FALUN GONG SUES CITY AND CHINESE CHAMBER OVER PARADE
Jospeh Breall, Falun Gong attorney.
By Julia Cheever, Bay City News Service
February 1, 2006
SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) - A San Francisco Superior Court judge
refused today to issue a temporary restraining order requested
by the Falun Gong spiritual group to bar city funding of the Chinese
New Year's Parade on Feb. 11.
But Judge Ronald Quidachay told lawyers in the case through a
law clerk that he is considering holding a hearing at a later
time on whether to grant a preliminary injunction.
The lawyers will be informed this afternoon whether and when
an injunction hearing will be held, the law clerk said.
Joseph Breall, a lawyer for the Western Falun Dafa Association,
commonly known as Falun Gong, said he was not disappointed by
the ruling today.
"What we really need is a final hearing on the case,"
The group claims in a lawsuit filed today that the city should
be required to take back a $77,000 parade organization grant given
to the San Francisco Chinese Chamber of Commerce because the chamber
discriminated when it denied Falun Gong a place in the parade.
The Falun Gong association also sued the Chinese Chamber of Commerce
in a second part of the lawsuit that accuses the chamber of violating
state civil rights law by allegedly discriminating.
Breall said the group will seek a trial on that part of the lawsuit
at a later date.
The lawsuit also seeks reimbursement to the city from the chamber
for free police and fire services provided for the parade.
The Chinese Chamber of Commerce has said it excluded Falun Gong
from the parade because it is a political group.
Matt Dorsey, a spokesman for San Francisco City Attorney Dennis
Herrera, said the city contends that the parade sponsor's decision
on what groups to include in the parade is protected by the right
of free speech.
Dorsey said the city also maintains that Falun Gong has no standing
to challenge the grant agreement between the city and the chamber
and that Falun Gong should take any discrimination complaints
it has to the city Human Rights Commission before going to court.
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