BOSTON—In sharp contrast to the Empire State Building's display of China's communist colors for 60 years of rule, another celebration marked the 60 million Chinese who have renounced their affiliations with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
The celebration took place Sunday, Oct. 4, on Boston Common and was hosted by the Boston branch of the Global Service Center for Quitting the Chinese Communist Party, a nonprofit group that encourages Chinese to peacefully disassociate themselves from the CCP. They run a Web site, and host rallies and community events to get the message out.
In her opening remarks, Joy Zhou, director of Boston’s Global Service Center, encouraged everyone from China to stand up and renounce the Chinese Communist Party. There was a station for people to sign up and add their names to the more than 60 million Chinese who have already renounced their associations with the regime.
Global Service Centers serve as safe havens for Chinese around the world to voice their opinions and withdraw from the CCP without fear of reprisal. Ms. Zhou shared many stories of people calling from China and thanking the Center for its work.
Also present at the event were John Kusumi, founder of the China Support Network; Harold Shurtleff, regional field director of the John Birch Society; and Xie Zhongzhi, chairman of China Democracy and Long March Foundation of Boston.
The event, through an extensive poster display, musical performances, and speeches, told the crowd about the violent political campaigns of the Chinese communist regime, and emphasized the importance of the Chinese people cutting psychological ties with it.
The CCP delineates three forms of membership: the Young Pioneers of China (for children aged 6–14), the Communist Youth League of China (for ages 14–28), and full membership.
“The Communist Party’s rule is based on two methods: One is pressure and violence, the other is spiritual brainwashing,” David Gao, president of the Service Center, said in a July interview with The Epoch Times. The CCP is responsible for 80 million deaths through its various political campaigns. Some religious believers and political dissidents are still arrested and tortured in China today.
When making membership vows, Chinese youth are expected to swear their lives to the CCP and are told that the Chinese flag is “dyed with blood.” The Service Center regards these rituals, employed on a wide scale in schools throughout China, as brainwashing. They estimate that at least one billion Chinese have been implicated in one way or another.
Though official membership in the Young Pioneers and Youth League expires when the member turns 14 or 28, the Service Center believes that only when individuals explicitly renounce their past affiliations does it count.
Renouncing the CCP is a spiritual movement for the Chinese people, David Gao says. “Renouncing the Party is to realize from your heart that the Party is very bad, to realize how good traditional culture is. It’s about saying: ‘I want to be a person with morality. I don’t want to be a bad person; I want to be a good person.’”
John Kusumi, speaking at the rally, reflected on the campaign as a way to “isolate the evil doers and constrain them from doing their evil ways.”
He spoke about how violently the Chinese regime has persecuted groups such as Falun Gong, a meditation practice based on truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance.
He also spoke about the “Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party,” an editorial series published four years ago by The Epoch Times. The publication discusses the violent past and present of China’s communist regime.
Harold Shurtleff spoke about the lack of freedom in China. At an event in Boston the previous week where the Chinese flag was raised at City Hall, his group attended in protest. At that event, he asked a Chinese in attendance what would happen if they were in China protesting the same way with banners. The person answered that in China “you would be arrested.” The lack of freedom in China is one reason his group supports the movement to renounce the CCP.
Sunday’s event on Boston Common showed that this movement is not only important to ethnic Chinese, both in China and abroad, but to those in the West as well.
Riordan Galluccio, for example, a Falun Gong practitioner, spoke about his experience in China in 2002. He was arrested, beaten, and interrogated in Beijing for traveling to China with a group of like-minded individuals to protest the persecution of Falun Gong. “People should see the CCP for what it is, an evil vehicle for oppression,” he said.
The Global Service Center for Quitting the Chinese Communist Party has sponsored events similar to the one in Boston around the world. As the number of withdrawals steadily grows, the celebrations are also increasing.
The Epoch Times hosts a subdomain (tuidang.epochtimes.com) that keeps track of the number of renunciations.