A Solemn Parade Through US Capital Reminds of Persecution in China

Practitioners of Falun Gong march through the city, marking 14 years of persecution

By Shar Adams and Shannon Liao

WASHINGTON—Around one thousand Falun Gong practitioners and supporters proceeded solemnly through the streets here on July 18, marking the 14th year since the Chinese regime began a violent persecution of their faith in China, in a grand march from Capitol Hill to the Washington Monument 1.5 miles away.

The practitioners were mostly silent in their march—except for the marching band and the drumming corps—and all expressed unrelenting tenacity in the face of the ongoing campaign in China. In interviews, many of them said they wanted only one thing: for the persecution to stop.

Led by the Divine Land Marching Band, supporters from around the world and as close as New Jersey and Maryland carried banners that read “Falun Dafa is Good” and “Stop the Persecution of Falun Gong” as they made their way down Pennsylvania Avenue.

“We have to speak the truth for the public,” said Kate La, who had traveled from New Jersey. “They don’t know what is happening to Falun Gong.”

According to the Falun Dafa Information Center, Falun Gong, also know as Falun Dafa is “a spiritual discipline in the Buddhist tradition.” Founded by Mr. Li Hongzhi in China in 1992, the practice consists of moral teachings and five exercises, including a meditation.

Recognized for its health benefits, Falun Gong quickly became popular in China; by 1998, according to official statistics, over 70 million Chinese people were practicing it. In July of 1999 the Chinese Communist Party leader Jiang Zemin perceived that Falun Gong was too popular, and was competing with the Party for hearts and minds, so he began a brutal persecution to “eradicate” it.

Since then hundreds of thousands of practitioners have been detained and tortured. Although the deaths of over 3,000 Falun Gong practitioners have been formally recorded, with accompanying evidence, the death toll is suspected to be much higher. In 2006 reports surfaced that Falun Gong practitioners, arrested and detained in labor camps without trial, were being killed by the thousands so that their organs could be used for on-demand transplants.

Those allegations are the subject of House Resolution 281, which condemns the practice of organ harvesting from Falun Gong detainees and other prisoners of conscience.

Alan Adler, executive director of Friends of Falun Gong, an advocacy group, said the resolution was a positive move, and believes there should be more bipartisan and louder action from both Congress and the Administration on the issue.

“The United States has a responsibility to speak out and the people expect their leaders to do that,” he said. “It is part of the history of our country.”

Adler said he would have preferred it if it was not necessary to be in Washington D.C. for the 14th year in a row, the march and rally having already become part of the fabric of D.C.’s protest calendar, to Adler’s regret.

“I hope we don’t have to show up here for the 15th year,” he said, “This has been going on for too long.”

Cameo Sherman and her children, Theta, Kai and Ethan, live in Maryland and watched the parade from the sidelines. They had just come out from an exhibition on the First Amendment.

“It was good for the kids to see the First Amendment in practice,” she said.

The family was shocked to hear about the persecution. “I only knew about mad stupid debts,” said Ethan, 8, using the word ‘mad’ as slang for ‘very,’ referring to China’s holding of American treasury bonds.

Theta, 11, who said she would like to be president of the United States one day, said she would certainly support Resolution 281 if she were the one voting. “It is gruesome selling body parts,” she said. “I hope it doesn’t happen here.”

A 50-year-old woman, Terry Green, shaded herself with a black umbrella as she stopped to watch the procession of colorful banners. After learning about Falun Gong and the persecution, Green declared “I’m going to go look this up now.” She was surprised at what she heard about torture in labor camps, and said practitioners “should be allowed to express their religious freedom.”

“I’m glad I’m here to see this,” she said, smiling. “That’s a beautiful thing to stand for and to believe in. That’s what America’s all about.”

Leslie Schoop, who traveled to New Jersey from Germany in 2011 to attend graduate school at Princeton University, majoring in chemistry, learned of the persecution through her classmate, Huiwen Ji, a Falun Gong practitioner originally from Zhejiang Province in China, and decided to join the parade on Thursday.

