Candlelight Vigil Brings 14 Years of Persecution to Light
LOS ANGELES—More than 100 Falun Dafa practitioners held a candlelight vigil at the Chinese consulate in Los Angeles on July 20. The event commemorated the 14th anniversary of the persecution of Falun Dafa, a peaceful spiritual practice, in China.
Speakers addressed the deplorable human rights situation in China, both human rights advocates and those who had experienced the persecution first-hand. Some of the speakers were: Dr. Paul Wu, a UCLA Professor and representative of U.S. Southwestern Falun Dafa Association; Dr. Dana Churchill, spokesman for Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting; Zhao Yishi, a Falun Dafa practitioner who was persecuted; and Helen Lee, a representative for the “Quit the Chinese Community Party” movement.
According to speaker Helen Lee, the Chinese people are changing. She said, “Ordinary people, even Party members, are finally awakening to the true nature of the Communist Party. They see the lies and want no more of it!”
Lee is actively involved in the “Quit the Chinese Community Party” movement, which helps Chinese people who were members of the Young Pioneers, Youth League, or members of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to renounce all affiliation with the Party.
“Now, after a person quits the party, family and friends are motivated to resign also,” said Lee. “They even use their real names to resign, instead of a pseudonym.”
Because these Quit the Communist Party sites are in tourist areas, many Chinese travel groups quit the CCP en masse. Lee said, “More and more incidents of group resignations are also occurring. The numbers of resignations are reaching 60,000–70,000 per day.”
Not only ordinary people are quitting. “Chinese Communist Party officials, who understand the nature of the CCP’s Political and Legal Affairs Committee system say, ‘Its deadline is approaching.’ They know they have to quit the CCP to help themselves. They actually use their real names to resign,” said Lee.
In an interview with Dr. Dana Churchill, he said, “What country in the world intentionally, wantonly kills its own citizens? At almost all levels of government, cadres at will abuse the Chinese people.”
Dr. Churchill addressed the on-demand organ harvesting of peaceful Falun Dafa practitioners in China. Dr. Churchill represents Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting (DAFOH), a nonprofit organization comprising a group of doctors from around the world who have become aware of China’s heinous practice of organ theft from Falun Dafa practitioners for profit.
Dr. Churchill challenged all governments, parliaments, and congresses around the world to step up and prohibit their medical systems and public from becoming accidental participants in this murderous practice.
“The Chinese Communist Party DOES care about China’s image in the international community because that is key to the Party’s legitimacy in the eyes of the Chinese people,” said Dr. Churchill.
“So it has spent billions of dollars on propaganda to maintain that image. Public criticism by the international community of China’s human rights abuses will certainly make its treatment of political and religious dissidents more restrained. Passing resolutions and laws will help save many lives of prisoners of conscience that could be killed for their organs otherwise.”
The Chinese regime had denied harvesting organs from executed prisoners for decades, pointed out Dr. Churchill, but with people and governments around the world giving visibility to the issue, some things have changed.
“After exposure of organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners, they formally and consistently admitted using organs of executed prisoners. Though their purpose is to cover up bigger crimes by admitting smaller ones, we can see international exposure and condemnation definitely make them more restrained,” said Churchill.
“Standing side by side with people in China by supporting their rights and freedom is engaging with the future of China. The regime could be gone, but Chinese people will be there forever,” he said. “When reflecting today on the WWII holocaust, people still ask, ‘Could we have done more at that time to save more lives? Could we have stopped it earlier?’”
Dr. Churchill has recently discussed this situation with several major hospitals in Los Angeles. He said that in one case the chief medical transplant doctor, upon receiving a flyer from his assistant during a meeting, immediately excused himself from that meeting to see Dr. Churchill. He had heard the rumors, but no one actually believed them. He now wants to become involved in the discussion and establish policies for California to prevent such crimes against humanity.
DAFOH has successfully sponsored legislation in other countries that forbids Chinese organs or insurance payments for Chinese organs [shipped to other counties] or organ transplants in China.
“Four countries, Israel, Spain, Taiwan and Australia, have taken the higher road,” said Dr. Churchill.