926 Miles From Seattle to San Francisco--The "Around-the-Globe SOS! Earthwalk" Begins
At noon on August 22, 2001, the "Around-the-Globe SOS! Earthwalk to Rescue Falun Gong Practitioners Persecuted in China" began in Seattle, Washington. It is a milestone in Falun Dafa's journey of benevolence and peace. Falun Dafa practitioners and kind-hearted supporters will walk around the world to tell people how China's president Jiang Zemin and his associates ruthlessly persecute those who refuse to give up their belief in "Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance." At the same time, they will introduce the boundless benevolence of Falun Dafa and its profound teachings to those destined to meet them on their walk around the world.
A group of 15 practitioners from Seattle began their walk in the rain. They had but one thought in mind. With every step, they will tell people in the world that Falun Dafa is good. Persecuting Falun Dafa evokes the widespread indignation among the people and from the heavens.
With their pure minds and footsteps covering thousands of miles, the walkers are sending out a strong voice, calling upon:
- Jiang Zemin and his government to immediately release Dr. Teng Chunyan, a Falun Dafa practitioner and permanent resident of U.S.
- All the kind-hearted people in the world to take action to rescue the 130 practitioners in Masanjia Labor Camp who at that time had been on hunger strike for over 20 days and are on the verge of losing their lives.
- Jiang Zemin and his government to release all the practitioners detained or sentenced to labor camps and jails.
- American President Bush, on his visit to China, to convey the request of practitioners and supporters in the world that Jiang Zemin should immediately stop the persecution of Falun Gong and restore the reputation of the cultivation practice and its teacher.
The walkers also hope that all the governments and people around the world come to know more about Falun Dafa and read the books of Falun Dafa, which is the only real way of understanding the issue and it's global implications.
The 30-minute press conference kicking off the walk received the attention of the Chinese media, such as the World Daily, as well as the western media, such as Reuters. Reporters came to conduct interviews, obtain background information and to take pictures. They said they were going to tell people the true story of the persecution in China with their writings.
The walkers come from all walks of life, among them are American, Chinese and Pakistani practitioners, the oldest being 64. They are biomedical professors, biophysicists, computer engineers, medical doctors, pharmacists, teachers and students. They set out at exactly noon, right after the press conference, from the Federal Building downtown. They will head south, across Washington State, through Oregon, and finally arrive in San Francisco, California. The whole journey is 926 miles (1490 kilometers). If they walk 20 miles (32 kilometers) a day, it will take them about 47 days to reach San Francisco.
They are going to deliver a solemn statement to the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco: "It is intolerable to slander and persecute Falun Dafa."
Written on August 28, 2001 by practitioners in Seattle