FDI: Over 5,000 Falun Gong Practitioners from Around the World Attend Conference in Washington DC
The conference was part of a four-day event in the nation's capital, consisting of a concert, march and rally on Capitol Hill calling for an end to the persecution of Falun Gong in China.
This year's activities in Washington DC were particularly significant for Americans as a U.S. citizen, Dr. Charles Li, is currently imprisoned in China and subjected to beatings and "brainwashing" sessions in an attempt to force him to renounce his practice of Falun Gong (news).
Falun Dafa Conference Requires Two Conference Halls
Volunteer conference organizers say they were unable to find a location large enough to hold the expected number of attendees. Thus, a nearby hotel served as a second conference site, with live video feeds from the main conference hall.
Conference participants came from North America, South America, Europe, Southeast Asia and Australia. The conference -- like all Falun Dafa-related events -- was free of charge, and organized by volunteers.
Concert Near Capitol Building
Despite their prestige in China as classical artists, Mr. and Mrs. Chen were detained by Chinese authorities in 2000 because they practice Falun Gong. Soon after, they escaped to live with their daughter in the U.S.
Bands from New York, Washington DC and Stockholm added contemporary music to the day's line-up. Many of the songs focused on the human rights violations against Falun Gong in China.
A highlight of the concert came when the New York-based band "Word of Mouth," backed by David Bowie's drummer, Sterling Campbell, played "Free Charles Li" (view video clip) -- a song about the real-life story of American Dr. Charles Li who was imprisoned in China four months ago. Charles Li's fiancée was also present to voice her appeal for his release.
According to the U.S. consulate in Shanghai, Dr. Li had initiated a hunger-strike on July 14 to protest the beatings and "brainwashing" sessions he is forced to attend, and was on hunger strike at the time of the concert (news).
?FONT face="Helvetica, Arial,sans-serif" color="#000000" size="2">
On Monday, Falun Gong practitioners gathered at the Washington Monument and embarked on a march through the streets of downtown Washington DC. With more than 3,000 marchers, the procession made its way east to Capitol Hill, ending on the West Lawn.
Marchers held banners and signs calling for former Chinese leader, Jiang Zemin, to be brought to justice for his role in instigating and carrying out the persecution of Falun Gong.
Jiang Zemin currently faces multiple international lawsuits, including a suit filed in U.S. district court charging the former Communist Chinese leader with genocide and crimes against humanity (news).
NEWS - Jul. 23, 2003
Falun Dafa Information Center, www.faluninfo.net
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa (about), is a practice of meditation and exercises with teachings based on the universal principle of "Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance." It is a practice that was taught in private for thousands of years before being made public in 1992 by Mr. Li Hongzhi. Falun Gong has roots in traditional Chinese culture, but it is distinct and separate from other practices such as the religions of Buddhism and Taoism. Since its introduction in 1992, it quickly spread by word of mouth throughout China, and is now practiced in over 50 countries.
With government estimates of as many as 100 million practicing Falun Gong, China's President Jiang Zemin outlawed the peaceful practice in July 1999 (report), fearful of anything touching the hearts and minds of more citizens than the Communist Party. Unable to crush the spirit of millions who had experienced improved health and positive life changes from Falun Gong, Jiang's regime has intensified its propaganda campaign to turn public opinion against the practice while quietly imprisoning, torturing and even murdering those who practice it.
Falun Dafa Information Center has verified details of 757 deaths (reports / sources)
since the persecution of Falun Gong in China began in 1999. Government officials inside China,
however, report that the actual death toll is well over 1,600, while expert sources estimate that
figure to be much higher. Hundreds of thousands have been detained, with more than 100,000
being sentenced to forced labor camps, typically without trial.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT THE FALUN DAFA INFORMATION CENTER
Contacts: Gail Rachlin (+1 917-501-4441), Levi Browde (+1 914-720-0963), Erping Zhang (+1 646-533-6147), or Feng Yuan (+1 917-941-1097).
Fax: 646-792-3916 Email: email@example.com, Website: http://www.faluninfo.net/
Mailbox of FalunInfo firstname.lastname@example.org
Category: Experience Sharing Conferences