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Festive Falun Gong belong in Auckland Santa Parade

19 November 2007

Festive Falun Gong belong in Auckland Santa Parade

Auckland Green MP Keith Locke is calling for the Auckland Chamber of Commerce to rethink its exclusion of Falun Gong from the Santa Parade, after the group's successful participation in the Wellington parade yesterday.

"All of the fears expressed by Auckland Chamber of Commerce head Michael Barnett have proved unfounded," said Mr Locke.

"Mr Barnett has portrayed Falun Gong as a strident political group whose float would jar with others. Yet all the reports from Wellington have been glowing, with one reporter presenting the meditation group's float as a 'picture of peace'

"Falun Gong has given assurances that they would merely be parading and would not be trying to make political mileage out of their presence in the Santa Parade - and in Wellington, their lively and energetic contribution seems to have gone down well with parents and children alike.

"It is not too late for the Auckland Chamber of Commerce to change its mind.

"Otherwise Aucklanders might think the Chamber was bending to pressure from the Chinese government in this matter," Mr Locke says.


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