Falun Gong supporters held a rally at their protest site outside the Chinese Consulate on Granville Street yesterday to denounce a court order to take down their structure.
For 2,723 days the group has protested 24 hours a day against what they claim is a crackdown on Falun Gong practitioners living in China by their government. To shelter protesters from the elements they built a small hut that the City of Vancouver ordered dismantled.
The group took the fight to court and lost on Jan. 29 when the B.C. Supreme Court ruled in favour of the city.
Clive Ansley, legal counsel for the Falun Gong, said the decision affects the group’s right to peaceful protest.
“We think that the judgment is wrong in law and so we are exercising our legal rights to appeal to a higher court,” he said.
Sophia Bronwen, spokesperson for Falun Gong, said the vigil raises awareness of the alleged persecution taking place in China.
“This blue hut is famous amongst practitioners in China and gives them courage to carry on,” Bronwen said.
Falun Gong is outlawed in China and the government’s official position is that the group is a cult.