Experiences Gained From Clarifying the Truth to the Media in Chicago Suburbs
Outside of China, through practitioners' efforts, most nations' governments and citizens know about the persecution of Falun Gong in China, and they no longer believe the propaganda from the wicked scoundrel regime in China. For example, a while ago the ambassador of the Chinese Embassy in the United States wrote a letter to various senators defaming Falun Gong. When we met with these senators or their assistants they told us that they knew what is going on. One of the assistants told us, "We knew instantly that it [the letter] is nonsense; it went straight to the garbage can."
This is a good opportunity to clarify the truth. By means of the overseas media reports on China's persecution of its citizens, we can let more people learn of Jiang's wicked nature.
During a critical period in our lawsuit against Jiang, we started clarifying the truth to smaller media sources in the suburbs around Chicago. We began the project by locating the suburbs and towns around Chicago using a map. Then we searched for the phone numbers of the various media sources through the Internet. We prepared a media alert, focusing on an American citizen who was illegally arrested in China and tortured in jail for trying to reveal Jiang's cruel persecution against Falun Gong. We then went on to explain how Jiang is committing genocide and cruelty against Falun Dafa practitioners. We called each media source and asked for the news editor or the newsroom, and informed them that there would be a news conference in front of City Hall the next day (or the day after, depending on the specific circumstance). We told them that the news conference was about an American citizen illegally arrested and tortured in China for trying to expose Jiang's cruel persecution against Falun Gong. We also told them that people throughout the world are suing Jiang for crimes of genocide and cruelty against Falun Gong practitioners.
It is not necessary to have a lot of practitioners present for a news conference. A small unit consisting of about three to four practitioners is enough. We prepared a banner that read, "SOS: Urgent Rescue of US Citizen Dr. Charles Li Tortured in China for Exposing Dictator Jiang's Genocide of Falun Gong," and some poster-size photos of Charles Li. If there is a Western practitioner in the specific area, we often have them be interviewed by the media.
We have recently started holding news conferences in the suburbs and cities surrounding Chicago, traveling as far as 3 hours from Chicago. Most of the cities had reporters coming to the press conference and the results were great. It was rewarding for the practitioners as well. During the interviews, the practitioners explained the persecution from various angles. They also talked about the health and mental benefits gained from practicing Falun Dafa, as well as the experience of suing Jiang. We learned a lot from each other through this sharing. We thus comprehensively clarified the truth to the media sources.
Through the experiences of our recent activities, we have learned that this is a great time to clarify the truth to the smaller media sources. They often surprise us. Some of the editors, upon receiving our call, wanted to interview us. One of the newspapers wrote about us even before we held the press conference. On the second day they sent a reporter to the conference. One time we didn't know that two cities in Indiana shared the same name. Because of the mix-up, one reporter waited for half an hour in the wrong City Hall and finally decided to call us. We realized that there had been some confusion, so we apologized to the reporter. He said, "It's OK, I can interview local practitioners."
We feel that it is a good idea for practitioners to hold news conferences in various suburbs and small towns for the local media sources. In this way we can bring home the fact that an American citizen has been illegally arrested [by the Chinese officials] and tortured in jail for trying to reveal Jiang's cruel persecution against Falun Gong, and make this issue well known among Americans. As the smaller, local media begin to report on this issue, it will eventually affect the larger media sources. Many local media post their articles on the Internet; they are easily found through a simple on-line search. Not only will larger media sources read these articles, other small media sources will read them as well. Various government agencies from numerous nations, as well as anyone who is interested in Falun Gong will read these articles, so it does have an impact. As Teacher said in "Explaining the Fa During the 2003 Lantern Festival at the U.S. West Fa Conference," "Since they aren't afraid of having their dirty deeds brought out into the open, we should expose them all to the whole world, and let all Americans know that a U.S. citizen has been arrested. Since they're not afraid of having their dirty deeds brought out into the open, we should go ahead and do those things. Every day that they don't release him is another day for us to expose them."
July 2, 2003