(Minghui.org) Falun Dafa practitioners in Toronto were again invited to participate in many 2017 holiday parades.
On December 2, the Tian Guo Marching Band went to Lake Shore while the waist drum team went to Port Perry. They performed together in Mississauga the following day.
The previous weekend, on November 25, the Tian Guo Marching Band went to Markham and the waist drum team went to Ajax. They both performed in Weston the following day. They had participated together in a parade in Richmond Hill on November 18.
Bonnie Crombie, the mayor of Mississauga, walked the entire parade route with her staff members before she welcomed and introduced each group during a live broadcast. She greeted the Tian Guo Marching Band and thanked practitioners for participating every year. She praised the band for its contribution to the culture of the community, and said it brought light to the city.
Pamelia Rose, a long-time local resident, said that the Tian Guo Marching Band was her favorite group in the parade. “What touches me the most are the words 'Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance' on the float. They mean so much and they are what we all need,” she said as she wiped tears from her eyes. “This group makes our parade very special.”
Mark from Weston moved in time to the drumbeat of the Tian Guo Marching Band. “We are all very excited to see this band. Although it's below zero, the band gives us lots of warmth and energy,” he said.
Having heard about the persecution in China, Mark blamed it on the Communist Party, noting that it is a totalitarian regime. “Of course,” he commented, “I hope the current Chinese leaders will do something to change it. In any case, I think the Canadian government cannot just ignore the severe human rights issues just because China is a big economic market.”
Mark said that one of his Chinese friends told him how practitioners are mistreated in China for their belief. “That is wrong, since everyone should be able to practice what he or she believes. In fact, if everyone would stand up and say no, the suppression wouldn't continue,” he added.
Ms. He, an immigrant from Hubei Province, China, has lived in Toronto for many years. “Every time I see the Tian Guo Marching Band, it always makes me very happy,” she said. She was impressed by the practitioners' sincere smiles, and said the persecution in China should not have occurred.
Ms. Dong from Beijing praised the band for its presentation and music, “It is so nice to see such a great performance. And it makes me feel proud to be Chinese.”
Mr. Zhang from Jiangsu Province watched the parade with his fourth-grade son. After a practitioner talked with him about Falun Dafa and the ongoing persecution in China, Mr. Zhang said he wanted to renounce his membership in the communist organizations.