On January 17, 2004, Falun Gong practitioners from San Diego, Orange County, and other areas participated in a parade held in downtown San Diego to commemorate famous civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. and won the second-place award issued by the organizing committee.
Falun Gong practitioners held banners, on which "Falun Dafa" and "A Call for Justice: End the Violence against Falun Gong in China" were written. The banners were very eye-catching in the parade. Practitioners demonstrated the Falun Gong exercises on the delicately decorated float. A dance group of six female practitioners and a drummer group of 20 practitioners displayed traditional oriental culture. When the Falun Gong procession passed by the podium, the parade host read an introduction of Falun Gong and also the banner on float, which read, "The World Needs Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance."
A few practitioners distributed truth-clarifying literature and postcards for rescuing Charles Li, a US citizen who has been illegally imprisoned in China by Jiang's regime. In addition, many organizers of community activities, candidates for mayor and council members contacted Falun Gong practitioners and invited them to participate in the parade and other activities in their communities. The San Diego Union Tribune, the largest newspaper in the area, interviewed practitioners, who told reporters of their wish to display the grace of Dafa to local people in the hope that more people will benefit in mind and body through the practice of Falun Gong, and to call for help to end the persecution against Falun Gong in China.
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