(Clearwisdom.net) On July 20, Falun Gong practitioners in Chicago once again gathered outside the Chinese Consulate General. This time practitioners lit candles to commemorate the 1,009 Falun Gong practitioners who have died as a result of the persecution launched by Jiang's group five years ago.

On July 20, 1999, Jiang's group launched a brutal campaign nationwide targeting Falun Gong practitioners who persist in their belief in "Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance." Instantly, one hundred million Falun Gong practitioners were deprived of freedom of belief and basic human rights. Over the past five years, Falun Gong practitioners have followed the principles of "Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance," resisting the unprecedented persecution in a peaceful and rational manner, and with their great compassion and tolerance, clarified the truth to people.

Opposite the Chinese Consulate, Falun Gong practitioners hold a candlelight vigil to commemorate fellow practitioners who have died as a result of persecution.

Practitioners unfold banners

Five years later, today in the drizzle, Chicago practitioners held banners reading "Falun Dafa is Good," and "Stop State Terrorism." Facing a long row of candlelight, people passing by who have learned the truth slowed their paces to observe. A spokesperson for the Mid-US area Falun Dafa Association read a statement that said, "The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights stipulates that everyone enjoys freedom of belief and freedom of speech. These human rights traverse national boundaries and governments and gain humanity's recognition. Trampling upon these rights is a blatant challenge to human morals and dignity. Any individual or government who has learned the truth will make their own choice." The statement highly praised more than 1,000 practitioners who have died as a result of persecution: Over the past five years, while facing persecutors' torture, countless great lives who have cultivated in Dafa, and followed the journey of practicing "Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance," have persisted in their righteous beliefs with great compassion and tolerance, without complaints or regret, to create unprecedented solemn chapters.

While being interviewed by Chicago's New Epoch TV Station, Yang Sen said, "Five years ago, Jiang's group told lies that deceived the whole world. At that time, though the number of people who practiced Falun Gong was large, there were also many people did not understand or know about it. Under such conditions where there was no just and fair source of information, the holistic campaign against Falun Gong began. Countless Chinese people hated Falun Gong because they listened to slander and lies. Over the past five years, Falun Gong practitioners have been peacefully and perseveringly resisting the persecution. The way that Falun Gong practitioners use to clarify the truth is by simply telling the facts. Thus, over the past five years, countless people, especially Chinese people, began changing their attitudes towards Falun Gong, from being puzzled and bearing hatred, to deep thinking and learning the truth on their own initiative, and at last to standing up to speak out the truth about Falun Gong. We can see the dark clouds can not cover the sun, and we will keep spreading the truth."

At the candlelight vigil, Falun Gong practitioners read the names of the 1,009 practitioners who have died. The practitioners stated that more than a thousand fellow practitioners have died from torture for persisting in their belief in "Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance." Because of information blockade, the death toll may only be a small portion of the actual number. However, only the tip of the iceburg is enough to clearly expose Jiang's brutality, violence, and irrational nature. This is also why Falun Gong practitioners in different countries around the world seek to use the international judiciary system to bring the chief perpetrator to justice. In Chicago, Falun Gong practitioners have sued Jiang and his followers on charges of genocide, torture, and crimes against humanity.

It is said that Falun Gong practitioners from around the world would hold an activity entitled, "Everyone Lights a Candle" on July 23 in the capital of the US, Washington DC. The proposal letter states, "Candlelight tonight is not to express grief, but hope. Please believe that we will eventually drive away the endless darkness and greet the early morning light that covers the sky.