Falun Gong practitioners held an experience sharing conference in New York from April the 10th to April the 11th 2004. On the afternoon of April the 10th, more than three thousand Falun Gong practitioners from all over the world staged a "Journey of Fa-Rectification" grand parade in Manhattan's Chinatown. The parade portrayed the winding history and the heroic, glorious journey of Falun Gong since its introduction to the public in 1992.
When asked what she thought of the parade, New Jersey Falun Gong practitioner Ms. Wang said, "The parade depicted the persecution Chinese Falun Gong practitioners have suffered; through dancing, drums and other forms of music. The parade also demonstrated the indomitable spirit of Falun Gong practitioners through all the suffering, and revealed the bright future of the world brought by practitioners through their great sacrifice."
Ms. Wang said: "The torture methods demonstration and the white-costumed memorial procession created a sharp contrast to the happy parade atmosphere. I was brought to tears when I saw it. Many parade viewers were moved to tears as well."
Parade Depicts the Winding History of Falun Dafa
The Falun Gong parade procession consisted of nine parts with different themes: "The Fa Rectifies People's Hearts," "Witness 4-25," "Broken Promise, Sudden Persecution," "Deceiving Overseas Chinese and Instigating Hatred," "Peaceful Appeal against Violence," "Voices of Justice," "Global Trial of Jiang Zemin," "Truth Clarification and Fa-Spreading All Over the World," "The Buddha Lights Illuminate Everywhere and Rectifies All Abnormalities." The strong line-up of floats, drum performance, banners, photo posters, sculptures, music and dance performances vividly narrated the winding history of Falun Gong from its origin, spreading, experiencing persecution to its growth around the world. The final grand procession of "Heaven and Earth Celebrate Together" predicted the bright future that Falun Gong will bring to the world.
The parade started at 1:15pm and proceeded slowly through Manhattan's Chinatown, which was crowded with people coming to visit and shop for the Easter weekend. Many Chinese and western tourists followed the parade procession to take pictures and video footage. As different parade themes passed them, their faces also changed, from excitement, shock, to sorrow and so on.
Falun Dafa Rectifies People's Hearts
Following the huge frame inscribed with "Falun Gong" in Chinese and a waist drum troupe of two hundred people, a group of fairy dancers gracefully proceeded while attending two models of the book Zhuan Falun. Next, was the first group, which presented photos of Mr. Li Hongzhi teaching Falun Gong in China and a huge scale (tens of thousands) Falun Gong group practice while about a hundred Falun Gong practitioners in yellow uniforms demonstrated the Falun Gong exercises.
The Falun Gong practitioner leading the first parade group said, "Because of its great physical and spiritual benefits, Falun Gong was spread by word of mouth in China and overseas. Within seven years, one hundred million people had come to practise Falun Gong."
Pointing to a large photo of the 10,000 people group practice, Falun Gong practitioner Ms. Zhang said, "This life-like photo reminds me of the unforgettable time when Falun Gong was spreading in China." Since she was young, Ms. Zhang had very poor health. She tried all kinds of medical treatments, yet none of them could heal her illnesses. But her diseases gradually disappeared after she attended the 11th Falun Gong lecture series conducted by Mr. Li Hongzhi in Beijing on July 25, 1993. "The cultivation of Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance has energised me and filled my life with hope," she said.
On April 25, 1999, more than 10,000 Falun Gong practitioners went to Zhongnanhai, the compound where the central government resides, to appeal. The world was shocked. After Zhu Rongji, the Premier of China at that time, met and talked with practitioners, the appeal was peacefully resolved. However, out of personal jealousy, Jiang broke the government's promise and fabricated many political charges against Falun Gong. Using those charges as an excuse, Jiang hijacked the whole government and launched the brutal persecution of Falun Gong. Even now, there are still some misunderstandings about this historic incident. What is the real story?
Mr. Shi is currently working in a New York environmental protection firm. He was one of the Falun Gong practitioner representatives who were led into Zhongnanhai by Premier Zhu. He said: "He Zuoxiu first published an article in Tianjin to slander Falun Gong and implied that practising Falun Gong would lead the communist party and China to a doomed fate. Tianjin Falun Gong practitioners then went to the press to clarify the truth about Falun Gong. On April 22 and 23, the Tianjin Public Security Bureau suddenly dispatched riot police to arrest practitioners. When practitioners negotiated with the authorities and requested the release of those practitioners who had been illegally arrested, the police told them they had to go to Beijing in order to solve the problem."
