(Clearwisdom.net) At 1 PM December 15, 2002 in Montreal, overseas Chinese from all walks of life concerned about the future of Hong Kong held a large scale rally and parade in Chinatown to oppose the Hong Kong Article 23 legislation. Amnesty International, religious organizations, cultural groups, Falun Gong practitioners and local overseas Chinese attended the event.

"Opposing Hong Kong Article 23 legislation" Rally

Ms. Carol from Amnesty International Montreal branch giving a speech
Pastor Yin of the Catholic Church speaks at the rally Writer Han Deguang speaks to the audience Parade

Ms. Carol from Amnesty International, Montreal branch hosted the rally. She spoke first: "Our gathering here today is for you, for me, and for the Hong Kong people. Let's work together against the Hong Kong Article 23 legislation." She also said, "Yesterday, the general consul of Canada in Hong Kong issued a statement warning Hong Kong that the legislation must consider basic human rights."

Two respectable pastors from the local Chinese community, Mr. Du and Mr.Yin, Mr. Lu Zhigao, Chinese Writers' Association senior writer Mr. Han Deguang, representative of "Global Coalition Against Article 23" Mr. Tan Zizhi and representative of Falun Gong Mr. Yang Yumin spoke at the rally. In addition, a number of Chinese from Ottawa attended the rally and parade.

Representing Catholics, Father Yin pointed out, "Although we live in Canada, we also care very much about Hong Kong. We hope Hong Kong has democracy and freedom. In order to maintain basic human rights and the freedom, we must oppose Article 23."

Writer Han Deguang made a splendid speech. He pointed out that Article 23 legislation would impose feudalism and Fascist dictatorship upon Hong Kong.

Falun Gong representative Yang Yumin said, "In mainland China, Falun Gong practitioners are enduring sufferings. If Hong Kong implements Article 23, it will bring disaster to Hong Kong. We don't want to see such a disaster happen to the Hong Kong people."

Many local Chinese and passersby watched the rally and signed a petition letter against Article 23.

A large scale parade started at 2:30PM. People raised banners in three languages--

Chinese, French, and English--and walked through the center of Montreal. The banners read, "Against Evil Law, Protect Human Rights," "Firmly Against Article 23," "Jiang Regime's Article 23 Violates Democracy."

Senior writer Han Deguang accepted interviews and said, "Falun Gong is an issue of belief. Belief should be free. Even many feudal emperors respected the freedom of belief. Falun Gong practices a set of exercises, and follows Truthfulness Compassion Tolerance. It can help the society be more stable, and promotes society's morals. But when Jiang saw Falun Gong develop so quickly, he thought it would threaten the Party's existence." Mr. Han Deguang further pointed out that the Party does not consider the price of implementing the Basic Law Article 23 and turning Hong Kong into "one country, one system." Their true goal is to prevent Falun Gong and democratic human right groups from existing in Hong Kong.

Reporters also saw Mr. Lin Shenli in the parade. Li was detained in a Chinese Labor Camp for two years because he maintained his belief in Falun Gong. Mr. Lin said that Article 23 was a new form of persecution of Falun Gong for Hong Kong. He said, "In China there is centralized rule. But in Hong Kong with a "One Country, Two Systems" policy, they try to deceive the people by passing Article 23. On the surface, it is against treason, but the reality is suppression, and persecution against those who dare to speak out for justice and truth when the government does bad things. So in my view, the Hong Kong people facing Article 23 are just like mainland Falun Gong practitioners facing the persecution. If we don't stop this legislation, the result will be like this."