(Minghui.org) Falun Gong practitioners in Northern California were invited to participate in the 154th Italian Heritage Parade in San Francisco on October 9, 2022, and were warmly welcomed by the organiser and spectators.
San Francisco’s first annual Italian Heritage Parade was held in 1868, and today it is the longest-running Italian Heritage Parade in the United States, celebrating the achievements and culture of all Italian-Americans.
The parade started from Fisherman’s Wharf at noon and proceeded south through North Beach on Columbus Avenue and ended in Washington Square in San Francisco’s Little Italy.
The Falun Gong procession included the Tian Guo Marching Band, an exercise demonstration group and a float. Spectators waved to practitioners, applauded, took pictures and gave many thumbs up.
Jim Harvey, a trombone player who participated in the parade, had watched the Tian Guo Marching Band perform before the parade. He said that the band members had great skills, and he liked their performance very much.
“I read The Epoch Times every day,” Jim said. “I am familiar with Falun Gong. Falun Gong is good. I support the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance 100 percent.” He said the persecution of Falun Gong in China is horrible.
Parade Moderator: Welcome Falun Gong
When the Falun Gong procession passed the viewing stage, the parade moderator welcomed and introduced Falun Gong.
Melinda Sullivan took her children to watch the parade. When the Falun Gong procession passed by, she applauded the practitioners. She said, “This procession is so beautiful. It’s a pleasure to see different cultures. The music they play is amazing.”
Melinda said she had heard of Falun Gong before, “I know Falun Gong, they are a great group. I support Falun Gong. I heard that the CCP is persecuting Falun Gong. The persecution is absolutely wrong. Falun Gong is a peaceful group. They often participate in community activities.”
Hong Kong Woman: I Support Falun Gong
Ms. Huang, who comes from Hong Kong, watched the Falun Gong procession with a happy smile. She said, “Falun Gong is great. I know Falun Gong, and I like the music they play. When I was in Hong Kong, I often read Falun Gong information the practitioners gave me.”
She said, “In the beginning, I didn’t believe what they said. Then I read more and more and noted that Falun Gong was seriously persecuted. The CCP is also persecuting Hong Kong people now, so I have personal experience. I support Falun Gong. Falun Gong practitioners have been suppressed by the CCP for so long. They are still persevering, and they are getting bigger and bigger, so I think Falun Gong is great. And you speak very well on social media. Many people support you.”
Josh and his wife Cindy liked the Falun Gong procession. Cindy said the team was so beautiful. Josh agreed with his wife. He said, “The music they played is beautiful, and the clothes are colorful. Falun Gong’s principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance are wonderful.”
Audience: In Today’s World, We Need Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance
“The Falun Gong group is my favorite,” Susan said. “I like Falun Gong very much. I like Falun Gong’s principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. In today’s world, we need Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. The persecution is totally wrong and should stop. Everyone should be entitled to freedom.”
Cathy, a San Francisco resident and a consultant, waved when she saw the Falun Gong procession pass by. She said that the persecution of Falun Gong is wrong. She expressed her support of peaceful protests against the persecution. She also expressed her appreciation for the performance of the Tian Guo Marching Band and said that practitioners were talented.
“You are the best, I stand with Falun Gong,” said Kevin, while giving a thumb up to the practitioners as they passed by. “I like the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.”
It’s a Special Day to See Falun Gong
Tania watched the parade from the road side. When she saw the Falun Gong procession, she was happy, and she imitated the hand gestures of the practitioners who demonstrated the exercises. A practitioner then stepped forward to teach her. After learning, she said that the exercises were very good. She said she felt a strong energy, which not only penetrated her body, but also reached her soul. She was excited and said it was a special day for her to see and learn Falun Gong.
Marina followed along with the exercise demonstration in the parade. She said she felt the energy flowing in her body when she was doing the exercises. She said several times in a row, “This exercise is very good. I love Falun Gong.”
Background: What Is Falun Dafa and Why is the CCP persecuting it?
Falun Dafa (also known as Falun Gong) was first introduced to the public by Mr. Li Hongzhi in Changchun, China, in 1992. The spiritual discipline is now practiced in over 100 countries and regions worldwide.
Millions of people who have embraced the teachings, which are based on the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance, and have learned the five exercises, have experienced improved health and well-being.
Jiang Zemin, former head of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), perceived the spiritual discipline’s growing popularity as a threat to the CCP’s atheistic ideology and on July 20, 1999, he issued an order to eradicate the practice.
Under Jiang’s personal direction, the CCP established the 610 Office, an extralegal security organisation with the power to override the police and judicial systems and whose sole function is to carry out the persecution of Falun Dafa.
Minghui.org has confirmed the deaths of thousands of practitioners as a result of the persecution over the past 23 years. The actual number is believed to be much higher. Countless practitioners have been imprisoned and tortured for their faith.
There is concrete evidence that the CCP sanctions the harvesting of organs from detained practitioners, who are murdered to supply China’s organ transplant industry.
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