"On the morning of April 25, I went to the north entrance of Fuyou Street [a street next to the central government compound] and found that there were already many practitioners on both sides of the street. However, no one either blocked the traffic nor made any noise. Later, Premier Zhu came out of Zhongnanhai and asked us to select some representatives to go inside and report the situation. I volunteered myself to represent the practitioners. We reported our personal benefits from practising Falun Gong and stated three requests from practitioners. All practitioners later left the site quietly."
During the parade, one of the banners displayed the three requests of practitioners of the 4·25 appeal: "1. Tianjin Public Security Bureau Releases All Illegally Detained Practitioners; 2. Allow Free Practise of Falun Gong; 3. Allow Publication of Zhuan Falun." After Premier Zhu met representatives of Falun Gong practitioners, he in principle agreed to restore the publication rights of Mr. Li Hongzhi's works, and the Tianjin practitioners were also released.
On June 14, 1999, all major Mainland newspapers, radio stations and TV stations simultaneously published a statement from the Central Appeal Office and the Appeal Office of the Department of State. The statement claimed that the government never banned any Qigong practice, and people had the right of belief.
Broken Promise, Sudden Persecution
At the same time, the Mainland government was transmitting a speech of Jiang Zemin internally in which he ordered that "Communist Party members are forbidden to practise Falun Gong." he also shouted "I don't believe atheism can't defeat theism or the Communist Party can't defeat Falun Gong!" According to a report by China Daily on July 21, 1999, Shandong officials during that period claimed that the "Appeal Offices' statement is just a show for foreigners and it is a stalling tactic." Jiang had already decided to persecute Falun Gong.
Using massive persecution evidence, photos of torture methods, real people models illustrating several torture methods used to persecute Falun Gong practitioners and a continuous truth-clarifying recording in Mandarin, English and Cantonese, the third parade group vividly exposed the genocidal crimes of Jiang against Falun Gong practitioners. During the parade, the real-people torture models deeply shocked the spectators and were one of the most eye-catching parts of the parade. People were shocked by the cruelty of the torture methods and moved to tears by Falun Gong practitioners' suffering.
It was reported by Chinese Clearwisdom.net that non-governmental sources in Mainland China had verified 936 cases of Falun Gong practitioners who were persecuted to death. Many human rights organisation such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have reported this information. According to insiders in the Mainland government, the actual death toll is far higher.
Deceiving Overseas Chinese, Instigating Hatred
To maintain its persecution, Jiang not only controls mainland media to instigate people's hatred toward Falun Gong, he also spreads his fabricated charges and lies about Falun Gong overseas to poison and deceive overseas Chinese and people around the world. Jiang's diplomatic agents and overseas forces have directly acted as the Jiang regime's overseas enforcers to persecute Falun Gong.
In July, 2001, a Falun Gong practitioner was beaten up in front of the Chinese Consulate in Chicago. In June, 2003, pro-communist overseas Chinese leader Liang Guanjun assaulted Falun Gong practitioners in New York's Chinatown. Both cases were instigated by Chinese overseas diplomats. The Chinese embassies and consulates have been spreading slanderous information against Falun Gong, instigating political hatred, forcing and manipulating some bad people to harm Falun Gong practitioners. Some of these perpetrators have been brought to justice by the nations they reside in.
Peaceful Appeal against Violence
Facing the brutal persecution, Mainland Chinese Falun Gong practitioners held on to their righteous belief in Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance, peacefully appealed to the government and explained how wrong and irrational it was for the government to persecute Falun Gong and push good people to the opposite side of the government. Overseas practitioners also used all sorts of peaceful means to appeal to the Chinese government.
On November 20, 2001, 36 western Falun Gong practitioners came from 12 different nations to Tiananmen Square, they displayed a golden banner, which read "Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance." The whole world was shocked.
Voices of Justice
Because of the Falun Gong practitioners' persistent, peaceful efforts, more and more kind-hearted people around the world have learned the truth about Falun Gong. They have positioned themselves on the side of justice and supported practitioners' efforts to oppose the persecution.
