People from All Walks of Life Oppose Article 23 in Vancouver Rally (Photos)
(Clearwisdom.net) On December 15, 2002 at 11 am, Canadians from all walks of life gathered in front of Art Gallery Square of Vancouver to hold a rally opposing Hong Kong's Article 23 legislation, to support similar activities happening around the world, and to raise awareness in society on this issue. Vancouver's local major Chinese and English media including World Daily Journal, Ming Pao, Epochtimes, Xingdao Daily, Xintangren TV and New Times TV etc., in total more than ten newspapers, televisions, radio stations carried on-the-spot coverage.
President of BC Hospital Employee Union Fred Muzin speaking at the rally
Local resident signing petition to oppose Article 23
Drafted after 1989's democratic movement in China, Article 23 stipulated that "the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall enact laws on its own to prohibit any act of treason, secession, sedition, subversion against the Central People's Government, or theft of state secrets, to prohibit foreign political organizations or bodies from conducting political activities in the Region, and to prohibit political organizations or bodies of the Region from establishing ties with foreign political organizations or bodies." This matter has triggered widespread alarm and opposition in the international community.
To support the Against Article 23 March, in which 60000 people in Hong Kong participated, nearly 100 Vancouver area residents, including Falun Gong practitioners, gathered at the center of Vancouver to express their serious concern regarding this matter.
President of BC Province Hospital Employee Union Fred Muzin said: "What is happening at present in Hong Kong is extremely important, people all over the world should express concerns. Because the Hong Kong Article 23 legislation, namely the so-called anti-subversion law, attempts to export the severe laws implemented in mainland China to Hong Kong, so Chinese government attempts to expand its actions, such as persecution of Falun Gong practitioners, trade union members' persecution and so on, to areas beyond the Chinese border. Everyone should be concerned about this matter."
MP Svend Robinson from the Greater Vancouver area said in his letter to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, "The Government of Hong Kong, in its proposals for legislation under Article 23, appears to be moving away from international human rights law, and threatening groups who would exercise their fundamental rights to freedom of thought, conscience, religion, and peaceful association with possible imprisonment."
Practitioner Helen issued a statement in Cantonese: "This year the Hong Kong government is again bringing up Article 23. Obviously they are compelled by the pressure from the Jiang regime, wanting to extend its persecution of Falun Gong practitioners from the Mainland to Hong Kong. Although Falun Gong practitioners would bear the brunt of the pressure, for all 6 million Hong Kong residents, even including those already immigrated to Canada, their vital interest will be affected and implicated." She expressed that she did not want to see the tragedies inflicted upon Falun Gong practitioners' families in Mainland China duplicated in Hong Kong. "We appeal to all who care about Hong Kong's future and destiny. Please sign your name on the appeal letter, together we are requesting the Canadian government to urge the Hong Kong government to stop Article 23."
After the rally, some people in attendance held the parade in the urban district, while another group dispersed to areas where Hong Kong immigrants congregate to collect signatures to oppose Article 23.