MPs, Senators & Supporters Hold Welcoming Ceremony on the Hill And Speak Out Strongly Against Terrorism and Persecution

Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal -- Two teams of Falun Gong practitioners who walked from Toronto and Montreal arrived in Ottawa today, Sept. 27, 2001. Ms. Colleen Beaumier, M.P., Mr. Scott Reid, M.P., Mr. Yvon Charbonneau, M.P. and Mr. John Godfrey, M.P., together with many other MPs, Senators and Falun Gong supporters, held a welcoming ceremony and press conference when the walkers arrived at Parliament Hill. The walkers then presented over 95, 000 signatures of support from Canadians to PMO to strongly and urgently appeal to Prime Minister Chretien to urge China, during his visit there next month, to put an end to the persecution of Falun Gong

Ms. Beaumier opened the ceremony amidst a long round of applause as the practitioners, ending their journeys from Toronto and Montreal, walked up the central path of Parliament Hill.

"It is the duty of every citizen in every free and just society, to express their indignation towards oppression, torture and murder." Ms. Beaumier said in her speech at the ceremony. "I would like to commend all Canadians who've supported Falun Dafa."

"To say how proud we are to be associated with such people of conviction, and people of faith, that we will stay with you and continue to support your efforts, and make our views known to the Chinese government." Mr. John Godfrey added.

In a press conference held inside the Parliament Buildings, Scott Reid pointed out during his speech: "There are members of parliament from all parties who support the cause of Falun Dafa practitioners who have been arrested and imprisoned in China for doing nothing other than supporting a belief in Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance -- a set of beliefs which, of course, reflect the best in all civilized societies and particularly in the history of China, and which represent no threat to anybody."

At the press conference, Mr. Yvon Charbonneau also condemned China's brutal persecution." I consider that this form of terrorism practiced against Falun Gong practitioners in China is no more acceptable than any other form of terrorism."

After the ceremony and press conference, the walkers presented the 95,000 signatures to the Prime Minister's Office. "The tens of thousands of signatures we collected are a testament to the heart of justice and righteousness of our fellow Canadians. It also demonstrates the trust we have in our Canadian government to speak on our behalf and help stop this injustice." Said Danniel Zhu, a walker from Toronto.

Among the walkers and presenters of the signatures, is Li Zhang, a permanent resident of Canada, whose husband Lizhi He is serving a 3.5-year prison term in China for sending Falun Gong materials to colleagues.

These events occurred as part of peaceful daylong activities in which the meditative, peaceful Falun Gong exercises were also demonstrated.

The walks in Canada are part of other "SOS! Global RescueWalks" that are also taking place in the United States, Europe, Australia and Asia. Some of the practitioners in the two teams will continue their journey and start to walk to the UN in New York in a few days.