Keeping Falun Gong group offstage at celebration

12 May

When Falun Gong practitioners sought the opportunity to do their exercises onstage at this Saturday’s Asian-American Celebration at the Greater Richmond Convention Center, they were denied by organizers of the Chinese-community performances for “the Falun Gong group is too political, too controversial, You have a strong agenda,” sources from on May 7.

John Kang, a member of the Richmond Chinese Network, said the Falun Gong group was too late in seeking to perform in the celebration.

Kang, in a later e-mail, disputed the idea that Falon Gong’s exercises are traditional. He said they were created by its founder 30 years ago.

“Falun Gong, recognizing America’s interest in multiculturalism and diversity, uses dance performances to promote its anti-China message,” he wrote.

In a March 17 e-mail, Jaye Li told Wang that organizers had already selected enough performances. But a subsequent e-mail suggests other factors were at work.

In a March 25 e-mail, Li wrote that the annual Asian event “is intended as a cultural exchange platform and Falun Gong group is not a cultural organization. It has strong political agenda and is not appropriate to represent the Chinese culture. As you may be aware, I am not the only person who feels this way.”

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