Schoop was impressed by “how many people are here; many Westerners and people from different places. But it’s so quiet and peaceful.”

Hearing about the persecution of Falun Gong in China was “enlightening,” said Chaitram Misir, a New York Life Insurance agent. “I couldn’t believe something like this was happening, so that’s the reason I’m here—to be supportive of it.”

Misir, 44, said he was missing work to attend the parade; what had made an impact on him about the parade was “the support” practitioners were giving the issue, and their commitment to “show that it’s something that’s not right, and take a stand about it,” he said.

A man from yet another walk of life, the 42-year-old George Li, held a blue banner while recounting his life in Beijing, from 1996 to 2004. He said that he wanted to be in the marching band but in the end wasn’t selected, though was proud to be playing a role. “A lot of persecution goes on in China. Many fellow practitioners that I knew were imprisoned,” he said.

Li was locked in a detention center for around fourteen days in March 2000 for his practice of Falun Gong—a comparatively short period, given the jail sentences of over a decade that are sometimes meted out by Chinese authorities to Falun Gong practitioners.

Now a mechanical engineer living in New York, Li said that he wishes for “the U.S. government to stand up for these people’s freedom of belief and human rights.”

Li added: “They should have done the job a long time ago.”

Advertisements

Cheering for People with Conscience and Righteous Thoughts

July 05, 2013 | By a Falun Dafa practitioner in Chongqing

en.minghui.org

(Minghui.org) A villager who went to a small mountain village close to Chongqing, for a day fair, came back and found the booklet Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party in the basket he carried on his back. He read it over very carefully.

One day the villager talked about this booklet with his neighbors. He was emotional, and said, “This book is so good! It lists all the bad things the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has done over the years.” One of his neighbors was interested and wanted to read it, but he did not say so aloud because there was a crowd of people around. He later quietly asked the villager, “Where did you get this book?” He replied, “I found it in my basket after I went to the day fair.”

The farmer did what the villager did. He went to the day fair several times with a basket on his back, but when he came back the basket was empty. He quietly went and asked the villager again and said, “Why didn’t I also get the booklet? I’ve been to the day fair several times, but I still didn’t get the book.” The villager said with a smile, “These things must be done by Falun Gong practitioners. They like to talk with the vendors at the fair. Go there and pay attention when people are talking.”

The next time the day fair was held, the farmer returned with a basket on his back. He overheard a practitioner talking to people about Falun Gong. When the practitioner was done talking and ready to leave, she realized that someone was following her. When she walked faster, the man behind her also quickened his steps. She finally turned around and asked him, “Why are you following me?” The man was that village farmer with the basket on his back. He said, “I saw you handing out information to people, can I also have some? I want to read it. I’ve come here several times looking for this information.”

The practitioner was stunned that this man kept returning, looking for the truth. Unfortunately, she had no informational materials left. She told the farmer that she would bring some from home, and asked him to wait for her to return. The farmer said, “I’ll be here waiting for you.” This is how the farmer finally got what he wished for, and learned the truth. The story of the man with the basket who went looking for the truth spread to villages miles away.

I once had a conversation with a friend who was born in the 1980s. When we spoke about the corruption of the Chinese Communist regime, the increase in Chinese people withdrawing from the CCP, and how many people are waking up and openly opposing the persecution, his response moved me. He said, “My parents don’t agree with me. After decades of absurd and cruel CCP campaigns, they no longer have the courage to pursue justice and they just want peace. But our generation is different. We had very good childhoods and received good educations. Our education and knowledge is not only to make a living, but also to contribute to our country, not only physically but also spiritually. We have moral responsibility.” Not long after we spoke, he went online and declared his withdrawal from the CCP.

Overseas media recently reported that Mr. Jeffrey Van Middlebrook, a polymath inventor in Silicon Valley, USA, gave up a $60 million research grant and collaboration with the Chinese government after he read an Epoch Timesarticle about the CCP harvesting organs from a large number of living Falun Gong practitioners. He told a reporter, “I can’t take this money. To take their money is taking blood money. I can’t sell my technology and benefit financially. If it means that even if my technology doesn’t come to fruition, I can look myself in the mirror and say, ‘I didn’t take blood money from a government that is murdering its people.”

