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DisAbled Women's Network: DAWN ONTARIO

International Women's Day

Today, March 8th is International Women's Day.
The theme of the day this year is
"Working in Solidarity: Women, Human Rights and Peace"

Lucy Zhou
a Kanata resident, spends hours every week both practicing and speaking
about Falun Gong, the meditation exercise that has been outlawed in China.

We feel she embodies the spirit of the theme of
International Women's Day this year.

This is her story

 

 

Lucy Zhou 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.

Today she 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.

Zhou came 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”.

"It was a miracle. I've become healthy."

She attributes 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."

The feeling 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.

"They painted the group as black," Zhou says. "I can't believe it. It's a pure form."

Zhou says, 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 about this."

They presented their first letter, which was accepted at the door. In October "they stopped accepting anything."

Today groups 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.

Falun Gong, 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 the truth."

Groups sit 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.

source:
SALLY SMITH 3/8/2002
Kanata KOURIER-STANDARD

 

Stop the Killing in China

About the Falun Gong (aka Falun Dafa)

Persecution Facts
Backgrounder
How you can Help!

Action Alert dd Feb 21 2002

Media Release
- January 11, 2002


PERSECUTION FACTS

  • 378 Falun Gong practitioners have died as a result of police torture.

  • 500 + Falun Gong practioners have been sentenced to Prisons

  • 1,000 + Falun Gong practioners have been sent to Psychiatric Hospitals

  • 20,000 + Falun Gong practioners have been sent to Labour Camps

  • 100,000 + Falun Gong practioners have been Arrested

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Backgrounder

The crackdown 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.

Imagine 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.

This is the plight of tens of thousands of innocent people in China today - people just like you and me - labourers, housewives, students, doctors, farmers.

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 practice.

School children 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, and Forbearance.

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?

SOS! 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: Charlene Zhao



In Canada

  • Write, fax, or e-mail The Right Honourable Jean Chretien, Prime Minister of Canada

    email to fax:
    The Right Honourable Jean Chretien – Prime Minister
    remote-printer.Jean_Chretien@16139416900.iddd.tpc.int


    write a letter:
    Rt. Hon. Jean Crétien
    Prime Minister of Canada
    309-S Centennial Building
    House of Commons
    Ottawa, ON   K1A 0A6


    email:

    Rt. Hon. Jean Crétien
    pm@pm.gc.ca


  • Write or call Senators and Members of the House of Commons

    e
    mail to fax Senators and Members of the House of Commons

  • email: John Manley, Minister of Foreign Affairs
    Manley.J@parl.gc.ca





    In the U.S.A.


  • Appeal to the Chinese Embassy or Consulate

    Washington D.C.
    Tel: 202-328-2500
    Fax: 202-588-0032

    New York
    Tel: 212-613-5500
    Fax: 212-502-0258


  • Write or e-mail President George W. Bush

    write a letter:
    President George W. Bush
    The White House
    1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
    Washington D.C. 20500

    email:
    President George W. Bush

    president@whitehouse.gov


  • Write or call your senators
    http://www.loc.gov/global/legislative/senators.html


  • Write or call your congressmen
    http://www.house.gov/writerep/


    Other ways you can Help

  • Contribute your special skills or ideas

  • Give medical, or humanitarian help, call Friends of Falun Gong -- toll free at
    1-866-343-7436

  • Join Friends of Falun Gong at http://www.friendsoffalungong.org/fofg/index.html



    Go To Top TOP of page


    About the Falun Gong (aka as Falun Dafa)

    Falun Dafa, also known as Falun Gong, is a "cultivation practice" rooted in ancient Chinese tradition. It consists of two main parts: the principles and the exercises. Practitioners cultivate, or improve, their mind, body and spirit by incorporating into their daily lives the teachings of Falun Dafa, based on the universal principle of "Truthfulness - Compassion - Forbearance." As well, they regularly practise the five sets of gentle exercises.

