From news service reports - October 8, 2007
The ugly world of political suppression and international politics might rain on Pasadena's famous parade, as human rights groups are planning to protest the inclusion of a float from China in the Rose Parade, it was reported Saturday.
A news conference is planned for Monday outside Tournament of Roses headquarters to protest the float advertising the 2008 Beijing Olympic games.
Human rights activists say the government of China should not be treated as a welcome guest on Colorado Boulevard at the same time it is throwing political dissidents in jail. "We cannot avoid human rights issues," said John Li, president of a Falun Gong club at Pasadena's Caltech campus.
Li told The Los Angeles Times that members of his spiritual group will protest during the parade, and will ask other human rights group members to join them.
The political aspect of the China float is putting Pasadena's city council in the spotlight. The city's Human Relations Commission has asked the council to look into human rights violation in China, and Falun Gong members went to commission meetings to describe their imprisonment and torture in Chinese prisons.
The commission has asked the City Council to formally look into the issue, and suggested that the Dalai Lama, a Tibetan spiritual leader, be grand marshal of next year's parade.
Pasadena's city council has been handed the hot potato issue, and at least one council member said the float should be viewed as representing the Beijing Olympic games, not the Chinese political situation.Pasadena's city council has been handed the hot potato issue, and at least one council member said the float should be viewed as representing the Beijing Olympic games, not the Chinesepolitical situation.