Some people didn’t understand his reaction, but I feel that his choice was an embodiment and manifestation of his kind nature. His choice shows that he’s returned to the most innate human nature. Mr. Van Middlebrook must feel at peace and he must be happy.

There have been many instances of people with conscience and righteous thoughts increasingly taking a stance. Let us cheer for them!

Contributing to this report:Epoch Times

My Practice Benefits My Family, Too!

July 07, 2013

en.minghui.org

(Minghui.org)

My Practice Benefits My Family, Too!

(From Yushu, Jilin Province) When my second daughter was eight months along in her pregnancy, she was struck down by a tricycle. This put her health and the health of her unborn child in danger, and she was rushed to Yushu Hospital. Her mother- and father-in-law insisted that the tricycle driver pay all her medical costs. The driver, who was himself needy, could not afford to pay her expenses. My daughter’s hospital stay lasted three weeks, and I took meals to her every day. When she was discharged, her in-laws again insisted that the driver pay her bill. The mother of the driver cried and tried to explain that they did not have that kind of money.

I am a Falun Gong practitioner, so I should have compassion for others. I discussed this with my daughter. I told her that she was safe, and so was her child. They had already benefited from my practice of Falun Gong, so should they really insist that someone who was so poor pay her bill? I said, “We should consider others. Could you ask for less or no money?”

My daughter knew I had been practicing Falun Gong for over ten years and that it had changed my bad temper. I became tolerant and understood the meaning of life. My daughter agreed and said that I was right, that it was Master who protected her and her child. But she was concerned about how her in-laws would react if she refused to ask for money from the driver. So my daughter provided 200 yuan herself, and I came up with 300 yuan. We gave it all to the mother of the driver, to pay the in-laws. My family is not rich, either–we rely on my husband’s modest wages. The driver’s mother was deeply touched and told me, “Dafa is good. Dafa practitioners are so good.” So, in the end, all was happily resolved.

In November 2012, my 85-year-old mother-in-law had a stroke, and the doctor said she had to be hospitalized. I believed my cultivation could benefit my family members, so I asked my husband to bring my mother-in-law home. She recited with me, “Falun Dafa is good! Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good.” She also did the exercises with me and sent forth righteous thoughts. Several days later, she was fully recovered. My family was all very happy and believed Master saved my mother-in-law.

In December 2012, my husband went to the supermarket. It was dark and the road was slick. A car hit him and he blacked out. The driver and the other passengers in the car were very worried. The driver woke my husband up and told him he would get him to a hospital. My husband opened his eyes, felt himself all over, and said there was no need to go to the hospital. “I am fine,” he said. “You can leave now.” When he returned home, he told me how he was hit and thrown by a car and that it was Master who protected him.

These are a few of the many benefits my family experienced because I practice Falun Gong. Thank you, Dafa. Thank you, Master!

Baby Recovers Due to Belief in Dafa

(From Hubei Province) I am from Hubei Province. My brother is 36 years of age. Three years ago, I told him and his wife the facts about Falun Gong. They quit the Chinese Communist Party and its affiliated organizations. After that, their business was good, and they were well.

My sister-in-law got pregnant, and last fall went to the hospital to give birth. While in labor, she was in extreme pain. The doctor suggested that it could help relieve her pain if she gave birth in water. However, the baby’s head was already halfway out, and for half an hour, it couldn’t breathe. The baby was taken to a municipal hospital for emergency care for three days following the birth. The baby was unable to move its bowels or injest any milk. The doctor did not have any hope and suggested they give up. He also said that the baby would most likely suffer brain damage if it survived at all. My brother was preparing to accept this, but his wife said, “It is a life; we cannot give up so easily.” They brought the baby back to the hospital where it was born.

