(Minghui.org) Falun Dafa practitioners held a rally in front of Chicago’s Chinese Consulate on April 15, 2023, to commemorate a peaceful appeal in Beijing 24 years ago. After practitioners were arrested in Tianjin, about 10,000 practitioners gathered at the State Council’s Appeal Office on April 25, 1999. They peacefully requested that detained practitioners be released, that the book Falun Gong be published, and that they have the right to practice their belief. Later that day, the detained practitioners were released.
Although this incident was considered the largest and most peaceful event of Chinese citizens defending their legal rights, the then-Chinese Communist Party (CCP) head Jiang Zemin announced he would, “Eradicate Falun Gong in three months.” Two months later in June, the 610 Office, an extrajudicial agency whose sole purpose is to eradicate Falun Gong, was established, and the nationwide suppression was launched in full force in July 1999.
Mr. Tu, one of the organisers, said that 24 years had passed since the CCP began to suppress Falun Dafa. Every year, practitioners gather in front of the consulate to raise awareness of the brutality in China. In spite of the harsh mistreatment, practitioners were determined in their belief in Falun Dafa’s principles, Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. Their courage and perseverance have also gained increasing support from the public.
Telling People About the Persecution
Saber Pham said she started practicing Falun Dafa after witnessing the positive changes in her family members who practiced. She often lacked patience, and when customers had bad attitudes, she would abandon them and move on. After she began practicing and following the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, she found her job much easier, and she was able to be kind to difficult customers.
Pham said she was happy to participate in the event at the Chinese Consulate, because she was able to tell people how wonderful Falun Dafa is and speak out against the human rights violations against practitioners in China. She hopes more people will learn the facts. “If more people followed the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, the world would be a better place,” she explained.
People Sign a Petition to End the CCP
Drawn by the soothing music and the gentle exercise movements, many passersby stopped to read the posters and ask questions. Upon hearing what is going on in China, some of them signed a petition to end the the CCP.
Among them was Rachael Williams, who thanked practitioners for introducing the practice and telling her about the atrocities in China. She praised and encouraged the practitioners to keep up their efforts. She also signed a petition calling to end the tragedies.
This was the first time that Aya Zubi and Anga Mendoza heard about the persecution. Both signed the petition without hesitation. They both said the persecution was wrong since everyone should have freedom of belief.
Nastaran from Iran said she was impressed by the peaceful atmosphere as practitioners did the exercises. She could not imagine such a great meditation system being brutally suppressed in China. She said the persecution in China is heartbreaking, and she supported the practitioners for their efforts.
Psychiatrist Prerna Sharma who lives in Chicago was shocked to hear how badly practitioners are mistreated in China for their belief. She said everyone needs to know about this important matter, and that she would tell her friends about it.
Lee Jones and his wife Simone Jones, who are from Ohio, were in Chicago for a scientific seminar with their nephew Jeremy. When they asked what they could do to help, a practitioner told them to share the information with others so that the atrocities would end.
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.
Chinese version available
Chicago: Falun Dafa Practitioners Held a Rally to Commemorate the April 25 Peaceful Appeal in China 23 Years Ago