Canada: Government Officials Show Support as Falun Gong Practitioners Hold Parade in Calgary (Photos)
(Clearwisdom.net) Following their participation in the Calgary Stampede Parade held on July 3, 2009, Falun Gong practitioners held a rally and parade in downtown Calgary on July 4 to display the magnificence of Falun Dafa. Canada's Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Jason Kenny, and Provincial Members of the Legislative Assembly Kent Herh, Neil Brown, and Art Johnston, as well as Teri McKinnon, a director on the board of the Calgary Stampede, came in person to show their support and address the rally.
The Divine Land Marching Band
The Divine Land Marching Band plays "Falun Dafa Is Good"
Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance makes Calgary even more beautiful
Pure lotus flowers
Falun Dafa Is Great
Impressive Tang Drum performance
Several Alberta Provincial Members of Legislative Assembly and Canadian MPs congratulate Falun Dafa parade
Canada's Minister of Citizenship and Immigration thanks Falun Gong practitioners for reminding people of the evil of the Communist Party
Mr. Jason Kenny remarked at the rally, "The Stampede is all about celebrating Western culture, the cowboy and ranch culture, which is based on a deep belief in personal freedom, and that is what we ask for Falun Dafa practitioners in China and around the world--that is what we celebrate here in Canada. Thank you for coming here, thank you for participating in our Stampede, thank you for making it so much more colorful, and thank you for always reminding us about the victims of religious and political persecution around the world.
"We give thanks for the fact that here in Canada we have freedom of religion, freedom of expression, and freedom of association, and that you are able to celebrate your participation in the Falun Dafa/Falun Gong practice without any fear here in Canada," he said.
Jason Kenny, Canada's Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, thanks Falun Gong practitioners for participating in the Calgary Stampede
In an interview after his speech, Mr. Kenney said it was important to remember the tens of millions of people who have died under communist regimes. "We must learn from the lessons of history and we must not repeat them; we must remember that there continue to be victims today. Millions of Canadians came here fleeing oppression from communist regimes. They've made a tremendous contribution to building our society, and our government believes we should find a way to recognize their common history, their common story, having been victims of this kind of persecution. We all acknowledge other massive crimes against humanity like the Holocaust. While the Holocaust is unique and singular in history, we should also recognize other massive crimes against humanity, such as the crimes of communism."
He added that recent high-level visits between Canada and China did not mean that the Canadian government was reneging on its strong position pushing for improved human rights improvements in China. Mr. Kenney said their position had not changed and that the Canadian government has always protected the interests of the people.
Don't be influenced by the CCP
Neil Brown, Member of the Legislative Assembly for Calgary-Nose Hill, has considerable understanding of the persecution of Falun Gong. He said that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has long sought to extend its influence into Western society. The Chinese Consulate in Calgary has contacted all the government officials, attempting to influence them and asking the officials to work together with the CCP against Falun Gong. But Mr. Brown said that he would do what he should do, and would not be affected by the CCP.
Neil Brown, Member of the Legislative Assembly for Calgary-Nose Hill, states that he won't be affected by the CCP
Mr. Brown stood in front of the banner bearing the words "Falun Dafa" and had his photo taken with Falun Gong practitioners. He asked the practitioners to mail the photo to him and said that he would put it on his website and newsletter that is regularly distributed to the community.
Two other provincial Members of the Legislative Assembly, Art Johnston and Kent Herh, also thanked Falun Dafa for bringing their spirit to the world.
Teri McKinnon, a director on the board of the Calgary Stampede, thanked the Falun Gong practitioners for participating in the Calgary Stampede Parade the previous day. She said that the spirit of the Stampede is to share cultures. She thanked the practitioners for bringing the unique culture of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, making Calgary even more beautiful.
Chinese spectator cries while watching the parade
Ms. Ye immigrated to Canada over ten years ago. Her tears kept running down her face while watching the parade with the Falun Dafa practitioners. She followed the parade all the way to its destination and still felt reluctant to leave. She praised the Falun Gong contingent, "How beautiful! I saw foreigners in your group!"
In tears she told the reporter that her friend in China has been sending her messages regularly about the persecution of Falun Gong in China. She said, "I know the plight of Falun Gong and how they are telling people the facts even as they are being persecuted. Falun Gong practitioners truly love China and the Chinese people. While watching the parade, I wholeheartedly felt their warmth and enthusiasm. I really felt it. I'm so moved at seeing that Falun Gong practitioners love the country so much," she said.
Truth clarification efforts and Quit-the-CCP activities help more people awaken
A number of government officials have publicly expressed their support for Falun Gong. Jeff Yang, contact person for the Calgary Falun Dafa Association, said that practitioners' decade-long truth clarification activities and the overwhelming trend to "quit-the-CCP" have awakened many people. "Falun Gong's worldwide activities have gradually revealed the truth and stunned the world's people. Recently, a US immigration officer remarked that those who persecute Falun Gong are not allowed to immigrate to the US. It shows that Western society has more and more recognized the fact that the CCP persecutes Falun Gong."
He continued, "The publication of the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party and the ensuing Quit-the-CCP movement have made Western government officials wonder why such a huge change is taking place in China. The Quit-the-CCP activities have gradually changed the West's incorrect understandings of the CCP and enabled them to truly see the evil nature of the Party."
Mr. Yang believes that the Nine Commentaries has played a huge role in helping the Chinese people awaken. "Love of country does not equal love of Party, and the CCP is not China. This concept has been gradually accepted by the Chinese people. The Nine Commentaries has gradually found its way deep into people's hearts."