In the waiting room that afternoon, a lady told us, “You can ask for help from gods–for a miracle.” I suddenly realized this must be a hint from Master. So I explained to my sister-in-law that there was nothing in the ordinary world that could be done but that we could ask for help from Master. We all sincerely recited “Falun Dafa is good! Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good!”

At that time the baby was still not drinking milk or having any bowel movements. I went home at around 6 p.m. An hour later my brother called and said the baby was drinking and having bowel movements. Two weeks later the baby was able to leave the hospital. Now, at seven months of age, the baby is well and completely normal. We all appreciate Master. Thank you, Master !

 

Mental Hospital No Longer Persecutes Falun Gong Practitioners

July 02, 2013 | By Song Zhen

en.minghui.org

(Minghui.org) After the persecution of Falun Gong began on July 20, 1999, my aunt was very frightened when she saw me actually being persecuted for practicing it. The persecution brought her back to the old days of terror that she had gone through during other bloody political movements launched by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) over the years.

Out of fear, she tried everything to prevent me from taking part in the practice; she even resorted to violence. She slapped me in the face and kicked me with her boots, which left scars in my right leg that are visible even today. She once tied me to the bed and fastened the rope to a window. She then told a nurse to inject me an unknown drug–as if I were a patient with a mental disorder! Yet all her contriving against me failed to turn me away from Falun Gong.

Mental Hospital Staff Moved by My Selflessness

In the winter of 1999 my aunt managed to get me sent to a mental hospital, where she thought I would be made to abandon Falun Gong.

At that time the CCP’s slanderous propaganda against Falun Gong permeated China, and people were very hostile toward practitioners. What should I do? From my heart I refused to acknowledge the persecution and their injecting of me with drugs. Meanwhile, I persevered in practicing Falun Gong and used myself as a vivid example of its magnificence.

Not long after I was sent to the hospital, the chief therapist made his first attempt to get me to give up Falun Gong. I was doing the first exercise, when he pulled my arms to stop me. I thought, “No matter what happens, I shall not stop until I finish doing all the exercises.” He pulled my arms again, but I did not move. He then left. When I got to the fourth exercise, he pulled at me again—so forcefully this time that I almost fell down. Still, I did not move. Seeing my perseverance, he left me alone. From then on he never again disturbed me while I was doing the exercises.

Because I did the exercises every day, I was in excellent health. Although not warmly dressed in winter, I did not feel cold and my face glowed with a health. A lady who worked in the dining section of the hospital was so impressed by my health that she would commend me in front of every one she met.

Most importantly, I let Dafa’s principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance guide my everyday life, and I tried to be a good person no matter what.

Every morning, I would tidy up the bed covers that other patients had messed up. When I saw the floor dirty, I would help clean it up. When it was cold, I helped the doctors start the fire in the hall so that the patients could go there to warm themselves up. Sometimes, other patients would be in a rush to use the restroom when I was using it, so I would immediately and without complaint get out and let them use it.

At mealtimes I would wait at the back until all the others had chosen their food. When I saw gravely ill patients unable to feed themselves and the nurses too busy to lend them a hand, I would put aside my food and go help them. In some cases a patient wanted more after eating their own portion, so I would give them my food. Although I often did not get enough to eat, I did not feel hungry. After seeing what I did, the head lady in the dining section would give me more food. They saw me giving my food away so often that they commended me for having such a good heart.

After having been in the hospital for some time, I began to perceive how much the patients were suffering. I felt so sorry for them that I was moved to tears.

I came to understand that, according to Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, I should always considers others first. From this understanding, Dafa revealed a truth to me: All beings have Buddha nature, and it is their original nature to be good to others, just like the sun nourishes all living beings on the earth with its light. Even animals and plants are given the ability to reproduce to feed human beings.

If everyone could be good to each other, then virtue would mark the path of mankind, and earth would become a kingdom of peace and harmony. In contrast, a person who does not hesitate to harm others to serve his own interests will reap what he sows. If a government resorts to treachery and violence to dupe its own people, there will be consequences.

