NEW YORK—With the Chinese consul General facing possible expulsion from the United States, Council Member John Liu and State Assemblywoman Ellen Young under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice, and with numerous people facing criminal charges for attacking Falun Gong practitioners, many might be wondering what exactly is going on.
Flushing, a small community at the end of the 7 subway line into Queens, has become a focal point in New York as reports of violence and alleged corruption continue to surface. To properly understand the incidents that have taken place there, a look at the facts is necessary.
Diverting Attention from the Sichuan Earthquake
The spark that led to the incidents can be traced back to May 12, when an earthquake tore through China’s Sichuan province, taking the lives of over 80,000 people. The disaster not only shook the city, but also the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) image and the patriotism of its citizens.
Soon after, it was exposed that warnings about the earthquake that could have saved the lives of thousands, had been withheld by CCP officials. Faulty building practices were also found to be a major cause of building collapse. Photos released from Chinese media sources showed that next to the collapsed flimsy school buildings, state owned buildings were seemingly unaffected by the earthquake.
Many Chinese were stirred by the disaster and looked to the CCP for answers. An article published by Radio Free Asia on June 26 reported that when parents of students who lost their lives in the XinJian Elementary school in Dujiangyan gathered to demand an investigation, police intervened, beating some, and arresting at least three.
As more information began to leak into Chinese communities outside of China, The Global Service Center for Quitting the Chinese Communist Party, a volunteer organization which focuses on helping Chinese withdraw their membership from the CCP, reported a large influx of withdrawals. One of the main offices of the Service Center is located along Main Street in Flushing.
With the eyes of the world glaring clearly at its folly, CCP officials were left with little excuse to give. This combined with the CCP’s suppression of Tibetans, poor environmental conditions, and seemingly countless human rights abuses, all put pressure on the Olympics, and made it seem as if party officials had no place to hide.
It was under this condition that the CCP pulled out some of its old tricks by fabricating lies against its “class enemies,” and diverting attention by inciting hatred. It is written in the “Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party” that, “Whenever the Communist Party encounters an important issue that demands obedience from the populace, it uses ‘patriotism’ and ‘nationalism’ to mobilize people on short notice.”
“In all cases, including matters related to Taiwan, Hong Kong, Falun Gong, the collision between a US spy plane and a Chinese fighter jet, the CCP has used the combined method of high-pressure terror and collective brainwashing, thus bringing people to a war-like state of mind,” says the report. “This method is similar to that used by the German Fascists.”
Why Target Falun Gong?
Falun Gong was a likely target for the CCP as, through a massive propaganda campaign, the Chinese communist regime had already slandered the practice in the minds of many Chinese.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa is a peaceful meditation practice based in the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance. Practitioners of Falun Dafa believe in not hitting back when attacked and being kind and tolerant towards others.
The meditation practice was banned by the CCP in 1999 after a government poll found that between 70 and 100 million Chinese were practicing it. Soon after, the CCP launched a brutal persecution against Falun Gong while its state controlled media spread fabricated propaganda against the practice so as to justify the persecution to the Chinese people.
The First Attacks in Flushing
On May 17, the plot in Flushing took form when a group of Chinese numbering in the hundreds surrounded and attacked participants in a rally held by the local Falun Gong practitioners at the Service Center for Quitting CCP office in Flushing. The rally was held to celebrate the 36 million Chinese who had signed declarations to quit the CCP. Some members in the group physically attacked the Falun Gong practitioners. Others threw eggs and other objects, spat on, and threatened the Falun Gong practitioners with death. The organized violence against the rally was a first of its kind in the four years since the Service Center opened its office in Flushing.
The group operated in a highly organized fashion. Some of its members passed out drinks and communist flags, while multiple witnesses have claimed that they were offered money to participate in the attack. On June 25, Mao Yang, a Flushing resident of Chinese descent told reporters that he was offered $90 to do bad things against Falun Gong practitioners.
Conveniently, nearly all of the CCP’s local controlled media, including CCTV, had shown up for the rally, and were there to report when the attacks started. The CCP’s media normally does not cover stories about the Service Center or the Quitting the Party movement. Immediately following the incident, reports were published and broadcasted throughout mainland China and overseas Chinese communities that twisted facts about the rally.
