* * P R E S S   R E L E A S E * * *  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE * *

 The Great Firewall of China Marching Brigade to appear in the 2009 Pasadena Doo-Dah Parade

 WHEN: Sunday, January 18, 2009 11:30AM

 WHERE: Pasadena Old Town, N Raymond and Colorado

A Great Firewall of China Marching Brigade will follow a vintage car carrying Ann Lau, Chair of the Visual Artists Guild and recipient of the 2009 Thorny Rose Award.  The Brigade will highlight the internet censorship in China and the continuous imprisonment of internet writers, journalists, religious persons, etc.

Sponsoring Organizations:  Visual Artists Guild, Free Church for China, Amnesty International Group #148, West America Chinese Political Refugees Association, Asia Pacific Human Rights Foundation, Hong Kong Forum

Contact Information:  Ann Lau, Visual Artists Guild, 310-539-0234; Tony Gabriele, Amnesty Group #148 310-686-1109; Ann Noonan 646/251-6069


A committee of socio-political observers selected Ann Lau, Chair of Visual Artists Guild, as the recipient of the 2009 Thorny Rose award in Pasadena’s annual Doo-Dah Parade.

 In their citation, Doo-Dah Parade organizers stated, "The Thorny Rose Award was conceived of nine years ago in hopes of sparking more open, even controversial, conversation about issues of concern among community members. The selection was and is meant to acknowledge the citizen who has been the most tenacious, and even loudest, in support of an issue, cause or opinion they most care about. Ann Lau, of the Visual Arts Guild, has certainly risen to this standard more than anyone over the last year in her lively protest of human rights abuses in China. We're happy to have her as this year's winner!"

Upon notification, Ann Lau stated:  “I am honored to be the recipient of the 2009 Thorny Rose Award.  When I told my daughters, they said that their mother rocks.  This must certainly be the closest I will ever get to receiving the Nobel Peace Prize. (smile)

Shining a light on the issues of international human rights in the City of Pasadena has been a most rewarding experience. How else would Mayor Bill Bogaard have indicated that he discovered the Universal Declaration of Human Rights at the same time he rejected the recommendations of his own Commission on Human Relations to make a strong statement about human rights abuses in China? Indeed, it was a one giant step for the Mayor to host the City of Pasadena's first ever celebration of the Universal Declaration this past December.

Without the deep compassion and tremendous support of an untold number of fine citizens of the City of Pasadena, the issue of human rights in China might have been ignored.  I thank them for their support and encourage them to continue to raise their voices.”

All are welcome!