What goes around comes around. The CCP, which spares no effort in suppressing democracy and violating human rights, is now on the brink of collapse.

My firm faith in Falun Gong, as manifested in my altruism and optimism when dealing with others, influenced the staff of the hospital in ways that I never expected. Later, one of my colleagues came to the hospital for work. When he saw me, he said in awe, “All the employees hold you in high regard. You are known as ‘the Falun Gong practitioner who has changed the environment here for good.’”

When the chief doctor sent me home, he said to my aunt, “Just let her practice Falun Gong. It is her faith.” She nodded. “Yes, certainly,” she said. From then on she never did anything to prevent me from practicing Falun Gong. Later, she even agreed to do the three withdrawals.

Medical Chief Makes the Right Choice after Learning the Facts

In March 2010 the chief of the 610 Office of my county and several officers from the Security Section at work sent me to the mental hospital again in hopes of forcing me to give up Falun Gong. Several doctors, who supposed I had a mental disorder, held me down and injected me with drugs. As a result, my breathing was affected, I had a hard time walking, and couldn’t calm down. After that they force fed me large doses of drugs that worsened my mental state by the day.

It was such a difficult time, but I did not make any concessions. I managed to buy a notebook. I wrote an article about Falun Gong in it and gave it to the chief of the medical section. The article was titled “Good People, Please Give Yourself a Chance to Learn the True Story of Falun Gong.”

In the article I briefly stated what Falun Gong was and how it had been introduced to the public. I set the record straight concerning several well-known CCP propaganda ploys. I pointed out the inconsistencies so that people could see how they had been deceived. I detailed some of the reports made by China’s state-owned media before 1999 that praised Falun Gong. Those reports confirmed that the practice never broke any laws, that the public embraced it, and that it had spread around the world.

I gave examples of Falun Gong practitioners who had recovered from their sicknesses after beginning the practice, showing readers its physical and mental benefits. By giving some examples of practitioners who were well-educated professionals, I presented Falun Gong’s power to help people become wiser, and that it is a true science instead of some superstition. Finally, I concluded that the spread of Falun Gong around the world is the true blessing of mankind, right here in the 21st century. The whole article was marked with my goodwill and sincerity.

After reading the article the chief said to me, “It is well written. I read it twice. It is so remarkable that you can stand here and explain this when you are being so severely persecuted. I can tell you that all the drugs you have taken are harmful to you. I will have them replaced.”

My truth clarification awoke a life who still had a conscience, and the first thing he did was to protect a Dafa practitioner. It was truly remarkable! He was very courageous to face the truth and treat Dafa practitioners with justice.

From then on I clarified the truth to everyone in the hospital, including the patients’ relatives who came to visit. The truth of Dafa spread, and I was released.

An Introduction to Falun Gong

Falun Gong, Popular and Serene Meditation (+Photos)

By John Nania | April 23, 2013

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

One of China’s best-kept secrets in the ’90s was Falun Gong. Whether you call it a meditation practice, a spiritual discipline, or a type of qigong, approximately 100 million people in China were doing it by mid-1999.

Yet even though 1 in 13 Chinese people was practicing Falun Gong, it was nearly unknown outside of China—until the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) banned it in July 1999 and instituted a far-reaching persecution campaign that continues today.

A key component of all the CCP’s persecution campaigns is flooding the airwaves, printing presses, and diplomatic channels with false propaganda. A major target of the anti-Falun Gong propaganda was foreign media, which had no other information source. Thus, the first and often only exposure to Falun Gong that many people outside China had was an intentionally distorted picture that was choreographed by CCP-controlled media and agents.

In other words, anything you learned before now about Falun Gong may be inaccurate.

Mind and Body

Falun Gong refines, or cultivates, both the mind and the body, which makes it difficult for Western terminology to classify neatly. Is it a spiritual practice or is it physical exercises? The correct answer is “yes” since both are integral to Falun Gong.

