At noon on February 27, 2005, more than a thousand Falun Gong practitioners from around the world held a rally, "Facing Violence and Hatred with Compassion," at Union Square in San Francisco. They hoped to raise people's awareness of the persecution that is happening in China and together end the persecution. The persecution of Falun Gong practitioners has gained extensive attention of people from all walks of life. Members of U.S Congress and city and state council members came in person and gave speeches to urge the Chinese Communist regime to stop the persecution.
|Host Mr. Leining||Rally venue|
|Exercise demonstration||San Francisco Council member Daly|
California Congressman Tom Lantos sent a letter to support the rally, and sent his representative, Ms. Margery Farai, to present it. Lantos pointed out that we will let the Chinese Communist regime see that even when facing the darkest evil, justice will ultimately triumph. Mr. Lantos stated, "I'm very pleased to be with you to educate the people in the San Francisco Bay Area community about the peacefulness and rationality Falun Gong practitioners have demonstrated in the face of the Chinese Communist regime's over five-year persecution. I appreciate the peacefulness and benevolence that Falun Gong practitioners and their supporters have been upholding for a long period of time."
Congressman Lantos continued, "We have learned about the persecution of many more Falun Gong practitioners, and it is really shocking to us. Just because they follow the principles of Falun Gong, and practise the exercises, these courageous people have been subjected to brutal torture, their family members threatened and deprived of the basis for surviving. The number of people persecuted is so large, it is really shocking."
Congressman Lantos further stated, "The Chinese Communist regime conducts atrocities against so many people who follow peaceful and benevolent principles. It's unacceptable and incomprehensible to me. When we attend a rally like today, we salute those who are facing violence and hatred with their peacefulness and benevolence. We will let the Chinese Communist regime see that even if facing the darkest evil, justice will ultimately triumph."
California State Assembly member Mark Leno issued a certificate of award to Friends of Falun Gong. He congratulated Falun Gong practitioners on holding the rally entitled, "Facing Violence and Hatred with Compassion." Mr. Leno said "You have created a good environment and solid foundation for believers of Falun Gong in San Francisco."
City and County of San Francisco Supervisor Chris Daly also attended the rally. When talking about the Chinese Communist regime's interference with Falun Gong practitioners' participation in the Chinese New Year Parade in mid-February, Mr. Daly stated, "Everyone may have heard about the Chinese New Year's parade held in San Francisco last week. At the beginning, when I heard that Falun Gong practitioners' parade application was rejected, I immediately told my Falun Gong friend, 'I will participate in this parade; if you can't participate, you can join me in the parade.'"
Mr. Daly pointed out that the organiser of the parade has a connection with the Chinese government that persecutes Falun Gong, which puts pressure on the organiser. He said, "Last week, I proposed to hold a court hearing about the manner in which the Chinese Chamber of Commerce treated Falun Gong. Through a court hearing, we will expose the Chinese Communist regime that persecutes Falun Gong, and its relationship with its agent in San Francisco. We will strive to secure Falun Gong practitioners' rights and freedom of belief, and follow the principle of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance."
Former veteran UK diplomat Lord Thurlow also came to support the activity. He stated that we should let more people learn about the persecution of Falun Gong, because exposing the evil is the most powerful weapon to end the five and a half years of persecution. In the past 50 years, the Chinese Communist Party has committed a lot of crimes. Up to now, many Falun Gong practitioners have been tortured to death, and even their children are persecuted. However, the Chinese Communist regime has been attempting to cover up these persecution facts using lies and propaganda, deceiving not only the people in China, but Chinese people overseas through its embassies and consulates. Lord Thurlow said, "We can no longer allow this to go on endlessly. The media in a free society has the responsibility to let the Chinese people learn the truth. We call upon all the media to speak out for Falun Gong practitioners."
Council Member Forrest Williams of San Jose, California congratulated Falun Gong practitioners on holding the rally and their peaceful journey over the past five years. He stated that even though Falun Gong practitioners have been subjected to brutal persecution in China, they have never faced it with hatred. Instead, they have been benevolent and kind. Council Member Williams stated that he hope the persecution will soon be stopped.
Council member Linda Maio from Berkeley, California stated, "It is very important to stand by you; you have the right to practise your belief. Americans takes the freedom of belief as the basis for creating the nation. We originally came to this country to escape persecution for our beliefs, so it is very important to stand by you. Wherever I travel, I see Falun Gong practitioners on the streets clarifying the facts to people. I think all religious believers should stand by you to support you. Because the persecution has affected you, it will affect every one of us."
|Calling for the rescue of orphans whose parents have been tortured to death||People signing their names on the yellow cloth calling for the end to the persecution|
American citizen Charles Lee's fiancé, Yeong-ching Foo talked about the experience of Charles Lee being arrested for attempting to tell the Chinese people the truth about Falun Gong when he returned to China. She called for people's continuous attention to his situation and ask them to extend their help to rescue Charles Lee and bring him back home. Ms. Wang Yiqun talked about the Chinese Communist regime's brutal persecution, which has caused so many Falun Gong practitioners to be tortured to death. Many of their children left behind have to live a homeless life. She hoped that kind-hearted people can help rescue these orphans. Dr. Huang Wanqing from Georgia talked about his younger brother Huang Xiong, who was arrested in April, 2003 for practising Falun Gong. His whereabouts are now unknown. Dr. Huang said he appreciated the efforts of U.S. Congressmen and the American government in their support of Falun Gong. He urged the Chinese government to immediately release Huang Xiong and all Falun Gong practitioners who are being detained by the Chinese Communist regime.
There was also an anti-torture exhibition and the "Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance" Art Exhibition at the rally site. A man who signed his name on the yellow cloth calling for an end to the persecution said, "I'm very glad that you can tell all this to people, because much information about what is happening in China has been blocked and the outside world has no idea what is taking place there. Today is the first time for me to learn about the persecution of Falun Gong in China. This persecution should not happen."
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