Representatives and governmental officials of the U.S., Canada, Australia, and many European nations, as well as all kinds of human rights organisations and social groups have condemned the Jiang regime's brutal persecution of Falun Gong. Many have also extended their helpful hands to help rescue Falun Gong practitioners persecuted in China.
On July 24, 2002, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed concurrent resolution 188 to condemn the Jiang regime's persecution of peaceful and non-violent Falun Gong practitioners. The resolution urged the People's Republic of China to stop its persecution of Falun Gong practitioners, urged its diplomats in the U.S. to end the harassment of U.S. citizens and residents who practise Falun Gong and stop pressuring U.S. officials to withdraw or reject their support for Falun Gong and its practitioners.
Global Trial of Jiang Zemin
Jiang Zemin is the chief instigator of the persecution of Falun Gong and he must pay for the crimes he has committed. In October 2002, Falun Gong practitioners sued Jiang in a U.S. court for genocide as Jiang was visiting the U.S. Since then, lawsuits against Jiang have appeared one after another. In March, 2003, the World organisation to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong and the Swiss Falun Dafa Association announced that they would sue Jiang in Switzerland. In August 2003, six Falun Gong practitioners sued Jiang in Belgium Federal court for genocide, torture and crimes against humanity.
From then on, Jiang has been sued in Spain, Germany, Korea and Taiwan. On November 26, 2003, the Global Coalition to Bring Jiang to Justice requested the International Criminal Court located in The Hague to investigate and try Jiang Zemin. In January, 45 individuals, including Jiang Zemin, Li Lanqing, Luo Gan, Wang Maolin and Liu Jing, were included on a monitoring list of the Canadian Royal Mounted Police for persecuting Falun Gong. "Bring Jiang to Justice" has become a human rights movement which has had a far-reaching impact in the international community.
In the seventh parade group, Falun Gong practitioners displayed photos of more than 900 fellow practitioners persecuted to death, and the worldwide lawsuits against Jiang which express the shared wish to bring Jiang to justice.
A famous human rights attorney said: "We will hold on to our values, and eventually we will send Jiang Zemin to prison. More important, trying a few dictators means trying all dictators around the world. We are not only protecting the rights of our Falun Gong friends, we are protecting the rights of all the Chinese and the people around the world."
Falun Dafa Spreads all over the World
In the past nearly 5 years, among the Mainland Chinese Falun Gong practitioners who have safeguarded the Fa, many have lost their lives, many have been sentenced to prison terms and suffered from all kinds of torture, many have been fired and forced to leave their homes to escape from further persecution: their sacrifice is huge. To expose this persecution and safeguard their own and others' freedom of belief, Falun Gong practitioners are validating the principle of "Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance."
In the past years, facing the cruelest persecution, Falun Gong was not crushed; in fact, it gained popularity around the world. This also reflects the power of "Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance." Falun Gong now is being practised in more than 60 countries and regions around the world by people of different ethnic origins and cultural backgrounds. Many of the practitioners are scientists, professors or engineers with Doctorate or Master's degrees; many more are graduate students and outstanding individuals in different professions.
Nowadays, many countries take Falun Gong as a representative of traditional Chinese culture. Many important holidays and celebration ceremonies, and events such as the Washington DC Cherry Festival and Independence Day Parade have invited Falun Gong to participate as representatives of the excellence of Chinese culture. The best and the essence of Chinese culture are covered in the three words: "Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance."
The Buddha Lights Illuminate Everywhere and Rectify All Abnormalities
The theme of the ninth parade group is The Buddha Light Illuminates Everywhere and Rectifies All Abnormalities to reveal the bright future brought by Falun Dafa. Many traditional Chinese cultural programs such as Dragon Dancing, Lion Dancing, Decorated Floats and Dancing were magnificent and glorious. Spectators on both sides of the parade exclaimed and offered praise with great joy. Some commented that this parade was even better than the Chinese New Year parade.
After nearly five years of persecution, Falun Gong has gone through the harshest test. Facing the extensive vicious lies, torture and long-term imprisonment and the state terrorism manipulated by Jiang Zemin, Falun Dafa practitioners endured tribulations unimaginable for everyday people. They have firmly safeguarded and validated the principle of "Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance." Their peace, rationality, wisdom, and steadfastness have become a grand monument of human morality and spiritual wealth. Their compassionate giving will certainly bring the world a bright future.
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