"If you sue us, we will kill you." These chilling words were the conclusion of a violent attack on Falun Gong practitioners that seemed to belong more to the streets of Beijing than to the streets of Chicago.

At around 4:40 p.m. Friday, September 7, three Chinese men drove up in front of the Chinese Consulate in Chicago in a brand new black Mercedes SUV. Across the street from the consulate were five Falun Gong practitioners, four of whom were on a hunger strike to protest the failure of China to release the 130 female practitioners being held past their time in Masanjia Labor Camp. The men in the Mercedes glared across the street at the practitioners with sour, angry faces. They repeatedly jabbed their arms out at the practitioners in a wordless gesture all Chinese know to be a curse.

Carolyn Lu saw that these men were angry, but she thought to herself, "These men, too, deserve a chance to learn the truth about the persecution of Falun Gong," and crossed the street to speak to them. She tried to hand them a flier and said "You too are Chinese. So many Chinese have been killed. Don't you care about what has happened to them?" From the car came only abuse. "Why don't you return to China and die!" These three men together spoke to this woman standing alone before them in the most obscene terms imaginable, and said they were going to expose themselves. Then they said "We are going to beat you now. Do you believe us?"

Across the street, Bill Fan thought this ugly situation had suddenly become dangerous, and got out his camera to take pictures of the three men. Immediately, two men sprinted out of the car after Bill. He saw in an instant the violence in their faces, and ran away down the street. But having been on a food and water strike for two days, Bill was not ready to outrun them. They soon caught him and threw him face first violently against a fence. They began beating the back of his head and body with all of their might. The camera was snatched away, and smashed against the pavement.

Another Falun Gong practitioner, Yibing Huang, had followed these three. When the camera was smashed she saw the film on the sidewalk. She scooped it up and ran for all she was worth towards a nearby gas station. The two thugs started to follow her, but then they realized that while they were beating Bill, Carolyn had used her cell phone to call "911." They knew they could not linger, and ran back to the Mercedes. There, Carolyn was calmly writing on her hand the numbers that appeared where the rear license plate should have been. The three men then surrounded her and threatened to kill her if they were sued.

In order to understand this threat, one must know that on August 27, Zhou Yongkang, the General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party of the Province of Sichuan (i.e., the governor of one of the larger provinces in China, and therefore the man directly responsible for the abuse and torture of tens of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners -- and, also, incidentally, a relative of Jiang Zemin) was served with a summons to appear in the Federal District Court in the Northern District of Illinois to answer a suit brought by a Falun Gong practitioner for crimes against humanity. Contacts in the F.B.I., and other sources, have told the practitioners of Chicago that the consulate in Chicago was furious about this lawsuit. In this assault, one sees a mafiosi style response to that lawsuit, and yet another incident in which, here in the United States, practitioners face attempts to intimidate and silence them.

The police arrived two minutes after the Mercedes sped off. The numbers Carolyn had carefully written on her hand turned out to be the telephone numbers for the car dealership. The absence of even a temporary license plate displayed in the rear window of the car suggests premeditation, as does the timing of it at the end of the business day Friday.

Bill Fan came through the beating without serious injuries. Chicago Police detectives are now investigating, and the F.B.I. has been contacted. The Chicago practitioners of Falun Gong will do everything in their power to see that those responsible for this hate crime are brought to justice.

(The statement to the press is on http://www.clearwisdom.net/emh/articles/2001/9/10/13739.html)