(Clearwisdom.net) On the evening of July 23, 2004, in response to American practitioners' proposal, Falun Gong practitioners in Vancouver, Canada held a "kindle a candle" activity in front of the Chinese Consulate in Vancouver to commemorate fellow practitioners who have died from the persecution in China over the past five years for telling the truth and upholding justice and morality in the human world. Their uncompromising spirit encouraged practitioners and moved people all over the world. When July 20 was approaching, the newly elected Parliament Member from the Vancouver area wrote to the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs to urge him to say "No" to Chinese government officials' extension of the persecution to Canada.
Some practitioners who attended the candlelight vigil reviewed the persecution they have experienced since July 20, 1999 to media outlets that came to gather the news.
Ms. Jiang said, "Five years ago, on July 20, we heard at our practice site that some contact persons and other practitioners from our practice site had been arrested. We could not understand it. We thought that we should go to the Provincial government to appeal for the release of our fellow practitioners. When we arrived at the Provincial government building, there were already many practitioners. At that moment, an announcement was broadcast demanding that we leave, otherwise, we would be responsible for the consequences. It was just like in the period of the Cultural Revolution. About 11 am, some riot police ran out of the government building. They wore helmets and held electrical batons in their hands. At that point, we were holding hands. We came to request for the release of our fellow practitioners and we did not want to go with the police. Then the riot police officers cut in our group. Two officers clamped me on both sides and forcibly took me onto a prepared bus. This way, we were moved to a stadium where we were ordered to register our names and addresses, etc. Our representatives were held and we went home after the registration."
"On the second morning, neither our representatives nor the previously arrested fellow practitioners were released. We felt that we should keep appealing and therefore we went to the appeal office of the Provincial government. On that day, they divided us into several groups and detained us in a school. Nearly 1,000 practitioners were detained in the school where I was held. The classrooms and the courtyard were full of practitioners. There they ordered us to sign a prepared statement of regret and a letter guaranteeing not to practice. Those who signed the statements could go home, the others were still held in the school. We were not allowed to sleep, or to speak. We were even forbidden to smile. The officers walked back and forth on the front platform and threatened us: 'If you don't sign these, we will lock you up with murderers tomorrow.' Then they took our practitioners one by one into a separate room and beat them. Some used their lighters to burn practitioners, some forced practitioners to 'ride an airplane' (In this torture, the head is bent down until it cannot go down any further, while the hands are pulled up and held up to the highest point. The hips have to point up. One is forced to keep this position unchanged for a long time. The body in this position looks like the shape of an airplane, which is how this torture is named after.). Some were forced to squat halfway, some were beaten in the lower back. A fellow practitioner who went with me was asked to sign the statements. He refused. Then his father, also a practitioner was forced to sign the statements. The father refused as well. Then the officers mistreated the son in front of the father and tortured the father in front of the son. They tortured our practitioners this way, but the practitioners did not succumb. The police officers tightly held the hair of a female practitioner who went with me and used all of their strength to slam her head against the wall. On that day, we were not allowed to sleep for the whole night. On the next day, because I did not sign the statements, I was sent to another middle school and locked up for one more day and night. My workplace bailed me out."
"The past five years was only a moment in history. But for us, a day was like a year. Among fellow practitioners whom I'm familiar with, many are still imprisoned in labor camps or prisons. Some were tortured to death. What impressed me most was Mr. Yuan Jiang who was the contact person of our practice site. It was he who taught me the exercises when I began to practice Falun Gong. He was only 29 years old and a graduate of Tsinghua University. He was a leading engineer in his workplace. Within only three months after he was arrested, he was tortured to death. After he died, his body was forcibly taken away and cremated. It was not allowed to reveal his death. In addition, I just learned yesterday that another fellow practitioner, Xiao Xu, who went to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong with me also died. There are still many practitioners including Lao Yang, Lao Xie, Xiao Wan and others who are still imprisoned in labor camps and are enduring all kinds of mistreatment. When I remember these, I feel very bad in my heart. We've done nothing wrong and even more so, we did not commit any crimes. It is Jiang Zemin who violates the Chinese Constitution and laws to put our practitioners who cultivate themselves in accordance with Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance into the deathtraps. Heaven's law will not accommodate such crimes. Today, I came to kindle a candle to commemorate fellow practitioners who have left us forever. I hope my fellow practitioners in China will continue to uphold the truth and stand firm and unyielding. I also call upon all kind-hearted people to extend your support and help stop the Jiang group's bloody suppression."
The newly elected Parliament Member in the Vancouver area, Ms. Libby Davies, wrote to the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs on July 10, 2004 to request that he pay attention to the incident in which Australian Falun Gong practitioner Mr. David Liang was shot in South Africa as well as the fact that the Chinese Consulates and Embassy in Canada continuously spread hate propaganda. Ms. Davies urged the Foreign Ministry to openly oppose the Chinese government and its officials in Canada for extending the persecution to Canada and pressure the Chinese government to investigate the circumstances surrounding the shooting of David Liang in South Africa.
Five years ago, the dictator declared he would "eradicate Falun Gong in three months". Five years later, Falun Gong has spread to more than 60 countries and the chief perpetrator of this persecution has been sued in a number of countries.
Five years ago, the dictator deceived people around the world with his lies. Now, his lies are exposed overseas and the evildoers can only act out of desperation to hire thugs to assassinate practitioners.
Just as the "kindle a candle" proposal stated, this fifth year of nonviolent resistance has raised a milestone in our history.