View Full Version : Toronto demo held for the 1.7 million who have quit China's Communist party

May 31, 2005, 22:33
Toronto demo held for the 1.7 million who have quit China's Communist party
Sat May 21, 5:30 PM ET

TORONTO (CP) - Hundreds of people from across Canada gathered Saturday to support an estimated 1.7 million Chinese who've quit the Communist Party of China in the last six months.

Organizers said the increased renunciations mark a critical turning point away from fear and toward democracy in China.

Almost all of those who have given up on Chinese communism are expatriots.

"It's a big moment, and it starts now," said Kevin Yang, who organized the demonstration.

"As the banners say, the red wall is falling. It won't be too long."

People filled the lawn behind Queen's Park, Ontario's legislature, to speak out against China's Communist government and to award symbolic certificates to those who have quit the CCP.

The Epoch says the wave of renunciation was sparked after its series of editorials, called Nine Commentaries, last November. The paper is published around the world, including Canada.

The editorials decried what the paper said was the CCP's advocacy of violence and deception and described the party as an oppressive and corrupt regime that had killed more than 80 million people in China.

Since then, Yang said, over 23,000 people a day have sent faxes, e-mails or letters to the newspaper and other organizations announcing their withdrawal from the party.

A number of speakers, including the editor of the Epoch Times and the president of the Chinese community centre of the Greater Toronto Area, took the stage to commend the bravery of those who had renounced the party.

"It is not easy to publicly make the announcement," said Pierce Lee, president of the federation of Asian Canadians, through a translator.

"People who live overseas are still afraid of the CCP. Walk out of that fear because this is Canadian soil we're standing on."

But translator and co-host Alice Huynh said many still fear the repercussions of quitting the party.

"In China, they'd get killed immediately just for holding the Nine Commentaries, let alone announcing it like this," she said.

The speeches and traditional performances were greeted with applause and cheers like "CCP is doomed," enlivening an otherwise staid gathering.

"I will never stop the struggle, " said Johnny Su, 55, a former Chinese soldier who was imprisoned and beaten after quitting the CCP in the 1960s.

"They destroyed the country, destroyed the people, destroyed the education, destroyed the tradition ... everything, everything," he said.

Some Torontonians joined the rally, which culminated with a march through the city's Chinatown, to show solidarity for the cause.

"I grew up during deep Communism when no one thought it would end," said Maria Salzman, a Polish-Canadian.

"When I saw the declarations I couldn't stop tears from coming."