Parade Commemorating Persecution of Falun Gong in San Francisco
A parade commemorating the 19th anniversary of the persecution of Falun Gong in China was held in San Francisco on July 14, 2018.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a traditional meditation practice with roots in ancient China. The practice consists of five exercises that help people improve their bodies and health.
“They’re great exercises. They help relax your mind, your body. They heal your body, and people have had a lot of miraculous effects from doing the exercises and doing the practice,” said Chris Kitze, Falun Gong practitioner.
The main principles of Falun Gong teach people to follow truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance.
“We want people to know this is something really good for everybody. So, we want to share the goodness about Falun Dafa’s practice,” said Yuli, a Falun Gong practitioner.
Today, the commemoration parade is a peaceful demonstration to bring awareness to the events happening in China. It is also a way to remember the lives lost to the persecution.
“Because the persecution still continues, that’s why every year during this time, Falun Gong practitioners will get together. And, they are all volunteers, they want to bring the awareness and let the society know what’s happening in China and what’s still going on,” explain Yuli.
Currently, thousands of practitioners in China have been killed as part of an organ harvesting practice. However, this documented statistic is believed to be lower than the actual number of people. The actual number of practitioners killed is believed to be in the millions.
Despite the ongoing persecution, Falun Gong practitioner hold these parades as a way to show peacefulness and a nonviolent struggle.
“What it does is just, it shows people that you don’t have to use violence or politics to try to rectify this kind of injustice and this kind of situation. And that to me the, that is the message of today, and … I’m hoping the whole world get to know about the persecution and to make a good choice for their future,” said Chris.
The parade started at the Civic Center and passed through Market Street, ending in Portsmouth Square, Chinatown. The parade was led by a marching band, followed by many colorful banners and signs.