US Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey and San Francisco Councilman Chris Daly Talk about the Significance of H. Con. Res. 304
(Clearwisdom.net) On October 4, 2004, the US House of Representatives unanimously passed H. Con. Res. 304 urging the Chinese Government to cease its oppression of Falun Gong practitioners in the U.S. and in China. Recently, a Clearwisdom journalist interviewed Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey, the sponsor of the resolution, and Mr. Chris Daly, Council member of the City of San Francisco, who was himself once harassed by the Chinese Consulate.
Interview with Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey:
Q: How did this resolution get started?
LW: Several years ago, Falun Gong practitioners came to my office in California and we immediately started a very nice relationship with these young people who are so committed to the Falun Gong practice, and helping their peers overseas to be able to practice freely and to be free from torture.
With them I wrote the resolution. It was very clear that we needed bi-partisan support. Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinan took the lead and did a very good job.
It passed unanimously. Once people knew about it and thought about it, they could not possibly not support it.
House Concurrent Resolution 304 demands the immediate end of harassment, detention and imprisonment of Falun Gong practitioners in China and also demands the (Chinese) Consulates in the U.S to stop putting pressure on state and city officials to not support the Falun Gong practitioners to do what they do so peacefully in our area.
Q: What is the significance of the resolution?
It is symbolic. It is a statement from the House of Representatives to say what we believe. But people like me always work to demand the Chinese government to be more humane with their religious rights, civil liberties and allowing people to speak. This is just one step towards that direction.
A resident of Menlo Park, US citizen Charles Lee, went to China and has been physically and mentally tortured ever since. This resolution also calls for his release.
Q: According to the U.S. State Department, Charles Lee has been forced to make Christmas lights.
LW: If I had known that, I would not have bought Christmas lights last year.
The Falun Gong practitioners have demonstrated so peacefully and beautifully--it is clear that if they can be considered a threat, it is because there is a fear of freedom of speech. I definitely appreciate what the Falun Gong practitioners are doing.
Interview with San Francisco supervisor Chris Daly:
CD: I was very excited when I heard the news (about the H. Con. Res. 304). I got the news on Wednesday when my wife was delivering a son. A healthy baby boy named Jack, weighs 71/2 pounds.
The issue is about the interference with local government affairs. I initiated a resolution a couple of years ago to condemn the repression of Falun Gong in China. The Chinese Consulate lobbied very heavily against its passage locally, even to the point of having contributors of elected officials make phone calls, and write letters that were really heavy handed.
It was using the influence of a foreign state on a local political decision. I felt that was really unfair.
I felt that the congressional resolution was a compelling one, so I testified there.
I am really hoping this will have an impact on China--how they engage in politics and on our local politics--and hopefully open up an opportunity for a new resolution like the one I introduced before.