FLUSHING, New York—A violent attack on Falun Gong adherents on Tuesday morning appears to have been incited by Chinese Consular officials and reports aired in the U.S. by China's state-run media that play on the Chinese people's sorrow over the Sichuan earthquake.
Video reports by China's Xinhua News released on the Internet reporting on the confrontation in Flushing on Tuesday are typical of reports aired for the last several days. A theme of those reports has been the claim that Falun Gong practitioners don't care about the victims of the Sichuan earthquake.
On Tuesday, Xinhua explained the riot in Flushing by claiming that Falun Gong practitioners had created anger in the local Chinese community when they disrupted an earthquake relief donation activity in Flushing.
A Chinese mob, believed to have been acting under the orders of Zhou Yongkang, violently assaults Falun Gong practitioners in Flushing on May 20. The video file can be seen here.
However, on the Main Street in Flushing on Tuesday, no earthquake relief activity or anything that could confirm the reports by China's official media was visible. Instead, at 10 a.m. there was an unprovoked attack on Falun Gong.
A small rally of a dozen Chinese Falun Gong practitioners stood silently in front of Flushing Public Library around a table. They held banners and signs urging people to quit the Chinese Communist Party and advertising the book The Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party published by The Epoch Times in 2004.
This peaceful rally was suddenly overwhelmed by a crowd of hundreds of angry Chinese protesters accosting the rally participants and shouting insults.
Before and after the attack, protesters made inflammatory accusations at Falun Gong practitioners from time to time, inciting the mob to flare with rage.
"I was informed by kindhearted local residents that this or that man in the mob works for the Chinese consulate. I was told about their hairdo and their clothes to identify them.
"These agents worked to incite the crowd. It was such a violent scene. They have brought the Chinese Communist Party's culture of violence to the United States," said Ms. Yi Rong, Vice Chairman of the service center to quit the Chinese Communist Party.
Not a single protester had a banner or sign about the earthquake in Sichuan.
Even in CCTV's footage on the "disrupted earthquake relief activity in New York," there was not a sign, banner or donation box for the cause. Yet there were a lot of banners held by Falun Gong practitioners that urged people to quit the Chinese Communist Party.
The ongoing confrontation in Flushing between a hostile mob and Falun Gong practitioners began on Saturday afternoon.
The global service center for quitting the Chinese Communist Party held a public rally in front of the Flushing Public Library on Main Street to celebrate the milestone of 36 million people having quit the Chinese Communist Party and its two affiliated student leagues.
Allegedly under the orders of Zhou Yongkang, the Secretary of China's Central Political and Legislative Committee, China's agents created a commotion at the rally and even physically assaulted rally participants.
A retired Chinese engineer in his 70's was one of the victims who were attacked. In accordance with Falun Gong's peaceful principles, those who were attacked did not fight back during both verbal and physical assaults.
According to Falun Gong practitioners in New York, they typically hold the same rally every month in Flushing, the heart of the Chinese community in New York.
On Saturday, the host began the rally by asking everyone to pay a silent tribute to the victims of the Sichuan earthquake. Nearly all the speakers at the rally expressed their concerns for the earthquake victims.
But these heartfelt speeches were completely eliminated from the footage of China's official media. Instead, China's media edited Falun Gong practitioners' speeches in order to interpret them out of context and mislead the TV audience.
Cultural Revolution in Flushing?
"If you had been there when the attack happened, you would have been terrified. It was as though the Cultural Revolution had started again because 'inciting one crowd to attack the other crowd' was a typical strategy used in China's Cultural Revolution.
"It was such a despicable act. I felt I was no longer in the United States. I felt as though I were in China again in the thick of the Cultural Revolution or at Tiananmen Square in the middle of the June 4 Student Massacre," recalled Yi.
"Local residents in Flushing were shocked by the attack. I think people in the community no longer feel safe," said Yi.
The service center has had booths in Flushing, Chinatown, and Brooklyn for years and has held similar rallies nearly every month. Why does the service center face attacks now?
"Because of the earthquake in Sichuan and the repeated protests against the Olympic Games, there are a lot of unhappy people in China. I believe the Chinese Communist Party is using patriotism to divert the Chinese people's attention.
"This is the same strategy that the Chinese Communist Party has been using consistently. But this may be the first time it has used the strategy in the United States. This is a new lesson for the Americans," explained Yi.
Mob Works in Shifts
During the attack, a middle-aged woman holding China's flag said accusingly that Falun Gong did nothing to help the victims of the Sichuan earthquake.
A middle-aged man wearing a blue-tooth earphone told a Chinese-American policeman, "You should not protect them (Falun Gong.) If not for your protection, Falun Gong [practitioners] would have been beaten death by now!"
Dr. Wang Wenyi, a Ph.D in Pathology, was one of the witnesses of the mob. She had arrived at the rally early in the morning on May 20.
"At around 10 a.m., I saw a group of people say to each other, 'Didn't the Chinese news report that Falun Gong would not come here again. Why are they here again?' Then they ran towards the service center and started to smash the booth.
"A few men stayed at the scene day and night, repeatedly calling for backup. After sunset, a group of students arrived," said Dr. Wang.
The angry crowd, claiming to come spontaneously, appeared to work on shifts. They told each other that they were from Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC. A man confessed that he came on false pretenses, "We were instructed to come here for the pro-Tibet independence rally."
Infected by the crowd, several elderly women began to condemn Falun Gong practitioners angrily. When asked the cause of their rage, they answered, "Falun Gong practitioners are here to obstruct people from donating money to the Sichuan earthquake victims."
"How did you know that?" They replied confidently, "They told us," pointing at the angry mob.