FLUSHING, New York—participants at a rally celebrating the withdrawal of millions from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) were besieged by a large group of Chinese agitators Monday, in what event staff claim is a propaganda campaign organized by China's communist regime.
The mob of Chinese gathered across from a "Quit the CCP" rally and withdrawal center just outside of the Flushing Public Library in Manhattan, as the agitators shouted profanity and assaulted two female volunteers.
"I tried to reason with some people peacefully, but a woman refused to listen," Flushing resident Ms. Shi Rongfeng said. "She kept cursing and started to attack. She had a menacing look. If somebody didn't stop her, she would have kept on attacking us."
Withdrawal center volunteers said they have been coming to Flushing for years to hand out materials and accept withdrawal statements, experiencing no serious disruptions—until this weekend.
Participants of the rally—many of whom are Falun Gong practitioners—suspected Chinese communist officials had instigated the attack, due to the nature in which it unfolded and the actions of certain agitators.
"They were attacking us in the same way the Chinese Communist Party suppresses Falun Gong practitioners in China. They insulted us and shouted profanity," said Ms. Wu Hua. "Before the police arrived, the mob attacked two volunteer ladies. They wouldn't dare without someone backing them up.
"This is apparently a plotted and organized attack," she added.
The crowd of fomenters had increasingly grown from a smaller group that initially appeared Saturday and Sunday to an estimated 400 people on Monday.
Rally supporters claimed seeing familiar faces in both Sunday and Monday's mob.
"This attack is similar to the one on Sunday. People quickly surrounded volunteers at the service center. They closed in and they meant trouble," said Zhang Derong, a local resident and Falun Gong practitioner. "Then they started a verbal attack. They pointed at our poster display and shouted very nasty things. The rest of the crowd cheered them on. Some shouted, 'Get out! Get out! Kick them out of the place!'"
Local police concerned with the safety of service center volunteers, which included several elderly people, asked them to leave the scene. The police interviewed witnesses to the attack, and the event is under investigation.
The "Quit the CCP" rally and withdrawal centers—found throughout the world and online—are part of a movement spawned by the publication of The Epoch Times' The Nine Commentaries on the Chinese Communist Party , a damning expose of communism's emergence in China and its negative impact on modern Chinese culture and thought.
Monday's rally was held to celebrate reports of over 36 million withdrawals from the CCP since the fall of 2004, according to "Quit the CCP" event organizers.
China's state-run media channels were on site with television crews over the weekend and into Monday, according to witnesses. Some witnesses claimed the cameras were setup before the attacks had even begun.
People carrying television and still cameras moved about among the mob, shooting footage. A female reporter was overheard telling someone in the crowd she worked with a Changchun (Jilin Province, China) TV Station.
According to event organizers, following the recent earthquake in Sichuan, China's state media has repeatedly run negative reports against Falun Gong practitioners, accusing them of refusing to support relief efforts and using the recent tragedy to inflame hatred against the group.
But Ms. Wu says this was not what was behind the recent Flushing attacks. "Several men surrounded the volunteers at the service center, shouting insults. They didn't come here to collect donations for the earthquake in China."
According to the Falun Dafa Information Center, Zhou Yongkang, Secretary of the Chinese Communist Political and Judiciary Committee and former head of the Public Security Bureau, is suspected of organizing members of overseas Chinese student and community associations to instigate hatred against Falun Gong adherents, organize attacks, and obstruct practitioners' civil rights, including efforts in New York's Chinatown.
Several international lawsuits against Zhou have been filed by Falun Gong practitioners.
CCP Incites Flushing Mobs
Falun Gong is a spiritual practice once popular in China and outlawed by former CCP leader Jiang Zemin in 1999. Thousands of its practitioners have died in China under violent persecution by communist authorities and others continually harassed overseas, according to the group's websites.