WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is in a weakened state, and a new China—free and democratic—will soon emerge, according to the themes of the rally at the Washington Monument late in the morning on a very hot Friday afternoon, July 18.
The large rally marks the passing of 40 million people who have quit the CCP or its affiliations. The speakers came from the many organizations that have formed in opposition to the suppression of freedom in China and its neighboring countries, North Korea, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam.
One of the banners said, “Support forty million people resigning from the Chinese Communist Party.”
Dr. Dawei Gao, co-founder and president of the Global Service Center for Quitting the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) asserted that the natural disasters China is undergoing, referring to the earthquake in Sichuan, is an indication from heaven that the CCP is crumbling.
About 2000 people, many of whom were Falun Gong practitioners from around the world, attended. Afterwards, at noon, they marched to Farragut Square, led by a 200 member band in blue and white uniforms, while a rousing drum contingent in yellow and red ancient costume brought up the rear.
One banner said, “Stop CCP’s Tyranny / End CCP’s Nine Year Persecution of Falun Gong.”
An evening candle-light vigil for those killed by the regime and for those still held in labor camps and prisons capped off the day.
Perhaps the most dramatic moment came when Jun Wang, who is chairman of the China Democracy party World Union, announced that he had brought today the names—real names, not aliases—of 60 Chinese who had denounced the CCP. He was flanked by many of his supporters who each held their political party’s flag, modeled after the U.S. flag, with red and white stripes, and a blue section in the upper left corner with many stars surrounding one big star.
Also, very moving was the singing of Courtney Dove, whose song she composed, Tuidang, Set Them Free, is based on the Chinese word, Tuidang, for “withdraw.” One line from the song is, “too many people misled,” referring to the wholesale propaganda the CCP engages in by its control of the media.
Dr. Clive Ansley, a Canadian Human Rights attorney, who is the North American Chairman of the Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong in China, cannot understand why the Western media does not report on the persecution of Falun Gong, especially after the publication of Bloody Harvest by two Canadian attorneys, which gives “impeccable evidence” of the involuntary removal of vital organs of living Falun Gong practitioners.
A “direct” genocide is going on now, said Ansley, with perhaps 100,000 Falun Gong practitioners killed on the operating table.
“The authors David Matas—the leading human rights attorney in Canada—and David Kilgour, former Secretary of State for Far Eastern affairs—are unimpeachable sources,” Dr. Ansley said. “It is not coming from the National Enquirer or Fox News.”
President Bush’s plan to attend the opening ceremony was also criticized. “He missed a one-time opportunity,” said Mr. Karma Zurkhang, former chairman of Tibetan-American Association. He said that the best estimates are that about 1,000 Tibetans were killed during the March 14, 2008 protests and around 5,000 are being held in custody.
With China’s ascendency in world affairs and becoming an economic powerhouse and host of the 2008 Olympic Games, one might conclude that the rulers of China are secure in their position. But the speakers at this rally said the Olympics is just a show, like the Nazi’s 1936 Berlin Olympics, and the party structure is crumbling as the Chinese people learn about the history of the Party through the publication of the Nine Commentaries.
Another theme at the rally is that now we can imagine China without the CCP. This idea is a new one for most Chinese. For example, in the forced-labor camps where hundreds of thousands of Chinese citizens are sentenced to labor without a trial, the CCP tries to indoctrinate their prisoners that China’s economic success in the world depends on the CCP, and that the two are inseparable. Even detainees learn to sing about this.
Media censorship from the regime is manifested most recently by pressuring the Eutelsat, a European satellite operator, which was conveying New Tang Dynasty TV (NTDTV) signals to mainland China. NTDTV is the only Chinese language station that provides uncensored news to mainland China. Allegedly due to pressure from the regime, on June 16, Eutelsat cut off the station in the hope of courting favor with China just weeks before the Chinese Olympics.
But the 40 million people resigning from the CCP or its affiliates would seem to indicate that Eutelsat is placing itself on the wrong side of history, said Shujia Gong, a columnist for the Chinese Epoch Times. “It’s a clear signal that the Chinese people are repudiating the CCP.”
Referring to Eutelsat’s president and CEO, Guiliano Berretta, Mr. Gong said: “President Berretta is still trying his best to please the Chinese dictators by trading in Eutelsat principles of non-discrimination, equal access, and respect for media pluralism.”
Pointing out the elaborate precautions the Chinese communist officials are making in preparation for the Olympics, Mr. Gong says: “…you can hardly tell if it is for a Game or for a war! And clearly, these security measurements are not targeting the terrorists, but ordinary Chinese people! President Berretta, the CCP is on the brink of collapse!”
Some Falun Gong practitioners protested outside the U.S. Department of State in the late morning, informing officials of how the People’s Republic of China’s consulate in New York City, in Queen’s Flushing, is promoting and orchestrating pro-communist mobs to threaten persons volunteering for the Quit the CCP Center. The protest moved across from the White House in the late afternoon.
A letter to President Bush from the Eastern US Buddha’s Study Falun Dafa Association was sent to the President and read at the protest outside the White House, urging the U.S. government and President Bush to take action on the ongoing hate crimes against adherents of Falun Gong in New York City. The Eastern US Buddha’s Study Falun Dafa Association said that Bush and his administration should consider immediately deporting Chinese Consul General Keyu Peng from the U.S.
Although only about 500 practitioners were expected because of meetings scheduled at the same time, 1,500-2,000 practitioners turned out to the candle-light vigil at the Washington Monument in the late evening. “This says a lot about the importance of the event and of commemorating those practitioners who have lost their lives in the nine-year persecution of Falun Dafa,” said Donna Ware, a local practitioner and an organizer of the event.
A little different set up this year: Paper bags with votive candles spelled out "Righteous Law" in Chinese characters which were set off by a series of lit torches on either side. Opening remarks emphasized the greatness of practitioners who lost their lives safeguarding the “Truth” of the “Universe.”
Falun Gong adherents mostly from Taiwan demonstrated in front of the Chinese embassy in the late afternoon. Suying Yi, a woman in her 30s, led the group of about 75 Taiwanese, who practiced the exercises and tried to create a peaceful atmosphere there. Ms. Yi herself was returning to the site for the fourth time when she comes to the Falun Gong annual conference in DC. Ms. Yi devotes much time in her homeland calling China and explaining to mainland Chinese about the CCP and how it has deceived them.
Grace Yao and Donna Ware contributed to this report.