    Falun Dafa emphasizes the cultivation of moral qualities in daily life. Practitioners lead normal family and work lives as responsible, contributing members of society. Whenever in conflict with others, a practitioner strives to look inside for self-improvement and become a better person under all circumstances.

    Practitioners also strive to take personal gains lightly. Practising Falun Dafa has helped many people turn away from drugs, alcohol, and violence. Through their efforts at improving moral qualities, many practitioners have experienced vast improvements in their health and peacefulness and stress relief in their lives.

    The profound principles and health benefits of Falun Gong have quickly and widely spread the practice worldwide. Since being introduced to the general public in 1992, it has attracted 100 million people of all ages and from all walks of life and cultural, social, and economic backgrounds in more than 40 countries around the world. At the same time, Falun Dafa is gaining worldwide recognition and regard, especially in Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America.

    There is no membership or obligations and one can join or leave the practice at any time. Falun Dafa has no political affiliation or intentions and no religious formality, rituals or worship.

    THE BOOK AND THE EXERCISES

    The practice of Falun Dafa is simple, yet profound and effective. It consists primarily of two components: self-improvement through studying Falun Dafa teachings, and performing Falun Dafa's five sets of gentle exercises. The exercises, which include a meditation, are easy to learn, enjoyable, and at the same time both relaxing and energizing. Many students of Falun Dafa enjoy doing them together as a group outdoors.

    Mr. Li Hongzhi has published many books on Falun Dafa. Zhuan Falun is the most systematic and essential guide, while Falun Gong is an introductory book with step-by-step illustrations of the exercises. Both books are available in multi-languages from bookstores and libraries, or they can be downloaded from our website. There is also an exercise instruction video available.

    "They cultivate the will to live in peace with themselves and in harmony with the universe, thus learning compassion for others and helping to create a more open and tolerant society."
    - Her Excellency Adrienne Clarkson, Governor General of Canada


    "Falun Dafa has as its aims the refinement of both the mind and the body, using the idea of Zhen-Shan-Ren, which means `Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance'. There are certainly principles which resonate with many Canadians."
    - Herb Gray, Deputy Prime Minister of Canada

    "I am proud to support your commitment to the health and well-being of people from all social backgrounds, races and religions."
    - Sheila Copps, Minister of Canadian Heritage

    "I had been teaching Taichi and studying various Qigong practices for more than 40 years when I started looking into Falun Dafa. I now tell ALL my students to practice Falun Dafa."
    - Mr. Da Liu, age 95, Taichi master who first introduced Taichi to north America, and author of several books on longevity and health.

    "As I read Zhuan Falun, it's like a rebirth. Everything is the same, yet everything is different. I am awakening to a new world, and words fall short of explaining it."
    - K. Harmon, Orlando practitioner

    All Falun Dafa activities are organized by volunteers and they are all free of charge. There is no membership and no donations are accepted. To learn more about Falun Dafa, please contact us.

    Go To Top TOP of page


    Action Alert dd Feb 21 2002

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.

Open Letter to the Prime Minister
***************************************************************************

February 21, 2002

The Right Honourable Jean Chrétien
Prime Minister of Canada

309-S, Center Block
House of Commons
Ottawa ON K1A 0A6

Fax: (613) 941-6900
E-Mail: pm@pm.gc.ca

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
abuses.

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 in China.

Human Rights 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.”

Amnesty International 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.”

China's jailing 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.

Furthermore, many 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 citizens.

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 year’s 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.

Sincerely,

[ Please enter your name or the name of Your Organization ]

email copy to dawn@thot.net Subject: China's Human Rights

DAWN Ontario Friends of the Falun Gong
http://dawn.thot.net/Falun_Gong.html



 

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Resources:

Internet 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

Falun Canada

SOS! - Stop Killing

Friends of Falun Gong


DAWN Ontario Media Kit online


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DAWN Ontario
DisAbled Women's Network Ontario
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Tel: 705-494-9078
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Email: dawn@thot.net
URL: http://dawn.thot.net

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