March 8th is International Women's Day.
The theme of the day this year is
"Working in Solidarity: Women, Human Rights and Peace"
a Kanata resident, spends hours every week both practicing and speaking
about Falun Gong, the meditation exercise that has been outlawed in
We feel she embodies
the spirit of the theme of
International Women's Day this year.
This is her
has spent her academic life in the science disciplines. Speaking
to the media, doing pubic relations was never what she wanted
to do, or even dreamed of doing.
So when an
obvious need arose for the public to hear about Falun Gong practitioners
in Kanata and Ottawa, and when no one stepped forward to take
on the task, Zhou set the challenge for herself.
speaks eloquently and passionately about Falun Gong, a meditation
exercise, and Falun Dafa, the principles of Falun Gong ... truth,
compassion and forbearance. She gets the message out because she
trulv believes in the practice and the principles she's made them
an integral part of her life.
to Falun Gong only within the past six years. In 1992 an accident
left her with chronic back pain. The pain was further aggravated
in the next four years; a move to Kanata, the birth of her son
Patrick, a new job all exacerbated the stresses in her life ...
and the pain never went away. She tried everything.
In 1996 a
friend in Toronto introduced her to Falun Gong. Soon the pain
was gone, it was just gone.
was a miracle. I've become healthy."
this release from physical pain to Falun Gong, which is more to
her than just an exercise.
Zhou was initially
self-taught; she started with a book and a video. Now there is
a Kanata group and other groups within the Ottawa area. They practice
downtown at the Chinese Community Centre, or at Bayshore, or at
Andrew Haydon Park, almost anywhere large enough to accommodate
people practicing the free-flowing, quiet moves of Falun Gong.
When Zhou has the time, she practices at Home. "I feel energized,
I look and feel refreshed, I have peace of mind."
of energy comes from the exercise; practicing the principles is
ongoing, constant. The combination of the two is the practice
of Falun Gong. Everybody can do it, Zhou says, citing
her six-year-old son Patrick as an example. Every week she asks
him to do a sitting meditation, and she says because of this his
concentration at school has improved tremendously.
When the crackdown
on Falun Gong came in China in 1999, Zhou was galvanized into
action. So many lies, and so much propaganda was coming out of
China she felt she had to do her part in counteracting what the
western world was hearing. She knew her own personal practice
of Falun Gong was diametrically opposite to the Chinese government's
stories and wanted people to hear and understand true Falun Gong.
painted the group as black," Zhou says. "I can't believe
it. It's a pure form."
in fact, when Falun Gong first started to be practiced in China,
the government applauded it. "What happened'?" she asks. "Through
seven year Falun Gong hasn't changed." She believes the popularity
of the practice begin to impinge on the ideology of the government,
"It was quite opposite to what the government was doing."
And she says,
with a small smile, "even communists practice Falun Gong."
Over the years
since Zhou came to Kanata, she has quietly and persistently spoken
about her beliefs; her persistence paid off and a small group
of practitioners formed. In July 1999, with the crackdown, Zhou
felt "if we don't speak out nobody will know the truth."
As a group
they went to the Chinese Embassy in Ottawa to voice their concerns
about the treatment of practitioners in China. "We felt strongly
their first letter, which was accepted at the door. In October
"they stopped accepting anything."
of Falun Gong practitioners sit in front of the Embassy, a visible
protest to what's happening in China. "We raised a lot of
awareness. People believe it's an important issue."
But even so,
the persecution in China has accelerated. Zhou says in the first
year of the crack down, 30 were tortured and killed for their
beliefs; in the first month of this year alone, 30 were killed.
she believes, is not a threat, but the practice has grown so widely
and spread like wildfire it has made the president of China, Jiang
Zemin, paranoid. "We're not pacifists," she explains.
"We do this in a peaceful way and actively go out to clarify
in front of the Chinese Embassy from 9:30 to 2 every day and Zhou's
group is there every Saturday from 4 to 6 p.m. The Falun Gong
web site is www.falundafa.ca; Zhou can be reached at 599-7494,
or on her cell at 862-7494.
SALLY SMITH 3/8/2002
the Falun Gong (aka Falun Dafa)
Action Alert dd Feb 21 2002
- January 11, 2002
Gong practitioners have died as a result
of police torture.
have been sentenced to Prisons
+ Falun Gong practioners have been sent
to Psychiatric Hospitals
+ Falun Gong practioners have been sent
to Labour Camps
Falun Gong practioners have been Arrested
on Falun Gong in China is one of the most severe and extensive
human rights tragedies in the world today. The brutality only escalates.
To date, over 323 innocent people have been tortured to death.
being imprisoned and tortured by your own government, with no trial,
no voice, and no appeal - for no reason but the spiritual faith you
choose to keep.
is the plight of tens of thousands of innocent people in China today
- people just like you and me - labourers, housewives, students, doctors,
Like many other groups being persecuted in China, Falun Gong is unable
to effectively get the story of their suffering out to the world through
the tightly controlled Chinese media. That is why it is up to people
like you and me to speak out for them.
