Viernheim Daily News, November 20, 2001: “March against Dictatorship and Duress”

From our editorial staff, Ruven Sauer

VIERNHEIM – This past weekend five Chinese female Falun Gong practitioners raised awareness about their concerns as they participated in the worldwide march to rescue the Falun Gong practitioners in China.

Twenty-six different countries around the world have already witnessed these marchers, including fifteen European states. In Germany alone, twenty cities have seen such marches. These five women who were also present in Viernheim marched through Heidelberg’s inner city.

One of the participant’s names is Wang (in the interest of protecting her and others we will not disclose her full name.)

“Falun Gong is not a sect,” counters Wang the western world’s perceived association with this group. “We are a movement that has approximately 100 million members worldwide. That number is a big thorn in the eyes of China. Perhaps on the one hand they fear a mass movement, on the other they are fearful of our principles of “Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance” in connection with Chinese people’s efforts to raising their own moral convictions among their already decaying mental attitudes.”

To justify the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners, the leaders of state have slandered the movement, internally and externally, calling it a religious sect.

But this not what Falun Gong is says Wang, “We represent a meditation system and, to be to true to our tenets, we practice the exercises and study our literature to further our understanding of the principles. Besides, there is no hierarchical structure or any kind of pressure, which is so common in sects.”

“More Powerful than Dictatorship by Force”

In spite of the difficult situation in which the movement finds itself, its people feel assured that its own principles will eventually prove stronger than the might of dictatorship and force.

Some of the movement’s members are walking to complete the route between Berlin and Munich; the other walkers are a group for the Trier/Germany to Salzburg/Austria March. Part of the purpose of the march is to raise particular awareness to the plight of [Falun Gong practitioner] Zhao Ming. “He had studied in Ireland. When he went home to China at Christmas time in 1999 to visit his parents he was arrested. Since then, in spite of the fact that he had no supervisory role in the movement and is a regular practitioner, he has been incarcerated in a force labor camp and is in all likelihood being tortured there,” so says Mrs. Wang who responds with a definite “yes” if she or her fellow practitioners would meet with the same fate should they visit their native country.

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