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Falun Gong's march before parade rejected

2007-11-15

According to Whittier Daily News reported on November 11, dismissing the idea of a so-called human-rights procession before the start of next year's Rose Parade as an attempt to "disrupt" its annual event, the Tournament of Roses has refused to discuss the idea.

The Pasadena City Council rejected a city commission's recommendations to rebuke China's rights record and took no action regarding the Olympic float on Oct. 29.

Those objecting to the planned Chinese Olympic float on human-rights grounds are calling for the inclusion of the "Human Rights Torch Relay" currently touring the world to balance the furor caused by the float. 

But City Manager Cynthia Kurtz told John Li, one of the principal float opponents and president of Caltech's Falun Gong club on Monday it would likely be "impossible" to accommodate another event on such a busy day and that any event on the street would require Tournament support, because the Tournament essentially controls Colorado Boulevard from mid-December through Jan. 1.

Recent, Mayor Bill Bogaard, who supports having the float in the parade, read a letter to the council from Tournament of Roses President C.L. Keedy to assert the apolitical nature of the parade.

"We believe it is important to separate the issue of the Rose Parade float from any action that the city of Pasadena may choose to undertake in support of human rights in China and elsewhere. As mentioned on numerous occasions, we do not believe our parade nor our entries in the parade support government policies anywhere in the world. As a result, we believe the issue of the float should be removed from the consideration of possible council actions," Keedy's letter stated.

Besides, Tournament officials have remained silent on the growing controversy and have refused to discuss the matter or return phone calls.

"If someone wants to do something to disrupt the parade in Pasadena, then that's something for the Police Department" to respond to, Tournament spokeswoman Caryn Eaves said.

(www.facts.org.cn, November 15, 2007)

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