Sunday, July 3, 2011

Tian Jin - Falun Gong Activist Reflects

This winter, as the city debated and eventually amended a traffic bylaw about the eight-year vigil maintained by the Falun Gong in front of the Chinese consulate on Granville Street, the silent protest continued. Jin could be found on the grass between a cement wall and loud, fast traffic heading downtown. These and other Falun Gong practitioners must now apply to maintain a small wood hut outside the consulate every two months. Nothing prohibits them from squatting on the grass, banners unfurled as they meditate and pray, which they do day and night.

Jin's history of protest against the Chinese government's religious prohibition dates back to when she was first arrested in the summer of 1999. In her late 20s, she travelled from her home in the capital city of Liaoning province in northeast China to Beijing's Tiananmen Square and helped unfurl a five-metre banner with three words: "Practicing peaceful appeal."

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