Speaking at a rally in Toronto on July 17, former parliamentarians and rights activists voiced support for Falun Gong adherents amid the ongoing persecution of the spiritual practice launched by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) 22 years ago.
Over 500 Falun Gong adherents participated in a parade through the city’s downtown to commemorate the victims of the largest human rights abuse in China. At least 500 people registered online for the parade, but roughly 700-800 people showed up, said Jeffery Jiang, one of the organizers.
At the rally in Queen’s Park, former Conservative MP Wladyslaw Lizon called on Canada, the United States, and Europe to help those who “demand rights and change in the communist system” as in the past they helped people living in the Soviet Union.
“This gives hope, and it should give hope to all of us and to those that are here today, persecuted by this terrible communist government in China,” Lizon said.
“We should remind not only the communist government of China of their crimes, [but] remind them that the times to answer for those crimes is coming.”
Falun Gong is a spiritual practice that includes meditation exercises and teachings based on the tenets of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. Also called Falun Dafa, the practice was introduced in 1992 in China, where it gained widespread popularity due to its benefits to people’s mental and physical well-being. By 1999, it had attracted 70-100 million adherents, according to Chinese government estimates.
CCP leader Jiang Zemin perceived that popularity as a threat to the regime’s rule. On July 20, 1999, Jiang launched an unprecedented campaign and brutal oppression aimed at eradicating the practice.https://www.theepochtimes.com/hundreds-join-toronto-parade-marking-22-years-of-falun-gong-persecution-in-china_3906917.html