LOS ANGELES—Falun Gong (also known as Falun Dafa) practitioners joined gathered opposite the People’s Republic of China Consulate in Los Angeles on July 20 to call for an end to persecution in China and harassment here in the United States.
July 20 marks the 13th anniversary of the beginning of the persecution of the spiritual practice of Falun Dafa in China. On that date the Chinese regime began using propaganda, arrests, brainwashing, and torture in an attempt to eradicate the practice.
Opposite the Consulate on Friday night the Los Angeles the group lit candles for a vigil and most meditated, while some stood near the edge of the street holding banners in Chinese and English.
Practitioners said the vigil was to honor the memory of those who were killed during the persecution and to call for an end to it. They also called for an end to the harassment they say they endure in Los Angeles at the hands of Chinese Communist Party (CCP) agents.
Falun Dafa involves practicing five sets of gentle, meditative exercises and living according to teachings based on truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. It was first publicly taught in China in May, 1992 and rapidly became wildly popular. By early 1999, state authorities estimated between 70 and 100 million Chinese had taken up the practice.
The then-head of the CCP, Jiang Zemin, feared the popularity of the practice and the possibility that the Chinese people would prefer Falun Dafa’s teachings to communist ideology.
According to the Falun Dafa Information Center over 3,400 practitioners have been confirmed as having died from torture and abuse, although the Center speculates the true number is in the tens of thousands. In addition, according to investigators, tens of thousands practitioners have been killed through having their organs harvested.
After the vigil, there were speeches. Among the speakers was Zhu Yurong, Ph.D. An associate professor in marine science at an elite university in China, she fled to the United States a little over five years ago to escape persecution. She is now an office worker in Los Angeles.
Zhu told The Epoch Times that Falun Dafa practitioners have refused to remain silent about the persecution they have suffered in China. She said that, because of the practitioners’ efforts, the Chinese people have in recent years become aware of the persecution—a crime the regime has tried to keep hidden.
“In China, the practitioners initiated a public effort throughout the country to communicate that ‘Falun Dafa is Good.’ They would appear on Tiananmen Square and unfurl banners stating ‘Falun Gong is Good’ to both tourists and Chinese, write the statement on currency bills, distribute handbills, and post posters during the night for the public to see in the morning.”
Zhu said that although she is here in the United States, her efforts on behalf of Falun Dafa have repercussions inside China.
“Out of conscience I have participated in many Falun Gong protests against the CCP’s brutal persecution since I came to the United States. But the CCP’s security officials have harassed and threatened my family members [in China] over the past several years because of my participating in these activities.”
In her speech, Dr. Zhu proceeded to call upon her previous schoolmates, teachers, colleagues, leaders, friends, and fellow countrymen, whom she had known in China and also here in the United States and abroad, to “seriously find out the truth of Falun Gong.”
She also encouraged them to read the “Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party.” The “Nine Commentaries” was originally published by The Epoch Times as an editorial series in the autumn of 2004. It was almost immediately republished as a book.
The “Nine Commentaries” provides an uncensored history of the CCP. It is credited with inspiring a movement to renounce all affiliations with the CCP—to date over 120 million Chinese have done so, according to the Global Service Center for Quitting the CCP.
Dr. Zhu predicted that the CCP would end and hoped that everyone would disassociate themselves from it before it did.
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