LOS ANGELES—Hundreds of Falun Gong practitioners gathered opposite the Chinese Consulate in Los Angeles on April 25 to commemorate a gathering that took place on this day 15 years ago in Beijing. On April 25, 1999, 10,000 Falun Gong practitioners sought out the National Appeals and Calls Office in Beijing, which is nearby the Party leadership’s compound, to ask for a remedy for grievances.
In doing so, the practitioners were following a precedent that has ancient roots. Long ago, because of corruption at local and provincial levels in China, the Emperor established an imperial Appeals Office allowing him to observe how local leaders were governing their people. The emperor sought to help ensure stability in the empire.
Under the Chinese Communist Party, this Appeals Office has mainly served to help the regime identify troublemakers—less than 1 percent of complaints are ever acted upon. Recently, Xi JinPing declared that all appeals will occur at the local levels, and there would not be access to another level of appeal.
Several speakers addressed the crowd opposite the Consulate.
Dr. Yingnian Wu, PhD and UCLA professor and Spokesperson of Falun Gong practitioners in the greater LA area addressed the group regarding a general misunderstanding that the April 25 event caused the persecution. He discussed how the CCP had already been harassing Falun Gong practitioners for some time, while having agencies undermine the practice publicly.
Dr. Dana Churchill, associated with Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting (DAFOH), discussed progress on various fronts around the world to stop what he called “this unbelievable crime against humanity”—forced organ harvesting from living Falun Gong practitioners in China. In December 2013 the European Union passed a resolution opposing forced organ harvesting.
Shuying Li is a retired school teacher from mainland China and a Falun Gong practitioner. She was arrested several times and was sent to a labor camp for refusing giving up her spiritual belief. She recalled the CCP’s defamation of Falun Gong before the April 25 appeal. She participated in that appeal. In her remarks she described how the practitioners provided their own food and water to the police, after seeing them suffer in the hot weather for hours.
Helen Le, local coordinator for the Quit the Chinese Communist Party campaign, said that hundreds of thousands were quitting the CCP monthly. Since the effort to quit the Party began in November 2004, 163,802,836 have severed their affiliation with the CCP and its associated organizations, which is a monthly average of 1,437,000 people per month.