 'We come here out of our conscience, and we come voluntarily.' "Falun Gong practitioners' sincerity and rational explanations touched many people's hearts, and also made them think.

A Falun Gong practitioner saw that one student in the welcoming group did not have any gloves, and his hands were red from the freezing cold, so he loaned him his own gloves. The student was very moved.

A Chinese overseas student from Carlton University saw a Falun Gong practitioner on campus next day, said, "You are so peaceful and steadfast."

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