Speech by Michael Horowitz of Hudson Institute at the July 21st Anti-Persecution Rally in Washington, D.C.

Michael J. Horowitz is director of Hudson Institute's Project for Civil Justice Reform and Project for International Religious Liberty. He gave an address on July 21, 2005 at the Anti-Persecution Rally in Washington, D.C., in support of Falun Gong. The following is the text of his speech.

Michael J. Horowitz, director of Hudson Institute's Project for Civil Justice Reform and Project for International Religious Liberty

I come here to offer thanks to you and your brave colleagues, more than I do the little support I can offer. You know in military units the bravest of the brave are the scouts. They're the ones to march first; they're the ones to have the greatest casualties; but they clear the path for those that come and without them success on the battlefield or success anywhere would not be possible for those who follow in their path. And you are the pathfinders. Not just for China but for all of us everywhere seeking democracy and rights throughout the world. I'm in such awe. I'm so grateful for the bravery, for the path-finding work of your practitioners. You clear the path in China for artists, for house church Christians, for political dissidents, because you are the scapegoats; you're people of the battleground on which the battle for freedom in China is being fought. Your television [programming], one of the miracles I've seen of energy, effort and ingenuity, sends messages of freedom and hope to little villages in China; where people gather the little bits of money they have to buy, secretly buy, receivers to receive [your] broadcast. My God, you stand for freedom for all of us, and thank you so very much.

And yet there is in some ways an even larger dimension; the great issue of the 21st century will be in all probability the competition between the United States and China and the great question is where that competition will be: to see who can make better cars or television sets, or a competition in blood or war? The answer to that question is the answer to whether the 21st century will be a century of peace for my grandchildren or the bloodbath that the 20th century has been for the people of the world. And the key question that will determine the competition between the United States and China will be a peaceful productive competition or a bloody war; will be if China is moved to democracy. God knows it is not there but we also know that there are people within China and people putting pressure on China to move it in the direction of democracy because we all know and Mark Palmer has written so eloquently that democracies don't wage war with each other. So the path-finding work is done by the Falun Gong, as you stand there for freedom of expression and freedom of religion and freedom to express ones thoughts. You are the pathfinders for democracy in China and therefore keepers of the hope for the world and for the 21st century. Thank you for that, thank you for that so very much. And the blood of every one of those 2,711 people [who have died from the persecution] and the more who are suffering torture in prisons are the blood and suffering that offers hope to my grandchildren for a peaceful 21st century. I will do whatever I can for them and for you and again I thank you so very, very much for your courage.

Coming here [to this rally] every year is one of the honours and high points. This is, I think the third year that I have come, yet I will tell you this: with every ounce of energy I have, an effort to match which I never will, the courage of those 2,711, I will work to see that next year's meeting is a celebration of victory for freedom and democracy. And if, no, when it is, I will again say thank you, and thank you for my grandchildren and thank you for all of us on this earth. Thank you very much.

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