falun gong practitioners have become regular fixtures outside the Chinese consulate on St. George. But now they'll have a little less room to keep vigil. Large sheets of plywood have been erected in front of the gate that borders the consulate, barring access on the small stretch of grass the Falun Gong have used to go through their meditation exercises as part of a protest against human rights abuses by the Chinese government.
It's unclear what work is going on behind the barricade. According to city officials, the consulate is doing light construction and landscaping.
Practitioners say it's just another attempt to get them to move. The wall went up after Falun practitioners ended a three-week fast to support fellow Falun Gong members in the Majanjia labour camp in China's Shenyang province.
Earlier this summer, sprinklers at the consulate were used to drench practitioners.
Those who've been outside the consulate daily since last October believe the scope of the fencing is completely unnecessary.
Falun Gong supporter Joel Chipkar says, "They can spray us with water, they can build walls, but they can't destroy our hearts and our principles. Truth, compassion and tolerance will prevail in the end."
The Chinese consulate did not return a call requesting comment.