- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 12, 2006

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Members of a spiritual group outlawed in communist China banged drums and cymbals near the city’s annual Chinese New Year Parade, which had excluded Falun Gong for violating rules against political activity.

“We are peacefully trying to deliver the message that there shouldn’t be any discrimination and they shouldn’t extend discrimination from China,” said Sherry Zhang, 35, a Falun Gong organizer.

The San Francisco Chinese Chamber of Commerce, which has directed the parade for nearly 50 years, said followers violated parade rules two years ago when they handed out anti-China leaflets while marching.

Falun Gong members accuse the chamber of discriminating against them to appease the government in China, where many chamber members have business interests.

Police agreed to allow about 100 Falun Gong members to hold banners and organize on the sidewalk on the parade route, but Falun Gong members said Saturday that they weren’t allowed into the Chinatown district.

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