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Daly plays Falun Gong issue
like a Stradivarius

And old women will menstruate again

Falun Gong admirers and detractors gather for six-hour hearing on Chinese New Year's Parade participation.

Supervisor Chris Daly
Photo(s) by Luke Thomas

By Pat Murphy

January 24, 2006

The Falun Gong seems willing to forego political leafleting in this year's Chinese New Year Parade if readmitted, San Francisco Supervisor Chris Daly said last night.

Falun Gong spiritual practitioners were barred from the 2006 parade for allegedly distributing political leaflets as they marched with the 2004 parade.

In response to the ban, Daly led a six-hour city committee hearing Monday on claims they were excluded to appease the People's Republic of China (PRC) which terms the movement an "evil cult."

Speakers packed City Hall Board Chambers with conflicting testimony before the City Services and Neighborhood Operations Committee.

Although Daly is not a member of that committee, Daly maestroed committee wariness of the issue mute by using his authority as resolution author to file it as a committee report.

The action withdraws consideration by the full Board of Supervisors at its 2:00 p.m. meeting today.

Even so, Daly's resolution set off a maelstrom of both resentment and praise in San Francisco's Chinese American community - without the resolution ever once mentioning the Chinese New Year Parade by name.

Copyright Asian Week 2006

Instead, the resolution brought down condemnation on the PRC for alleged atrocities committed against practitioners - including torture and murder - and invoked similar Congressional Resolution of Condemnation.

Further, it asked the U.S. State Department, the PRC Consulate, and the Mayor of Shanghai be notified of official San Francisco condemnation.

Daly long has been at odds with the PRC over the Falun Gong.

In 2001, he drafted a similar PRC condemnation resolution not adopted by the Board of Supervisors.

The District 6 supervisor recalled that resolution in his opening statements yesterday.

"On October 5, 2001, in response to my resolution, Wan Yunxiang, the Consul General of the People's Republic of China, sent a letter to our Board President full of disinformation designed to kill my measure," said Daly.

"In this letter the Consul General states that Falun Gong is an 'evil cult,' and that 'the Chinese government felt obliged to ban this cult.'

"To justify their actions, he stated that Falun Gong 'forbids followers from seeing doctors for medical treatment when they become ill.'

"It should be noted that Falun Gong practitioners deny this," Daly continued.

Old women will menstruate again, according to April, 1999 edition of Zhuan Falun by leader Li Hongzhi.

Li Hongzhi

Hongzhi "deliberately changed his birthday to become the reincarnation of Shakymuni, the founder of Buddhism," PRC Consulate General Yunxiang wrote to supervisors in 2001.

Regardless of practitioner beliefs they have the right to express them, Daly championed Monday.

"The real issue is not the nature of the beliefs of Falun Gong but whether Falun Gong practitioners are free to have and express those beliefs," admonished Daly.

Homosexuality causes black substances in the body creating illness, according to Hongzhi.

Whatever belief animates mind and body of practitioners, the parade was carefully crafted to be non-political, countered parade chairman Wayne Hu.

Parade general chairman Wayne Hu

They were dropped from the 2006 parade because they handed out political pamphlets in the 2004 event march, Hu said.

He explained early decision to keep the parade non-political was made to allow full Chinese American community participation - a community long divided over divergent allegiance to the PRC and the Republic of Taiwan.

If eyes could kill

Daly's tactic of closing the resolution throws the issue squarely back into the lap of the Falun Gong and the San Francisco Chinese Chamber of Commerce which oversees the parade.

"I would concur and I would urge Falun Gong...not to leaflet along the parade route and I think that if that request is asked it would be accomodated - at least that's my understanding from some of my discussions with leaders in Falun Gong..." concluded Daly.




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