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Vancouver Falun Gong Protest Site Hearing Concludes

By Ben Taylor, NTDTV
November 10, 2008

Over the past two years, the City of Vancouver has attempted to enforce a city bylaw to dismantle the structures belonging to the Falun Gong’s 7-year protest site outside the Chinese Consulate. A week-long court hearing concluded on Friday with shocking submissions.

During the five-day hearing at B.C. Supreme Court, the City of Vancouver's lawyer and Falun Gong’s legal team made arguments regarding the eviction of the shelter and display boards at Falun Gong’s protest site.

Falun Gong’s leal team presented Justice Sunni Stromberg-Stein with 25 points highlighting their argument that Mayor Sam Sullivan’s attempts to get rid of the protest are a result of his dealings with the Chinese consulate and the regime in Beijing during trips to China.

Clive Ansley, a lawyer on Falun Gong’s legal team, talks about the city’s “improper purpose.”

[Clive Ansley, Lawyer for Falun Gong]:
“When we have a foreign government that is alleged to be committing atrocities, crimes against humanity, organ harvesting and so forth, then to suggest that the citizens of Canada should forfeit their freedom of expression because their display, their protest, is in front of this foreign government and the foreign government owns the property on a private basis we just don’t think that can be allowed to stand.”

Vancouver Falun Gong spokeswoman Sue Zhang stressed the importance of the site to bring awareness to the crimes against humanity and combat anti-Falun Gong propaganda.   

[Sue Zhang, Falun Gong Spokeswoman]:
“The persecution of Falun Gong back in China was very brutal, they includes torture, killing, and very serious hate propaganda and also by the escalation in 2005, found out there is live organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners to aid for the organ transplant tourism.”   

City Councilor David Cadman says that Sullivan’s bylaw enforcement on Falun Gong’s vigil is a waste of taxpayers’ money.

[David Cadman, City Councilor]:
“I said at the time that it was a foolish decision. When you know it is a political religious protest, you know it’s going to go to the senior levels of government, senior levels of the courts, it’s going to be appealed to the supreme court, and given are charter of rights and freedoms, there is very little chance that the supreme court is going to uphold a taking down, on a city bylaw, of a political religious civil protest. So it’s wasting money on legal fees and I don’t think it’s a smart decision.”

The City of Vancouver and their lawyer on this case, Tom Zworski, declined interviews.

The 7-year protest site currently remains standing as the verdict on the case awaits judgment from BC Supreme Court.

Ben Taylor, NTD, Vancouver.
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