Manhattan, NY: A New Anti-torture Exhibit Site Provides a Glimpse of Truth-Clarification in Manhattan (Photo)
(Clearwisdom.net) Falun Dafa practitioners from Toronto have been clarifying the truth in Manhattan for more than eight months. Regardless of the weather, rain or shine or snow, the practitioners' activities have never stopped. In the following article, we would like share how a new exhibition site was established.
1) Kindhearted Building Security Staff and Managers
On April 3, 2005, despite heavy rain and cold wind, practitioners from Canada who have been living in New York City to do truth clarification, together with more than ten practitioners from Toronto who came for a weekend, set up an anti-torture exhibit in front of the "Time Warner Center" building at 58th St and 8th Ave. This building features worldwide first-class products and is a major shopping area for wealthy New Yorkers. As it was raining heavily, practitioners decided to conduct group practice, send righteous thoughts and distribute materials under the shelter of the building. A security officer came over to us and said: "This is the property of the building. You can't have these activities here." We then told him the facts about what we were doing. After he came to understand the truth, he said: "I personally support you. However, I have my responsibilities. Let me ask my supervisor."
Building security allowed the practitioners to practice under the shelter
Security officer: "I have to ask my manager"
A kind-hearted security officer listens to practitioner's truth clarification
After a while, well-dressed "Manager B" came to us and said: "I know what you guys do, however, I cannot allow you to have activities here, according to the regulations." We told him sincerely: "We came from Toronto for the weekend, and we just want stay here for a while. We will move to a public area once the rain stops." Manager B then nicely said: "O.K., however, I have to ask my manager."
The rain stopped. We then set up posters, banners and an anti-torture exhibition in the public area in front of the building. Another security manager came out with a 2-way radio and stood in front of our site with a stern face. After observing us for a while, he told us: "It is O.K. as long as you are not in our area. Otherwise, I would ask you to leave." A practitioner asked: "Why?" He said: "I would ask you to move to a place where people care about this issue. Here we only have people who come for shopping and they won't care about you guys." The practitioner then said sincerely: "We care about them!"
2) Kind Advice from Security Staff
During the day, the security personnel shifts changed several times and all of them were willing to accept our materials and listen to our truth-clarification. One security guard also suggested that we distribute materials in a nearby subway station. He said it was not so cold there and we could distribute materials faster.
Security officer: "You can distribute materials in subway stations"
A passerby asked: "Where can I find a practice site?"
Another security guard saw that we sometimes crossed the limit of the public area and then told us: "You must pay attention to this and do not go beyond this row of iron poles. I heard conversations among my colleagues on my radio that they are planning to send people to take photos if you cross the line as evidence that you are violating regulations. Consequently, you guys could be dispersed." We thanked him for the reminder. He told us: "I know what you are doing, I understand your intentions, and I support you wholeheartedly."
3) A Young New Yorker Who Has a Predestined Relation with Dafa
New Yorker Patrick said that he started to do meditation when he was 17. When he passed by, he was attracted by our music and exercise demonstration. He conjoined his hands and quietly stood next to practitioners to listen to our exercise music. Later, he learned all five sets of exercises.
A young New Yorker comes to learn the exercises
Learning the exercises
Patrick also told us: "I went to China to study in 2001 and it was the darkest time of the persecution. Teachers told international students in classes: You can't talk about Falun Gong. At that time, I felt very disgusted. Surprisingly, the Chinese students felt O.K. with it. Maybe they are used to a life without freedom. It is so sad!"
Before he left, Patrick took some fliers and said: "I can't take too many as I don't want to waste them. I will make copies and distribute them to my friends."
4) A "Self-immolation" or a "False Fire"
Around 4 p.m., a gentleman who appeared to be a senior employee came to our site. He said: "I have one serious question for you. Are you a religion or an organization? A practitioner replied: "We are neither a religion nor an organization. We just practice a practice which improves our health and tempers our minds."
This gentleman then asked: "I have read a report of self-immolation which charged that some practitioners committed suicide and burned a child alive." The practitioner told him: "All these are just lies. This is why we, practitioners from different countries, have come here. We come to clarify the truth to people like you. In order to eliminate Falun Gong, Jiang Zemin's regime and the Chinese Communist Party have not only murdered more than 1,000 practitioners, but also fabricated many lies to stigmatize and demonize Falun Gong."
New truth-clarification site in front of a famous shopping center
The truth-clarification site
People who come to learn about the truth
The gentleman listened to us attentively. He then asked a practitioner: "Do you work?" The practitioner answered: "I am a college student. I come here on weekends." He then turned back and asked me: "How about you?" I said: "I have a job in Toronto, and our bus is leaving around 6 o'clock. I have to be back at work tomorrow morning. Please take this VCD about the 'Self-immolation' and watch it." He nodded and said: "Thank you for the information, I will study this to see if it is a 'self-immolation' or a 'false fire.'"
5) "I met you in Paris"
A gentleman from Paris passed by. He smiled while he accepted a flier from a practitioner. He said: "I met you in Paris." The practitioner was surprised and said: "Really?" (She had never been to Paris.) This gentleman said: "Yes. I know you guys. The booth is the same, the exercises are the same, and so is the music. I think you must have moved from Paris to here."
6) Tourists Learn about the Persecution While Visiting Manhattan
After having read through our posters, a couple from the U.K. said: "You have done a good job! You must continue and you will obtain support from the U.S. government."
An elderly Scottish lady takes photos of practitioner
A kindhearted couple from Spain
A passerby explains the persecution to his daughter
A young couple from Spain stopped by and we learned that they are both professors. After they learned the truth of the persecution, they took many photos and asked for truth clarification materials in Spanish. Before they left, the husband said emotionally: "I am going to take this information to my country. I will tell all my relatives, friends, colleagues and students that such a brutal persecution is taking place in China now."
An elderly Scottish lady, who is a Christian, stopped by. She talked to us with tears in her eyes: "I can't believe that there is still torture and killing of good people!" She took many photos, and said that she would take the information back to share with her church members and pray for us.
A Japanese lady commented: "The Chinese government is worse than Fascism."
A middle-aged gentleman came to shop with his daughter. They came to view our posters, and the father explained the persecution to his daughter. He then said to practitioners: "You will have justice!" Anyone who participates in persecution of good people will be punished by the principles of the universe and the laws of human beings.
7) People Who Still Can't See the Truth
An elderly man who appeared to be a retired Chinese Communist Party cadre came to our site with his granddaughter. Pointing to us, he said: "You should go back China to see, China is now very good. You shouldn't be deceived and used." Practitioners told him: "Do you know why we come here to appeal? The Chinese Communist Party has murdered more than 1,600 Falun Gong practitioners and the killing is continuing." He then said viciously: "More than 1,000, so what? Do you know how many were killed during the Great Cultural Revolution?" As he left, we felt so sad as his mindset had been distorted so much by communism.
8) To Manhattan and Our Fellow Practitioners: "See You Next Week!"
We were leaving for Toronto as it started to rain again. Looking at the truth clarification site, and my fellow practitioners who were staying to maintain the site, I burst into tears. I took one more photo and said to my fellow practitioners in my heart: "Please take care, see you next week!"