Archive | June, 2008

Another protest against Falun Gong’s disturbance for Sichuan quake in Fundraising

11 Jun


Video Download: http://www.kaiwind.com/video/20080521/flgrezonglu04.WMV


It is reported by Zhang Chen, journalist at Sinovision.net that at about 10 o’clock in the morning Falun Gong practitioners demonstrated in the Flushing Street again, which aroused the local Chinese’s strong protest and denunciation. Today more local Chinese gathered than yesterday and they were more excited and indignant than before. In spite of heavy rain they shouted “Long Live China” and other encouraging catchwords. The local Chinese’s spontaneous confrontation with Falun Gong lasted from 10 o’clock in the morning till the rush hour in the afternoon. Until the journalist issued this report the confrontation has lasted for 5 hours and the local Chinese showed no sign of leaving. So it was the strongest protest against Falun Gong during the successive four days.


In view of the large numbers of protesters, the police had to ask Alderman Mr. Liu Chunyi to appeal to the local Chinese to maintain social order.


Just as what they have done in the past three days, Falun Gong diehards intended to relate the earthquake disaster to China’s politics, which angered all the Chinese passers-by. Soon the local Chinese spontaneously gathered behind the protective fence to show their strong protests against Falun Gong. It began to rain heavily in the afternoon, but the local Chinese did not leave at all, instead they continued their protest.


The local Chinese were greatly indignant at Falun Gong’s successive four days’ gathering in Flushing Street. A Chinese elder, with China’s national flag wrapping around him, ran to Falun Gong practitioners, which aroused loud applauses from the crowd of local Chinese. An old Chinese, whose hometown is Sichun, couldn’t help shedding tears and he was eager to say something to the journalist, but he failed to utter a word because his voice was hoarse due to the continuous crying of slogans.


New York Alderman Liu Chunyi came to the spot in the afternoon. He said that everyone had the freedom to express his ideas, but the successive four days’ confrontation has influenced the normal traffic and social order in Flushing. He continued to say that personally speaking, now China was suffering from a big earthquake, so all the Chinese should unite to fight against the disaster and raise funds for the quake-hit areas.


Since last Saturday (May 17), Falun Gong diehards successively appeared on the spot where the Chinese were raising funds for quake victims. Instead of donating any money, they beat gongs and drums to claim that Sichun quake was not simply a natural disaster but it was closely related with China’s government. Such nonsense brought about strong denunciations from each upright Chinese. In the next following three days, Falun Gong went on disturbing fundraising work. The local Chinese went on to protest against Falun Gong’s heartless actions.


(Facts.org.cn, June 4, 2008)

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Falun Gong loses appeal of ban from parade

11 Jun

http://english.kaiwind.com/Reports/200806/t81091.htm

Chinese business leaders in San Francisco have the right to exclude members of the dissident spiritual movement Falun Gong from the annual Chinese New Year parade and a related street fair and flower market fair, a state appeals court has ruled.

As the sponsor of the events, the Chinese Chamber of Commerce is constitutionally entitled to bar participation by anyone who would “interfere with the message the chamber seeks to communicate,” the First District Court of Appeal in San Francisco said Friday.

The court relied on a 1995 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that allowed sponsors of the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Boston to exclude a group of gay, lesbian and bisexual descendants of Irish immigrants. A Massachusetts court had ruled that the ban violated the state’s anti-discrimination law, but the Supreme Court said a parade is a type of free expression and its organizers have the right to control their message.

Falun Gong, which is banned in China, has been barred from taking part in San Francisco’s Chinese New Year parade for most of this decade. The Chinese Chamber of Commerce has cited the group’s opposition to the Chinese government in denying it a place in the parade and a booth at the street fair.

Falun Gong filed suit in 2006 against both the Chamber of Commerce and the city of San Francisco, which provides some funding for the parade along with police protection. A judge dismissed the suit against the city in February 2007, citing a report by the city’s Human Rights Commission that found no discrimination because the Chamber of Commerce, not the city, generally banned political activities at the event.

Falun Gong did not appeal that ruling, but challenged the same judge’s earlier dismissal of its suit against the Chinese Chamber of Commerce. The group conceded that the 1995 Supreme Court ruling applied to the Chinese New Year parade but argued that the street fair and flower fair, from which it was also excluded, are commercial events, not statements of free expression, and are covered by anti-discrimination laws.

The appeals court disagreed, noting that the street fair includes cultural performances and the flower market fair begins with a small parade.

While the dissident group is free to attend or protest any of the events, the court said, onlookers “would likely associate the Chamber (of Commerce) with Falun Gong’s views” if the group were allowed to participate in the events.

The court also ruled that Falun Gong must pay the Chamber of Commerce’s legal bills, under a state law penalizing plaintiffs whose lawsuits interfere with their opponents’ freedom of speech. The chamber said the bills would amount to several hundred thousand dollars.

“It is our hope that Falun now stops this abusive lawsuit,” said Randy Riddle, lawyer for the business group. “This is an important decision for First Amendment rights.”

Roger Myers, a lawyer for Falun Gong, said the ruling is an unwarranted expansion of the Supreme Court’s St. Patrick’s Day decision and his clients may appeal to the state Supreme Court.

“The further you extend (the Supreme Court ruling), the more you narrow California law protecting people against discrimination,” he said.

The ruling is available at www.courtinfo.ca.gov/opinions/documents/A115535.PDF.

(San Francisco Chronicle, Tuesday, June 3, 2008)