There are five exercises in Falun Gong. Four are done standing, and one is a cross-legged meditation. Gentle and slow, they have names like “Falun Heavenly Circulation” and “Penetrating the Two Cosmic Extremes.” People often report feeling refreshed or energized after exercising.

The key point of the teachings: Falun Gong considers the fundamental principle of the universe to be “Zhen-Shan-Ren.” “Zhen” translates to truth and truthfulness. “Shan” is compassion, benevolence, and goodness. “Ren” is tolerance, forbearance, and endurance. The teachings expound on this point to great depth.

Early Development

For thousands of years in China, spiritual practices have been handed down quietly from master to student.

The teacher or master of Falun Gong, Li Hongzhi, learned the practice privately and then brought it out to teach to anyone who wanted to learn, starting in May 1992.

Mr. Li crisscrossed China through the end of 1994. He held 54 seminars 8 to 10 days long wherever he was invited. He lectured on the principles, taught the exercises, and fielded questions on the last day of each seminar.

At first, only a few hundred attended each seminar, but by the end of 1994, lecture halls seating several thousand filled up, as word-of-mouth preceded his visits.

People told family, friends, and neighbors about how their ailments, from skin conditions to heart problems, were easing or vanishing. They also related how following the teachings led to better relationships with spouses and co-workers, and generally to a peaceful and relaxed state of mind.

The practice continued growing by word of mouth, from the tens of thousands who heard Mr. Li’s lectures live in 1992–94 to tens of millions by mid-1999. Practitioners included the old and the young, they included university professors and peasants, and they even included generals and Communist Party members.

Practice sites popped up in public parks all across China. Volunteer assistants taught newcomers how to do the movements and brought a tape or CD player to play the music that accompanies the exercises.

After doing the exercises together, while some practitioners would go off to work, some would sit down and read from the main book, “Zhuan Falun,” authored by Mr. Li. Refining the mind and character come through studying this book and other teachings—the texts of which are available for free online—and then applying what is learned in daily life.

Global Spread

Falun Gong practitioners took the practice with them to their universities and companies outside China, with many universities hosting Falun Gong student clubs. Mr. Li gave a full seminar in Sweden in early 1995 and lectured at conferences held by students in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, and elsewhere before the CCP began its persecution campaign in 1999.

The Falundafa.org website lists regular practice sites in some 70 nations today. It states, “All Falun Dafa activities are free of charge.” (Falun Dafa is another name for Falun Gong. “Dafa” means “great way.”)

The number of people practicing outside China grows even as the ban and persecution inside China continues. The evidence of growth is anecdotal, since exact figures are not kept by anyone, and people are free to practice or not as they like.

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

International Efforts to Stop Forced Organ Harvesting From Falun Gong in China

Momentum Builds for Addressing Organ Harvesting in China

A Regime Makes War Against the Peaceful Falun Gong Practice

“Free China:” Fighting Injustice One Heart at a Time

Falun Gong Practitioners Remind Chinese Embassy in USA of Anniversary

Free to Practice and Believe Everywhere—Except China

Falun Dafa Founder Speaks Before 8,000 at New York Conference

‘April 25’ Commemorated in San Francisco Chinatown

Preventative Foot Care for the Walking City

Article taken from: http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/21898-falun-gong-popular-and-serene/

Free China Theme Song Music Video: “The Courage to Believe”

Published on Jun 3, 2013

Free China Film Original Song “The Courage to Believe”
For LYRICS, click ‘Show more’ below and visit:
http://freechina.bandcamp.com/

Support a Free China! Please Buy/Download the Song!

To watch the movie trailer: http://youtu.be/UpqgSsH_1KY

(Chinese, and other language renditions…coming soon!)

