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Chinese rights activist banned from Canada Parliament Hill after protesting communist party head’s visit

Posted by Author on June 24, 2010

By Louisa Taylor , The Ottawa Citizen, Canada,  June 24, 2010 –

OTTAWA — A Chinese human rights activist has been banned from Parliament Hill for a year after she tried to demonstrate against the visit to Ottawa by Chinese President Hu Jintao on Thursday.

Wenzhuo Hou, who goes by the first name Maggie, said Thursday she went to the Hill to wave several signs critical of the Chinese Communist Party. When she arrived on the lawn around 10 a.m., there were already hundreds of people gathered, almost all of them supportive of the president’s visit, Huo says. Protestors representing the Falun Gong, a religious group highly critical of the Chinese government, were on the west side of the lawn, but Huo decided she wanted to get closer to the crowd of supporters. She had three signs on which she had printed several slogan in Chinese, including ‘Do not be fooled by the Communist Party,’ and ‘The Chinese communist regime kills children, forces evictions, and tortures.’

“I wanted these people to realize they are brainwashed by the Chinese government,” said Huo, a human rights activist from China and a member of the China Democracy Party. “But some people in the crowds were very upset with my presence. They insisted I leave. Some of them pushed me, and one man swore at me.”

RCMP officers asked Huo to move to the west side, where the Falun Gong protestors were standing. Huo says she is not a member of the Falun Gong.

“The police were upset with me and said ‘We cannot protect your security, so you have to leave,’” Huo said.

“I challenged them. This is public space, I have the right to be here. I didn’t want to upset the police so I left.”

Huo says she moved to just inside the east gate on Wellington Street and held her signs aloft there. The RCMP again asked her to leave and she did, but she returned, at which point an RCMP officer told her she was under arrest. He handcuffed Huo and put her in a police cruiser.

“Then they told me there would be no criminal charges, but they gave me a piece of paper that says I am prohibited from going to Parliament Hill for a year, and failure to comply could lead to a fine of $2,000.”

A spokesman for the RCMP confirmed that officers gave Huo a “No Trespass” order.

“She was arrested for her own safety — she was about to be in trouble with the other people,” said Sgt. Stéphane Turgeon. “She did not comply with orders to leave to keep the peace, so we issued her with that notice and she was escorted from the premises.”

“I think that is very unfair,” said Huo. “All I did was try to convey some messages to fellow Chinese people. I didn’t attack them, I didn’t provoke them, I was just there in a public space saying I believe something different from them.”

Huo returned to Parliament Hill Thursday afternoon, but said she would stand and stood on the street, but moved onto the lawn again after another RCMP officer told her she couldn’t stand on the street.

“He told me to go up on the lawn, so I did.” said Huo, adding that if she is fined, she will point out that she was follwing instructions from the RCMP.

Huo had similar encounters outside the Westin Hotel Thursday, when pro-China supporters became upset at her signs there.

Huo, who has taught courses at the University of Ottawa on human rights in China, says she has been in numerous demonstrations in front of the Chinese embassy and on Parliament Hill before without incident.

The Ottawa Citizen

One Response to “Chinese rights activist banned from Canada Parliament Hill after protesting communist party head’s visit”

  1. Simonae said

    I find this highly offensive and not very pro “FREE SPEECH.” Ms.Huo has as much right as anyone else, and in line with her thinking is more as a,”PEACE/PRO HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST, than those who follow communist China.
    Let her be, and allow her to do what she NEEDS to do. It’s her right. She is not violent, nor is she provoking anyone. If she decides to challenge this in a court of law, she would probably win.
    She has my vote. Anything or anyone that is against human torture or against violence is okay in my humble estimation.

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