Homeless Man Asks Chinese Person for Money After Harassing Practitioners in Manhattan (Photos)

September 11, 2004

A person who may have been behind the homeless man harassing practitioners

(The World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (WOIPFG) intends to investigate this person. Those who have information regarding this person should contact them.)

(Clearwisdom.net) After a week of heat and humidity, the weather in New York turned nice. In the afternoon of Sunday September 5, Time Square and nearby areas were very busy with bustling crowds and very heavy traffic.

On the streets, I saw smiling Falun Gong practitioners in yellow T-shirts distributing fliers and demonstrating the Falun Gong exercises. In the past several weeks, this has become a regular scene on the streets of New York City.

When I walked to the intersection of Broadway and 42nd street, I suddenly heard someone cursing loudly in English.

I approached the source of the commotion: while dozens of Falun Gong practitioners were quietly doing the exercises or distributing materials, a middle aged American with long, untrimmed hair and beard. The man wore a dirty white shirt and had a half bottle of wine in one hand. He was cursing at a young Chinese practitioner in a yellow Falun Gong shirt. Later, he even started to push and bully the practitioner.

Right after that, he grabbed materials from a lady sitting next to him and threw them onto the ground. When another practitioner wearing a pair of glasses tried to calm him down, the person spat at him.

When nobody paid attention to him, this person just made some noise. However, whenever someone approached to talk with him, he became even more unreasonable and cursed even louder. Several minutes later, a police officer came and ordered the man to leave.

An unknown Chinese man nearby watching the homeless man harassing practitioners

The Chinese guy walking back and forth at the site when the homeless was making trouble with the practitioners

Practitioner Ms. Shiming Xiong of Philadelphia said: "It is so strange, we don't know where this guy came from and why he did this without provocation. He seemed to go crazy when he grabbed materials from my hands and threw them onto the ground." Ms. Xiong said that she was distributing Falun Gong truth-clarifying materials at another site and just came to this site a few minutes ago when this happened.

Another practitioner Ms. Zhou said: "Since the persecution started in 1999, the typical response from Westerners after they learned about the persecution is showing sympathy to victims and condemning the perpetrators. This is the first time I've seen a westerner making trouble for practitioners' activities."

Ms. Zhenyu Sun of Connecticut witnessed the whole incident, and a reporter asked her what happened. She said: "I have seen this guy once before. When we had an anti-torture exhibition at Battery Park last week, he went to make trouble without physical contact. He was ordered to leave by police. This time, he even pushed practitioners. Both times, there was this Chinese guy around the homeless man. Whenever the homeless guy saw the presence of this Chinese person, he would become more violent." Ms. Sun then pointed to a Chinese man standing about 10 meters away: "That is the Chinese guy."

Following Ms. Sun's pointing, the reporter saw a middle-aged Chinese man standing there, watching the homeless man. When the homeless man's was fairly calm, he walked toward us, passed the homeless man and then stood at the other side to watch. Just as Ms. Sun described, the homeless man indeed started to curse loudly again when the Chinese guy passed him.

When the reporter asked the person if he was Chinese, he replied, "Yes." When the reporter asked him if he was from Mainland China, he said, "Yes." However, he was not willing to answer any other questions.

Ms. Sun said that when the homeless man saw the police coming, he approached the Chinese man and said: "Give me the money." At that point, the Chinese man left the scene without any expression. Ms. Sun said that she thought someone had hired the homeless to sabotage the practitioners' activity.

When the reporter asked Ms. Zhou who might hire the homeless to harass practitioners, she did not reply specifically. However, she pointed out that when they had an event in Battery Park last week, a person who claimed to be a staff member of Chinese Consulate came to criticize their activity and said that the practitioners' recent activities in New York made them "very angry."

When the reporter asked Ms. Sun why Falun Gong practitioners gathered in New York, she said: "This persecution is so inhuman, and it is being covered up. As a result, there are many people who don't know the brutality of this persecution, and not enough has been done to stop it in the past five years. New York is a focal point of the world, and the UN annual meeting will be held here this month. We want to help everyone around the world know that Falun Gong is good, and the persecution is evil. We want people to help us to put an end to it. Maybe some people feared that their crimes would be exposed and wanted to sabotage our activities, and they've resorted to hiring the homeless to do their dirty deeds."

At around 5pm of September 5, another homeless man went to the practitioners' anti-torture exhibition at Union Plaza. He loudly criticized practitioners. Two western ladies who were viewing the exhibition spoke out for practitioners and started to argue with him. The police came, and after checking the practitioners' permission to hold the exhibition, the police told the homeless man to leave.

A Chinese artist who was painting at the other side of the street said: "Falun practitioners are so compassionate. When that guy spat at the practitioners, they should have taught him a lesson but did not." He said that he deeply believed in integrity, and thought that Jiang was too cruel in the persecution of practitioners. He commented that it would be quite disgusting if it was the Chinese consulate that hired a homeless man to sabotage the practitioners' events.

Ms. Sun said that a policeman told her to call 911 if they encountered this kind of problem again. If there is someone behind this incident, the police and FBI will both investigate.

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