Chinatown Parade Honours Millions Who’ve Quit the Party
TORONTO—While many Chinese say they’re proud to host the upcoming Olympic Games, a rally on Sunday showed that doesn’t necessarily mean Chinese are proud of the Communist government in Beijing.
Hundreds joined a march that winded twice through Toronto’s Chinatown, carrying banners and placards decrying atrocities inflicted by the Communist regime and praising those who’ve withdrawn from the Chinese Communist Party.
“Chinese are proud of their country,” said Alice Huynh, an organizer of the event. “But the country and the regime are two different things.”
“The Communist regime has persecuted, killed, and deceived so many innocent Chinese people. Chinese are now saying they’ve had enough.”
Many on Toronto’s bustling Chinatown streets stopped to watch the passing parade, which included a marching band. Some cheered on the marchers; others snapped photos or waved.
In 2004, The Epoch Times published an editorial series on the history and nature of the Chinese Communist Party, including its destruction of the traditional culture, its rule by terror, and its history of killing. The editorial series has spread widely in Chinese communities overseas, and clandestinely inside China.
It has spurred a movement whereby Chinese are renouncing the Communist Party. To date, more than 40 million Chinese have renounced the party on a special website set up by The Epoch Times. The majority of those have signed up from inside China, using software to get through the regime’s internet firewall.
Participants in the rally on Sunday included supporters of democracy and members of the Tibetan community. One Tibetan addressed a crowd of “Chinese brothers and sisters” assembled at the start of the parade, making clear her grievance was not with the Chinese people, but with the authorities in Beijing.
Practitioners of Falun Gong, a Chinese spiritual discipline espousing “truth, compassion, and forbearance,” formed the largest part of the parade. Though the Chinese government sponsored Falun Gong classes in the early nineties because of its health benefits, that changed when the practice became very popular.
In 1999, it was banned by the Communist leader, Jiang Zemin. Tens of thousands of believers have since been imprisoned for their faith, and many have subjected to extreme torture.
More than 3,000 Falun Gong practitioners have been killed, according to the Falun Dafa Information Center.
“With the Chinese Communist Party there can never be true freedom of belief in China,” said Huynh. “Chinese people deserve that freedom.”