Rescuing Falun Gong
practitioners is not just helping victims of persecution. The current
regime in China is waging a massive campaign to turn the entire population
and every agent of state power against this peaceful and highly moral
and students applying to universities must make statements against Falun
Gong. Even ordinary citizens attempting to board a train have been required
to curse Falun Gong or step on a picture of the teacher, Li Hongzhi,
before being allowed in the station.
The regime subjects
practitioners to severe brainwashing and torture in order to have them
renounce the principles of Falun Gong - Truthfulness, Compassion,
Can the world risk
having an entire country, the most populous one on earth, turned against
these priciples? Does this not pose a grave danger to world peace?
implies URGENCY. It is with the utmost sense of urgency and moral obligation
that we must all do our part to help bring this senseless torture and
killing to an end.
As always, the greatest
weapon of the world's oppressors is secrecy. Evil thrives in the dark.
But in the words of Justice Brandeis, "sunlight is the most powerful
of all disinfectants."
The only way to
stop Chinese President Jiang Zemin in his shameless crusade to destroy
these decent people is to shine a light on his actions.
To find out what
you can do to help, please visit the :"How You Can Help" page
of this website
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How You Can Help
Please send copies of your letters, articles,
& pictures of support to:
With the annual
United Nation Human Rights Commission approaching (Geneva, Switzerland,
Mar 18, 2002) we would like to ask for your support by signing this
open letter encouraging the Canadian government to put forward
a resolution censuring China for the violation of basic human rights
of it's own citizens.
Letter to the Prime Minister
February 21, 2002
The Right Honourable
Prime Minister of Canada
309-S, Center Block
House of Commons
Ottawa ON K1A 0A6
Fax: (613) 941-6900
Dear Prime Minister,
We, the undersigned
organizations from across Canada, are writing to express
our concern over human rights abuses in China and to urge the Canadian
government to put forward a resolution at the upcoming United Nations
Commission for Human Rights in Geneva this March, which condemns these
We are concerned
with continued reports that many religious and spiritual groups, and
their members, are being persecuted for their beliefs; Christians, Roman
Catholics, Tibetans, Falun Gong to name but a few. The systematic persecution
of Falun Gong is a well-documented example of the severity that this
repression of fundamental freedoms can reach under the current regime
Watch mentioned in a recent report that, “The Chinese government
has used increasingly violent tactics as Falun Gong followers have mounted
peaceful demonstrations against the crackdown. It has also used administrative
detention procedures to hold followers in re-education camps and psychiatric
facilities. The Chinese judiciary has reinterpreted existing law to
facilitate arrests of Falun Gong supporters.”
stated that, in regards to the Falun Gong, and religious groups in China
“The human rights violations appear in many forms: arbitrary arrests
and confinements, torture, unlawful processes, long term confinements
without conviction or hearing, administrative penalties without a process
of law, and frequently applied death penalty [… ] the number of Falun
Gong practitioners that have died in prison has risen exponentially
from 124 in the beginning of 2001 to more than 350 now. Most of the
adherents have collapsed from injuries inflicted by severe torture.”
of a Hong Kong businessman for smuggling Bibles to the mainland has
sparked deep worry among Christian groups in the territory with close
links to their brethren across the border.
other third-party organizations have documented the unlawful detention,
torture, psychiatric mistreatment, and even murder of innocent and peaceful
people who only wish to uphold their respective beliefs or faiths, and
have the right to practice them.
We believe that
the Canadian government is indeed well-informed regarding the extent
of theses abuses which violate international treaties China has signed,
as well as her own laws and constitution. It is now time for our government
to take a clear and public action regarding these violations of fundamental
human rights by the Chinese government against its citizens and world
The United States
puts forward a motion censuring China every year at the UNCHR. This
year, they will not be participating in the meeting. We hope that Canada
- with its commitment to human rights -will take the lead on this matter,
demonstrating greater international leadership in this area, and not
let these tragedies against humanity go unaddressed.
They have certainly
not gone unnoticed.
We hereby ask that
Canada initiate a resolution at the UNCHR in March 2002,
censuring China for the gross violation of basic human rights.
Let this years
UNCHR meeting in Geneva herald in a new chapter for basic
freedoms in China.
Let Canada play
her role as a great leader for a peaceful, tolerant, and harmonious
world, and let other countries follow her lead in taking a great step
forward to ensure such a world, one we can be proud of passing on to
future generations - of all peoples.
[ Please enter your
name or the name of Your Organization ]
email copy to firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: China's Human Rights
Friends of the Falun Gong
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Email to Fax addresses
for 37th Parliament Members of the House of Commons
A full listing
of Ontario MPPs with contact information is available
on the Government of Ontario website at www.ontla.on.ca/Members/mailing_addresses/index.htm
- Stop Killing
of Falun Gong
Ontario Media Kit online
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DisAbled Women's Network Ontario
Unit 5A, Suite 162
North Bay, ON P1B 9P2
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