Chinese Consulate Distributes Material Slandering Dafa at the Calgary City Hall
A couple of weeks ago, my boss (a non-practitioner) tore out a newspaper column and handed it to me, asking me if I had seen it. I said no, thanked him and proceeded to read that the Chinese Consulate was planning to open a photographic exhibition inside Calgary's City Hall called a "Review of Chinese History in the Last Century." The article took the City to task for it's pandering to Jiang's regime and as an example mentioned how "some unnamed political figure in the city uses their might and muscle to make sure [the Falun Gong] billboard telling the truth about the cruelty of the Chinese government is never put up, for fear of offending the cranky comrades." The article also spoke of an opening ceremony for the photo exhibition, so I made a mental note to attend.
I arrived early to take a close look at the photographs. As one might expect, the photos and their descriptions were one-sided and self-congratulatory, but there was nothing attacking Falun Dafa. I felt somewhat relieved and made ready to leave, when my eye caught a 10-foot long table with a box full of pamphlets sitting on top of it. I could see that the pamphlets were from the Chinese Consulate. I could see only a couple of non-offensive titles....yet clearly there were other pamphlets buried deep in the box....so I decided to return a little later when things were completely set up.
About an hour later, I arrived to a gathering throng of prominent local Chinese, media and the full cadre of officials from Calgary's Chinese Consulate. I met up with a Chinese practitioner and we agreed to hold righteous thoughts in our minds as the event began to get underway. My fellow practitioner had also taken a look at the photographs and found nothing there attacking Dafa. I asked if he'd seen any anti-Falun Dafa propaganda and he replied that he hadn't and didn't think the Consulate would dare to hand it out in City Hall.
I walked around the exhibit area and found the display table. Of about 20 books, pamphlets and leaflets available, no fewer than 6 directly slandered Falun Dafa. There were two books and 2 leaflets in English and 2 leaflets in Chinese, all of which had titles calling Falun Gong an XX.
I picked up one of each and took them back to show my fellow practitioner. He was shocked, handing me a camera to go and get some photographic evidence of the illegal display. I picked up a pile of each of the publications, leaving a couple as evidence, and took pictures of the table's offerings. The speeches began and I was careful to take a photo placing the Consul, the publications and a sculpture proving the location to be Calgary's City Hall all in the same shot. The photos will be given to the proper Canadian national authorities.
After the speeches, we immediately went to City Hall authorities to lodge a complaint about the illegal distribution of the deceitful propaganda. Authorities were shocked, having reviewed the photo exhibition for appropriateness, yet unaware that the Consulate was also distributing it's slanderous propaganda.
On the way back through the exhibit area the event was winding down. It was not a coincidence that the Consul's wife was available so I walked right up, introduced myself and told her that it was illegal to distribute such propaganda here. She denied it, calling it a freedom of speech issue. I very calmly told her again that we were in Calgary's City Hall and that it was illegal to hand out such material. She loudly denied it and then told me that I had no right to be there (perhaps forgetting that in Canada, public places are open to the public and not under the control of Chinese government officials). She then went on to question my sanity.... As a Canadian, what was I doing protesting in front of her Consulate? What was wrong with me? Why don't I protest to my own government? I calmly explained that it was because of the 278 Falun Gong practitioners killed by China's government, to which she angrily retorted that they weren't killed....they took their own lives.
The Vice-Consul then approached and started yelling at my fellow practitioner, denouncing him by name, calling him a traitor, losing face for China. I told the Consul's wife that I just wanted her to know that the propaganda had to go and that I was on my way to report it to federal government authorities. Since they were loudly over-reacting, attempting to create a "scene" for which we would be blamed, we calmly walked outside. The Consul's wife rushed to complain to a local police officer, who came to ask us what had happened. We calmly explained the truth to him and he went on about his business.
By this time, the consular authorities and their invited guests had all departed to a nearby restaurant for a buffet-reception. We reported what we had seen and gave the evidence to federal authorities.
I went back to the City Hall a couple of hours later, to find a city authority finishing a conversation on his cell-phone that had something to do with the Chinese exhibition. I introduced myself to him and apologized if I had had anything to do with what clearly was a very stressful day for him. After a brief discussion, he explained that the propaganda was removed within half an hour of our bringing it to the City's attention and that the Consulate had been told not to ever bring it back.
Our lesson was that by keeping calm, remaining rational, sending forth righteous thoughts and not accepting any of the evil's arrangements, we were successful in our ability to bring more awareness to the persecution of Dafa.
Category: Persecution Outside China