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Falun Dafa demonstration draws hundreds to downtown L.A.

Falun Dafa demonstration draws hundreds to downtown L.A.
Falun Dafa followers meditate on the south lawn of Los Angeles City Hall on Thursday. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

Hundreds of followers of Falun Dafa, a spiritual practice originating in China, participated in a demonstration march Thursday in downtown Los Angeles.

Falun Dafa, which is also known as Falun Gong, has been labeled a cult and banned in mainland China since 1999.

The practitioners, dressed in bright yellow and coming from Taiwan, Canada and U.S. cities including San Francisco and Los Angeles, marched, played instruments, and carried banners written in Chinese and English. One common banner contained both the common Falun Dafa slogan and its English translation: “Falun Dafa is Good.”

Other members stood on the sidewalks and handed out pamphlets and explained their cause to onlookers.

Followers of Falun Dafa say that the Chinese government has been unjustly persecuting them for over a decade.

The march blocked traffic on some downtown streets for about a half-hour. After the march, a group of roughly one hundred practitioners from Canada gathered at City Hall and performed qi gong exercises.

A member of the group said the practitioners were in Los Angeles for a conference on Friday. A website hosted at the California Institute of Technology’s website listed the event, but the address for the conference had not yet been announced.

A rally is also scheduled for Saturday at the Santa Monica Pier.

Follow me @dexdigi for more on the intersection of culture and the Internet.

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