One fabricated claim made by the CCP controlled media in their reports was that the incident was of Falun Gong practitioners who were trying to block donations for victims of the Sichuan earthquake. The reports also claimed that Falun Gong practitioners "do not care about the victims of the Sichuan earthquake" and "do not love China."
Similar attacks and lies have continued in Flushing. Yet, with the arrests of numerous attackers, the group has switched it tactics from physical abuse to verbal defamation and has begun distributing hate propaganda against Falun Gong throughout Flushing. It is stated in the “Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party” that, “When violence becomes too weak to sustain control, the CCP resorts to deception and lies, which serve to justify and mask the rule by violence.”
The group has set up two tables in Flushing, one along Main St. and one along Kissena Blvd. where they pass out materials. At least two of the individuals working at the tables were previously arrested for attacking Falun Gong practitioners.
Possible Expulsion of the Chinese Consul General
An investigative call to the New York, Chinese Consul General Peng Keyu was made by the World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (WOIPFG) on May 21. The recorded phone conversation has Peng on record admitting and boasting about his involvement with the group who had attacked the Falun Gong practitioners in Flushing. "They came over after they fought with Falun Gong and I shook hands with them one by one and thanked them," says Peng in a translation of the conversation.
"I went there the day before yesterday, and also three days ago," said Peng. "I usually park my car far from the scene because I must avoid being seen."
According to New York attorney Robert Gottlieb, who has been following the case in Flushing, the recording of Peng admitting his involvement in the incident could lead to his expulsion from the U.S.
When asked if the recording of Peng could act as enough evidence to expel him from the country, Gottlieb said, “There’s no question. That tape, which is a vicious signal by a foreign national of conspiring with other individuals to gather together to incite them to go out to beat people up merely for expressing their beliefs, that tape, hearing his words, really leaves no doubt of his complicity and certainly would be enough to have him expelled if the government chooses to do so.”
Investigations of John Liu and Ellen Young
Victims of the attacks in Flushing had tried multiple times to meet with Council Member John Liu and State Assemblywoman Ellen Young, yet were unsuccessful. It was later discovered that Liu and Young had been instead meeting with the people who had allegedly attacked Falun Gong practitioners in Flushing.
On June 29 an article was published by China Press (Chao Bao) about a meeting held between Young and the alleged attackers. A photo published with the article showed Young seated in her office with numerous individuals who had attacked Falun Gong practitioners. The article also mentioned that on the following day, June 30, Liu would be having an open office to any residents who wanted to present their cases.
The following day, on June 30, Epoch Times reporters, and other media showed up at Liu’s office. A press conference was held first and, when asked, Liu repeatedly denied any knowledge of the attacks against Falun Gong practitioners. CCP influenced media had also shown up, yet after seeing that Epoch Times and other Chinese free media had shown up, they only asked questions completely unrelated to the reported subject of the meeting, such as transportation issues.
Following the press conference, Falun Gong practitioners had shown up at Liu’s office in hopes of presenting their cases and asking Liu for support. Liu then kicked the Falun Gong practitioners out of his office, and is recorded saying, “Bye! Bye! Bye!” as he does so.
Falun Gong practitioners then went to Ellen Young’s office where, when asked if she would condemn the attacks against Falun Gong practitioners, she repeatedly changed the subject and diverted questions.
When Falun Gong practitioners had finally managed to meet with Liu and Young nearly two months later, Liu denied any knowledge of the violence, even after being shown a video of it taking place, while Young repeatedly diverted questions.
Following the meetings, on July 4, Flushing residents formed a committee to remove Liu and Young from office, The Committee to Recall New York City Council Member John Liu and New York State Assemblywoman Ellen Young. The Committee collected over 769 signatures from Flushing residents to remove the two officials from office and the signatures were passed to the New York City Council and State Assembly on Aug. 3.
On Sept. 10, it was reported that the U.S. Department of Justice has launched an investigation on Peng Keyu, John Liu, and Ellen Young.