Buddhists blocked in latest clash over Chinese Cultural Center

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

The fight over the Chinese Cultural Center in Phoenix took another twist on Thursday. 

A group of Buddhists claim they were stopped from performing a religious ceremony on the site of the 20-year-old building. 

[RELATED: Renovations at Chinese Cultural Center move forward]

"People are trying to pray that they can save this treasurer this garden for the future generations," said Charles Qian. 

Qian said he and the other Buddhists made several requests to use the property to celebrate the upcoming Chinese Moon Festival. 

[RELATED: Phoenix City Council approves historical survey on Chinese Cultural Center]

However, he said the new owners denied their requests, forcing them to pray on a sidewalk next to the property under the watch of police. 

The owners of the center were not available for an interview, but a spokesman said they were not aware of any requests.

[RELATED: Fight over Chinese Cultural Center in Phoenix far from over]

Had they known, they likely would have allowed them onto the property, said Jason Rose. 

Rose also described Thursday's events as a "PR stunt," adding that there was a very good reason for the area was locked up. 

[RELATED: New owners make statement amid concerns about future of Chinese Cultural Center]

"It was suggested by the Chinese community because of concerns about theft ... or even vandalism so the property owner has responsibly taken care of the garden," Rose said. 

This the latest clash between those who want to preserve the cultural center and the new owners, True North, who plan to convert the it into office space. 

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Dennis WlechVeteran political reporter Dennis Welch is a well-respected political expert in Arizona.

Dennis Welch
Political Editor

Before making the move to television, Welch wrote and edited for the Arizona Guardian, a highly influential online news site dedicated to Arizona politics and government where he served as owner and editor. During his Guardian days, Welch was a frequent guest on “Politics Unplugged” and has been a regular fixture on the state political landscape since 2005 appearing on numerous radio and television talk shows. “I am thrilled to start working with such a talented and dedicated staff of journalists,” said Welch. “This is a great opportunity to broaden the reach of my political coverage and tell stories that affect Arizona voters and their families.” With more than 13 years of experience under his belt, Welch’s arrival only strengthens 3TV’s commitment to providing first-rate political and government coverage across all platforms. When not covering politics, Welch is an avid runner and fronts a punk rock band that plays frequently throughout the Southwest and California. Welch is a well-respected political expert in Arizona and his addition means 3TV will provide a stronger, more robust political presence in Arizona. He joins 3TV from the Arizona Guardian, a highly influential online news site dedicated to Arizona politics and government where he served as owner and editor. During his Guardian days, Welch was a frequent guest on “Politics Unplugged” and has been a regular fixture on the state political landscape since 2005 appearing on numerous radio and television talk shows. “I am thrilled to start working with such a talented and dedicated staff of journalists,” said Welch. “This is a great opportunity to broaden the reach of my political coverage and tell stories that affect Arizona voters and their families.” With more than 13 years of experience under his belt, Welch’s arrival only strengthens 3TV’s commitment to providing first-rate political and government coverage across all platforms. When not covering politics, Welch is an avid runner and fronts a punk rock band that plays frequently throughout the Southwest and California.

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