Film websites:
http://www.FreeChinaMovie.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/freechinamovie
Twitter: https://twitter.com/FreeChinaMovie

CREDITS:
Music by Tony Chen
Performed by Q’orianka Kilcher

Lyrics by Kean Wong & Michael Perlman

Executive Producer: Kean Wong
Produced by: Kean Wong, Tony Chen and Michael Perlman

FreeChinaMovie.com

LYRICS:

Verse A
Come from our…first breath
Freedom calls…your name
Darkness lies…in wait
Lies turn fear…to hate

Verse B
Silent, feel…the pain
Tear drops in…the flame
Sleepless through…the night
We slave….away

Pre-Chorus
With Courage to Believe…be free
We will hold on…and see
Mother, your shame…hear us

CHORUS
Come…stand for Truth
For Hope…Reclaimed
Till the end…we defend
Transcend

VERSE C
Step in to…the light
It’s time we now…unite
Voices rise…we pray
We know…the way

Pre-Chorus
With Courage to Believe…be free
We will hold on…and see
Mother, your shame…hear us

CHORUS
Come…stand for Truth
For Hope …Reclaimed
Till the end…we defend
Transcend

CHORUS
Come…stand for Truth
For Hope…Reclaimed
Till the end…we defend
Transcend

END

***
Engineered and Mixed by Kevin Dippold & Tony Chen

Mastering by Paul Dugre

Additional Mixing by Tyler W. Thurmond
& Olli Törmä

Additional Recording by Dave “Rainman” Banta
of Platinum-Mixes.com

Camera: Keith Yuan, Stanley Chen,
Robert Hanson, Yi-Yuan Chang,
Edited by Andrew Moody

FreeChinaMovie.com

US Media Cover Falun Gong Protests During Chinese President’s Visit

June 13, 2013

(Minghui.org) During Chinese President Xi Jinping’s recent visit to the United States, Falun Gong practitioners came out to peacefully protest the 14 years of persecution of the practice in China.

Local media were also on hand to provide wide coverage of these events.

Falun Gong practitioners peacefully protest 14 years of persecution in China

Reporters from Asahi Shimbun , a Japanese newspaper, interview Falun Gong practitioners

Los Angeles Times

In the June 8 edition of the Los Angeles Times, a reporter interviewed some of the protesters as they held banners calling attention to the persecution along Xi’s motorcade route.

The practitioners of Falun Gong, a spiritual practice based on the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance, had waited all day in the hopes of sending a message to the Chinese leader.

“Falun Gong helps us to reach a peaceful mind,” said Lily Yu, a freelance journalist from San Francisco who works for Chinese-language media. “Life becomes more harmonious. But in China, the practice can lead to arrest, labor camps and torture.”

The author quoted another practitioner, Xiao Wang, who described some of the oppression back in China. Her father had been sentenced to four years in prison. When last seen, the retired judge had withered away, having lost more than thirty pounds and being barely able to walk. She said that she attended this event to speak up for her father.

Forty-nine-year-old Zhenbo Chen said through a translator that she had spent 18 months detained in a labor camp. When she was ordered to write a statement renouncing Falun Gong, she refused, and was then handcuffed with her arms spread to an open window for seven days without food or water.

“I must survive,” she told herself, “and I must go on with life. I want to tell the whole world what happened to me in this labor camp.”

Ms. Chen looked very peaceful sitting on the grass beneath a tree with her legs crossed. She had been an accountant corrupted by the power that had come with her position. Falun Gong transformed her: her quick temper evaporated, as did her stress. Her health improved, and she came to terms with her imprisonment.

“Yes, I have forgiven them,” she said of those who detained her and the guards who mistreated her. “I don’t hate them. I pity them.”

The author noted that Ms. Chen was not as quick to forgive the Communist Party and China’s leaders, but was still hopeful that President Xi would listen to their plea for justice.

KESQ TV

On June 7, KESQ TV news reported that hundreds of people were expected to attend rallies near Bob Hope and Gerald Ford drives on the occasion of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to the U.S.

The report stated that a number of Falun Gong practitioners—a group that is persecuted by the Chinese government—were among those gathering near Palm Springs International Airport, where President Obama would also arrive.

“Falun Gong advocates say then-Chinese President Jiang Zemin started persecuting and torturing 100 million Falun Gong practitioners in 1999. His successors, Hu Jintao and Xi, have allowed the persecution to continue, according to the U.S. Southwestern Falun Dafa Association.”

