Celebrating with Local Communities, Falun Gong Parade Processions Are Warmly Received In San Francisco (Photos)
(Clearwisdom.net, February 8, 2004) On the evening of February 7, 2004, a grand Chinese New Year parade was conducted in San Francisco, California. Previously, because of pressures and resistances that had something to do with the Chinese Consulate, Falun Gong practitioners did not get approval to join the parade, but this year, their application was approved.
According to the introduction from the sponsor's website, the San Francisco Chinese New Year Parade is the largest outside Asia. It became a tradition after the gold rush. Several hundred thousand spectators watched the parade along the route.
One Chinese TV station and one English TV station came to broadcast the entire celebration live.
One of the coordinators of Falun Gong practitioners' procession Ms. Mei said, "This is the first time we participated in such a large-scale community event. Our procession consists a waist drum team, a float and a dance team. Spectators could see the demeanor of Falun Gong through practitioners' exercise demonstration on the float and those banners imprinted with words, 'Falun Dafa', 'Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance', 'Falun Dafa is great', and 'The World Needs Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance'. The spectators warmly received our procession."
Since Jiang Zemin started persecuting Falun Gong, lies defaming Falun Gong were spread through the Chinese Consulates and Embassies, as well as other media, to countries outside China. This poisoned many people, especially people in the Chinese community. With the facts about Falun Gong being introduced more and more broadly and thoroughly, the peace, goodness and rationality manifested by Falun Gong practitioners and the beauty of Falun Dafa that they displayed have taken root in people's hearts. The Chinese people who came to understand more and more about the facts welcome Falun Gong practitioners to join their community events. This shows that Jiang's deceit is seeing less and less support, and Chinese people are awakening from the lies. They are breaking away from the control of the Chinese Consulates.
Since the spring festival of 1999, Falun Gong practitioners from the Metropolitan New York City area have participated 6 years in a row in the grand Chinese New Year Parade hosted by the Flushing Asian Community on the last Saturday before the Chinese New Year. Participants are mostly from Chinese and Korean organizations. In the past three festivities, each time, the sponsors encountered some pressure and resistance from the Chinese Consulate. Because of the Falun Gong practitioners' continuous truth-clarification and their previous good performances in the parade, they did not encounter any trouble in joining this year's parade. The spectators warmly applauded the practitioners' procession.
On January 25, 2004, Falun Gong practitioners from Washington DC were invited to participate in the grand annual Chinese Lunar New Year Parade in Chinatown. The long dragon team composed of Falun Gong practitioners was the best received procession. It was learned that previously, the practitioners' application to attend the parade always encountered some unreasonable resistance, but this year, there was no obstruction at all. The director of this parade said, "With Falun Gong practitioners' participation, we have confidence. An event with the practitioners' participation will definitely be successful."
People also noticed that in some Chinese communities with a Mainland Chinese background, the Chinese Embassy or Consulate still uses lies and incentives to manipulate some people to try to interfere with practitioners' activities. These people are deluded by short-term gains. On one hand, they enjoy freedom in a democratic country, but on the other hand, they violate human rights and freedom and create division in the Chinese communities.
Outside the Chinese communities, Falun Gong practitioners also participated in celebrations in many major American cities. They introduced traditional Chinese culture and helped to bring the beauty of "Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance" to the American people, who warmly received them. For instance, on January 1, 2004 in Philadelphia, Falun Gong practitioners, as the only Chinese group, were invited to join the grandest and the oldest Mummers New Year's Day parade in the U.S. and won an award for their procession. On the morning of December 7, 2003, Falun Gong practitioners from the San Francisco area participated in the 22nd Christmas and Thanksgiving Parade hosted by NBC in the city of San Jose, California. NBC live-broadcasted the parade to millions of audience members. On the occasion of Thanksgiving in November 2003, Falun Gong practitioners attended the well-known Chicago State Street Thanksgiving Parade. The annual thanksgiving parade was the largest parade in Chicago. Each year, several hundred thousands spectators watch it along the street. More than a million people watched it through TV.
On the 2004 New Year's Day, Philadelphia Falun Gong practitioners participating in the annual Mummers New Year parade.
Chicago Falun Gong practitioners participating in the 2003 Thanksgiving parade
In Washington DC, Falun Gong practitioners have participated in the Cherry Blossom Parade each spring since 1999. On July 4, 2002, practitioners also joined the Independence Day Parade in Washington DC. They demonstrated the Falun Gong exercises and performed Chinese traditional dances. Their procession presented to the American people the beauty of the Chinese culture on Constitution Avenue in Washington DC. Practitioners were warmly received, and this parade left a tremendous impression. The success of this parade also shocked Jiang's regime. The Chinese Embassy felt panic under pressure from Jiang's regime. Falun Gong practitioners also participated in the 2003 DC Independence Day Parade and were once again well received.
Falun Gong practitioners from Washington DC joining the 2003 Independence Day Parade
In the U.S., parades in major cities and small towns that Falun Gong practitioners participated in numbered about 100 each year. During these parades, practitioners' elegant and peaceful performance, their banners and truth-clarifying materials, all directly exposed and cleared away lies fabricated by the Jiang's regime. Some people noticed that recently, more and more American people have come to learn Falun Gong.