(Clearwisdom.net, February 2, 2004) Clearwisdom Reporter Kerry Huang reports from San Jose--- On February 1, 2004, Falun Gong practitioners from Northern California Bay Area participated in the annual San Jose American Vietnamese New Year Parade. Parade organizers said that although they encountered strong pressure from some parties, they still persisted in approving Falun Gong practitioners' participation and they welcomed practitioners to join this parade next year.

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Parade procession Falun Dafa banner Waist drum team
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"Seven fairies" Fan dance Festival lantern dance

The dance team led the procession. Accompanied by the melodious music "Pudu" and "Jishi," female practitioners dressed in beautiful costumes and performed a fan dance, festival lantern dance and Tang Dynasty fashion show. Following them was a group of practitioners holding colorful banners imprinted with, "Falun Dafa is Great," "Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance" as well as Falun emblem. Then it was the Falun Gong exercise demonstration team followed by the waist drum team. The entire procession was grand and peaceful, which represented traditional Chinese culture. Many spectators kept taking photos. When Falun Gong practitioners' procession came to the platform, the host introduced Falun Gong to the audience and thanked practitioners for their participation. The audience around warmly applauded.

When practitioners walked by the platform, San Jose city council member Mr. Chuck Reed said that Falun Gong practitioners' procession was the largest one in this year's parade. He said that they support Falun Dafa, and support them to oppose the Chinese government's persecution. He felt they brought a great thing to the parade.

After the parade, Mr. Chuck Reed said to reporters that Falun Dafa practitioners' procession was the most outstanding one. Their costumes were bright and pretty, and their dances were graceful. Their procession was getting larger and larger. He said that San Jose would always welcome Falun Gong practitioners. They practice their exercises everyday in parks in San Jose and we would protect them from being interfered by the Chinese government. He said that Falun Gong practitioners that he met were great people and he felt honored to be with them.

When accepting reporters' interviews, the president of the parade organization committee said, "Falun Gong practitioners' procession is very beautiful and attractive." When reporters told her about the facts of the persecution occurring in China, she said she could not believe it. She said that belief is an individual's freedom. Falun Gong allows people to gain good health. The Chinese government has no right to suppress Falun Gong. She also revealed that although she received strong pressure from some parties, she still insisted in approving Falun Gong practitioners' participation, because she believed Falun Gong was quite beneficial to people. She said that she would like to welcome Falun Gong practitioners to join the parade next year.