NEW YORK—Hundreds marched on Main Street in Flushing, Queens, on Saturday to stop the persecution of Falun Gong in China.
The date of the march was chosen to commemorate activities in China on April 25, 1999, when several thousand Falun Gong practitioners stood outside the central government compound in Beijing to appeal for their right to practice the spiritual discipline. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) had already begun to overtly suppress the practice prior to that point, but in July 1999 the CCP launched a full-scale persecution to eradicate Falun Gong.
Despite the rainy weather, the march began on schedule at noon. The Tian Guo (Celestial) Marching Band led the procession. Some practitioners demonstrated the Falun Gong exercises, while other marchers wore traditional Chinese costumes. Some wore white clothes in mourning of those tortured to death for their spiritual belief.
Among the participants were supporters of those who have quit the CCP. They carried banners to urge other Chinese citizens to do the same in order to create a “free China.”
The march ended on Kissena Boulevard near the Queens Library and was followed by a rally, calling for an end of the persecution of Falun Gong in China. Speakers shared personal stories and their family members’ experiences of being persecuted for practicing Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, while in China.
The CCP has shown no sign of ceasing the ongoing persecution. The Falun Dafa Information Center (FDIC) has tracked the brutal persecution over the past 11 years, while the Chinese communist regime has refused to address the issue publicly. Wide-scale organ harvesting, physical and psychiatric torture, rape and sexual assault, arbitrary imprisonment and forced labor, and psychological abuse have been documented by the FDIC.