The practitioners started demonstrating Thursday at 9 a.m. on Bob Hope Drive, wearing yellow shirts with the movement’s principles—Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance—printed on the back.

They performed their five sets of exercises behind the barricade.

“One of the organizers, Vicky Jiang, said group members came from around California and Arizona, and some had suffered in China for practicing Falun Gong. ‘The goal is to convince Xi and other leaders to stop the persecution’—which allegedly includes torture, organ harvesting and labor camps—’and hold those responsible accountable.’

“’We would like President Obama to consider human rights in his conversations with President Xi and put that on the table,’ said Jiang, who came from San Francisco.”

The report stated that another practitioner, Dafang Wang, who also came from San Francisco, said she, her younger sister and older brother were detained and tortured for practicing Falun Gong in China 12 years ago. Her sister was tortured to death four months later at a labor camp, and her brother is still in prison.

“My younger sister was a very, very kind woman. She always wanted to be a good person but she was killed for her beliefs,” Wang said.

Ms. Wang said guards used electric batons to shock her at a Beijing detention center, but she eventually got out with the help of her husband and a guard sympathetic to Falun Gong. She reached the U.S. on a tourist visa, then applied for asylum.

“I want to appeal to Obama and Xi to end this persecution in China. There are many, many cases like my family, my brother and sister, happening every day,’ she said.

KMIR TVOn June 6, KMIR TV reported that a group of Falun Gong practitioners had gathered outside Sunnylands to protest during President Xi Jinping’s visit, because the Chinese government is systematically killing its followers and they want it to end.

Falun Gong became very popular in the 90s, leading then-President Jiang Zemin to launch the persecution in which thousands of innocent people have been killed.

The reporter interviewed persecution survivor Ma Chunmei, who described her ordeal:

“I experienced three days of sleep deprivation. They force-fed me when I was on hunger strike with a rubber tube and there was blood everywhere.” Ms. Ma said she was abducted twice and put in a concentration camp, where she experienced unspeakable things, such as being hung up by her wrists, with her feet barely touching the ground.

“Falun Gong believes in truthfulness, compassion and forbearance, and that is the opposite of what the communist regime believes in China,” said Ma.

Ms. Ma said that having the two presidents meet on American soil was the perfect opportunity to bring change, because this country stands for democracy and freedom. “I really want President Obama to stand up for those principles and urge president Xi Jinping to stop the persecution of Falun Gong.”

The Desert Sun NewspaperA June 7 article in The Desert Sun reported that about 100 protesters, all dressed in yellow, gathered to show their support for Falun Gong, a spiritual practice that was outlawed by the Chinese government in 1999. Instead of shouting, chanting or cheering, the group performed a series of meditative exercises that are central to their belief.

“Lear Zhou, 39, who is originally from Shanghai but moved to San Francisco two years ago, said he joined the protest because the Chinese government had imprisoned four of his friends for their Falun Gong beliefs. One of his friends was left so frail that he died soon after his release from a labor camp.

“’It was the persecution that caused his death,’ Zhou said as he walked along the edge of Bob Hope Drive, preparing to protest.

The article went on to explain that according to a report released by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, more than 3,500 practitioners have died as a result of persecution over the past fourteen years. The U.S. Department of State has noted that as many as half of the officially reported inmates in China’s labor camps are Falun Gong practitioners.

“In more recent years,” the report continued, “the Chinese government has been repeatedly accused of harvesting organs from Falun Gong prisoners. During a news conference Thursday, a representative of Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting, Dr. Dana Churchill, said the Falun Gong were victims of ‘a genocide.’”

“It is one of the most evil practices that one can think of. This is killing people for their spiritual beliefs, and organ harvesting live people — they are alive,” Churchill said.

Sources:Minghui.orgLos Angeles TimesKESQ TVKMIR TVThe Desert Sun

 

Article taken from: http://en.minghui.org/html/articles/2013/6/13/140465.html