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Major, yet sobering: Five years of the Falun Gong persecution in China
July 20, 2004 (CSN) -- It is the occasion of the five-year anniversary of the beginning of the Falun Gong crackdown in China. The occasion is being marked with major events world wide, including Washington events on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
A public rally will be held Thursday on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, 10:30am to 1:00pm, including the "torture exhibit," a re-enactment to demonstrate the methods of torture in Chinese prisons, as employed against Falun Gong practitioners. The rally is preceded by a Save The Kids bike ride, with bicyclists joined by teenage riders who have bicycled from Canada to raise awareness of Falun Gong's plight from a youth angle. They will bicycle past the Chinese embassy on their way to the rally, which will be followed by a 'grand march.'
Friday promises another striking display of solidarity. The "Great Wall of Courage" will be a human chain stretching from the Chinese embassy, past the White House, and south to the World War II memorial. (The Chinese embassy is at 2300 Connecticut Ave., NW.) Over 3,000 Falun Gong practitioners in their distinctive yellow T-shirts will collect beginning at 11:00am, for the standing of the wall from noon - 6:00pm. A candlelight vigil will appear near the Lincoln Memorial, from 8:30pm - 10:00pm.
'Truth clarifying' will be another event. CSN's John Kusumi said, "The truth will be thoroughly clarified by the end of day. They mean business." On Saturday, Falun Gong is having an 'experience sharing' conference, and then Sunday the action picks up in Boston.
Recently, Kusumi (who does not practice Falun Gong) was asked about Falun Gong in an interview, and he reflected these thoughts--
The fear of Falun Gong was misplaced...If matters work out well in the future, Li Hongzhi is going to be remembered as a [non-politician] genius who saved China, because for all of China's leadership to face, he put three issues on the table: Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance...not just principles, they can each be a political issue. And in examining them, we see exactly where China has been falling down, under the CCP.... It makes you wonder, what is the CCP's banner? "Lying, cheating, and stealing?"
Turning of the Tide?
Torture and Killings Remain Rampant, Yet Signs of Hope Point to End of Falun Gong Persecution in China
NEW YORK (FDI) -- Five years ago today, men and women throughout China were taken from their homes in the middle of the night to face an indoctrination process consisting of scare tactics, brainwashing, and other forms of coercion meant to break their beliefs.
Some were eventually tortured to death, while others sent to forced labor camps for up to 18 years. To date, there have been over 30,000 documented cases of severe abuse and torture of Falun Gong practitioners. According to information from sources inside the Chinese government the death toll could be well over 5,000; details of over 1,000 have already been documented.
Yet, after five years of violent suppression, there is something on the horizon rarely seen amidst such terror: Hope. This hope is ushered in and reaffirmed by three developments.
1) Jiang Zemin's crimes against the people of China, which include leading the campaign against Falun Gong as well as a hand in the SARS cover-up, fomenting hostilities with Taiwan, and embezzling enormous sums, have to some degree been uncovered and reported by major media such as the Washington Post, the New York Times, and CNN. Jiang is increasingly regarded as a cancer within the Chinese leadership for his abuse of political power. Untold millions have been spent hounding peaceful Falun Gong practitioners in Jiang's name, while so many of China's needs suffer as a result of the depleted resources.
2) Millions of Falun Gong practitioners inside China -- engaging in perhaps the largest grass-roots effort of civil disobedience in history -- have worked for five years to unravel the web of fear and hatred spun by China's state-run media. By hanging posters and handing out flyers in villages and cities across the country, posting articles online, and most of all talking with fellow citizens heart-to-heart, gradually the people of China are coming to tell the facts from the fallacies. The people are realizing the extent to which state-run media have distorted Falun Gong and just how far Jiang's faction has gone terrorizing peaceful, non-political citizens.
3) Falun Gong practitioners, their families and supporters, and concerned government officials around the world have dedicated countless hours to penetrate the iron curtain of China's information blockade. A newfound awareness is growing about what happens behind closed doors in China's police stations and forced labor camps. Through these efforts, the crimes of Jiang's faction have received greater and greater scrutiny, and are now being brought before court rooms around the world. Indeed, the scales of justice are -- for the first time -- beginning to judge Jiang and those who have followed him.
At this very moment, hundreds of thousands -- if not millions -- of Falun Gong practitioners continue to languish in China's forced labor camps, so many being tortured, enslaved. In July's first weeks alone, a dozen Falun Gong deaths were verified, with many further cases of abuse and torture coming in.
And so we are called upon to not lessen our efforts in remitting these wrongs, and inspired by knowing that everything we do -- be it writing a letter, making a call, or supporting a congressional resolution -- is felt throughout China. Lives can be saved as the powerful deterrent of international scrutiny and the promise of -- in time -- rule of law, gives pause to would-be tormentors as they are forced to reflect that, in the end, there will be no impunity.
The days of Jiang's campaign are numbered. It is painted in bright yellow hues on walls and passageways throughout China, reading "Falun Dafa is great!" It echoes throughout Beijing and its suburbs, gasped in collective, indignant sighs of "Enough!" It is pledged in a growing chorus of voices among some Chinese police and even government officials.
The tides are turning. May we see to it they turn sooner, surer. In this there is great hope.
Published by the China Support Network (CSN). Begun as the American response group in 1989, CSN represents Americans who are "on the side" of the students in Tiananmen Square -- standing for democratic reform, human rights, and freedom in China. For dissident news; to support a stronger China policy; or get more information, see http://www.chinasupport.net.
This article appears on AFAR with permission from CSN.
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