(Clearwisdom.net) On March 15, 2008, Falun Gong practitioners in three cities--Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver--in Canada held rallies in front of the Chinese Embassy or Consulates, protesting the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) mass arrests of practitioners using the Olympics as an excuse.

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Falun Gong practitioners in Canada protest the CCP's persecution in front of the Chinese Embassy

According to reports from China compiled by the Minghui/Clearwisdom website, as of March 11, 2008, there have been 1,878 arrests of Falun Gong practitioners across 29 provinces, cities, and autonomous regions since the end of last year. In Beijing alone, 156 arrests are known to have taken place.

More than 200 practitioners from Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa took part in the St. Patrick's Day parade, then held a rally in front of the Chinese Embassy in Ottawa at 2:00 p.m. to protest the CCP's atrocities. The president of the Canadian Falun Dafa Association, Mr. Li Xun, and several practitioners who were subjected to persecution while in China were interviewed at the rally.

"Genocidal Persecution" is More Deceptive

The media advisory released by the Canadian Falun Dafa Association the same day stated that the CCP authorities attempted to use large-scale arrest and other persecution means to "stamp out" Falun Gong before the Olympic Games. According to Amnesty International, former Public Security Minister Zhou Yongkang ordered that the CCP "must strike hard" to crush Falun Gong and other groups in the context of preparing for a "successful" Olympic Games.

Mr. Li Xun said, "Several years ago, the CCP promised to improve its human rights, and therefore won the privilege of hosting the Olympic Games. Now, it manipulates people's good wishes, and deceives the entire world. Renowned Hollywood film director Steven Spielberg also placed high hopes in the CCP at the time and wrote two letters to the Chinese leaders, but received no reply. We can only surmise that the CCP does not have a sincere wish to improve its human rights situation."

Mr. He Lizhi, a senior engineer and winner of the China Outstanding Engineering Award, was jailed on July 21, 2000 in China for mailing some information about Falun Gong to a friend. Agents from the National Security Bureau arrested him at his workplace, and ransacked his house. He was later transferred from Beijing Haidian District Detention Center to a prison. Mr. He said, "The Olympic Games are a pageant of peace. The CCP wants to host the Olympics, but it does not truly intend to be part of a peaceful world, but rather covers up the crimes it has committed in China. The reason that the CCP is panicked about the Olympics is that it intends to use the Olympics to deceive public opinion at home and abroad, saying that 'There is no persecution in China.'"

Mr. Li Xun added, "In addition, in order to silence the voices of 'boycotting the Olympics and opposing the trampling of human rights,' the CCP labels them as 'politicizing' the Olympics, so as to deceive the world's people. In fact, it is the CCP itself that has politicized the Olympics."

The CCP Justifies Persecution Because it Fears the Truth

Another practitioner, Ms. Gan Na, who was subjected to persecution in China, recounted what she experienced during a so-called "sensitive day." Ms. Gan said, "Since the persecution began in 1999, the CCP has used various excuses in the name of 'maintaining the social order' to persecute Falun Gong practitioners. Whenever there is a holiday or festival in China, the police make phone calls to harass practitioners or deceive the practitioners into going to the police station."

Ms. Gan Na said that actually it is the CCP that is causing the social disorder. Ms. Gan recounted her experience on December 31, 2000. That day, when she went out shopping, three police officers from her residential committee rushed out and surrounded her. They said, "You must go to the police station with us. Tomorrow is a 'sensitive day.'" Over a hundred people were looking on at the time. Ms. Gan clarified the truth to them and refused to cooperate with the police, who attempted to take her to the police station. The three police officers from the Jiuxianqiao Police Station in Chaoyang District were afraid that the general public would learn the facts, so they drove away the surrounding crowd, and at the same time, forcibly squeezed Ms. Gan into the trunk of the police car. At the police station, they handcuffed Ms. Gan to a chair and body-searched her. They found materials with the words, "Falun Dafa is good," in Ms. Gan's bag, and with this evidence, they sentenced Ms. Gan to two years of forced labor.

Mr. He Lizhi said, "Around the time of a 'sensitive day,' there was an intensified atmosphere of terror while being detained in a prison. Practitioners detained there were not allowed to speak, and the police force was obviously strengthened. Because the police also know that the persecution of Falun Gong is illegal, and based on lies, they were afraid that the truth would be exposed by the Falun Gong practitioners."

Crimes Against Humanity and the Olympics Cannot Co-exist in China

Mr. Li Xun said, "In the run-up to the Olympics, the CCP not only systematically persecutes Falun Gong, but also involves more people in the persecution. There has also been a reward system put in place, offering from to 500-5,000 yuan for identifying Falun Gong practitioners to the authorities. For example, a website run by the public security bureau in Liaoning Province has openly posted a notice calling on citizens to turn in Falun Gong practitioners. Rewards have ranged up to 5,000 yuan."

Ms. Jin Jin from Zhuozhou, Hebei Province told the reporter that the CCP uses many methods to carry out the persecution, including making harassing phone calls and paying practitioners' neighbors to monitor them. Generally speaking, on 'sensitive days,' if the practitioners want to go to Beijing or other cities, the guards will immediately report their movements to leaders at various levels.

Ms. Jin Jin was dismissed from her job for practicing Falun Gong. Ms. Jin's younger brother was sentenced to one and a half years of forced labor because he was found carrying Falun Gong materials on the subway. Ms. Jin read news about the arrests of Falun Gong practitioners in Zhuozhou from the Minghui/Clearwisdom website. Some of the arrested practitioners are her family's fiends. Ms. Jin is worried about the situation of these practitioners.

Mr. He Lizhi said that crimes against humanity and the Olympics cannot co-exist in China. He said, "The CCP is not eligible to host the Olympics. If the CCP is allowed to host the Olympic Games, it will not repent on its crimes committed in the past years, and it also will aggravate the persecution. For example, the CCP launched a large-scale arrest of Falun Gong practitioners while preparing for the Olympics. This shows that it is committing crimes, while deceiving the world."

Both CTV and The Ottawa Citizen conducted interviews at the rally.