Washington, D.C.: Politicians and Human Right Leaders Call for an End to the Persecution of Falun Gong at Rally in front of Capitol (Photos)
(Clearwisdom.net) On July 19, 2007, Falun Gong practitioners from North America, Europe and Asia held a rally in front the U.S. Capitol, Washington D.C., calling for an end to the persecution of Falun Gong as well as the collapse of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). US congressmen, representatives of non-governmental organizations, human rights leaders and victims of the persecution gave speeches at the rally.
Scenes from the rally
Scenes from the rally
Michael Horowitz, director of the Hudson Institute's Project for Civil Justice Reform and Project for International Religious Liberty, stated that everybody in the world and their children will thank Falun Gong practitioners.
Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey speaking at the rally
Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen addressing the rally
Congressman Dana Rohrabacher addressing the rally
Congressman Donald M. Payne giving an address
Faith J. H. McDonnell, director of the Institute on Religion and Democracy, addressing the rally ã€‚
Nina Shea, director of Freedom House, making an address
Paula Schriefer, the host of the rally from Freedom House
Michael J. Goggin, chair of the InterFaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington
Visitors are learning about the persecution
Falun Gong practitioners' anti-persecution efforts are based on "Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance"
Zhang Erping, Falun Gong spokesman, said, "In the last eight years, Falun Gong practitioners' anti-persecution actions have been based on 'Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance," instead of violence. We have been taking the peaceful way to clarify the facts of Falun Gong."
Mr. Zhang continued, "The persecution has brought disaster to many families. For example, the Canadian independent investigators have proved the existence of [the CCP's] organ harvesting from living Falun Gong practitioners. This persecution is the most brutal one in the history. Falun Gong has already spread throughout the world. Many Chinese people and people worldwide have learned the facts of the persecution and support practitioners' peaceful anti-persecution efforts."
Ge Min, one of the organizers of the rally, said that at the beginning of the persecution, many people were deceived by the CCP's lies. They doubted that Falun Gong practitioners could persist for a long time. Now, eight years have passed, and more and more people have learned the facts of Falun Gong and recognized the evil nature of the CCP. Many people nowadays are starting to doubt how long the CCP can maintain its power.
Congressman Donald M. Payne: Support the Chinese people's choice of dissolving the CCP
Congressman Donald M. Payne of New Jersey said that everybody has the right to choose his or her belief. He said he will support the Chinese people's choice, if they choose to dissolve the CCP.
Congressman Payne expressed that the persecution of Falun Gong is illegal. He hugged Dr. Li Xiangchun at the rally, who was jailed in China for three years. Congressman Payne has been involved in rescue efforts for Dr. Li.
Dissolving the CCP and end the persecution
Mr. Zhang Erping said during an interview at the rally, "The CCP has brought huge disasters to the Chinese people. More than 70 million Chinese people have been persecuted by the party. So, quitting the CCP is a good thing for China."
Dr. Terri Marsh, a human rights lawyer and the chair of the Human Rights Law Foundation, said the persecution will end if and only if the CCP crashes down. She pointed out that harvesting organs from Falun Gong practitioners is the peak of the persecution and also its last step.
Director of Hudson Institute: Everybody and their children will thank Falun Gong practitioners
Michael Horowitz, the director of Hudson Institute's Project for Civil Justice Reform and Project for International Religious Liberty, said in a speech that brave practitioners don't give in to the evil and instead bring the information of peace of freedom to everyone in the world. He said that everybody in the world and their children will thank Falun Gong practitioners. He called for support to practitioners.
Mr. Horowitz said that Falun Gong practitioners' efforts and suffering will not be in vain. He pointed out that their spirit and actions will be remembered by history and will benefit everyone in the world.
Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey: Don't be afraid of the CCP's threats
Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey of California said that Falun Gong practitioners and supporters get together in front of the Capitol every year. She said the CCP not only persecutes its own people, but also tries to threaten people in other countries. She said she came to the rally today, which shows that she is not afraid of the CCP's threats. She pointed out that if the CCP wants to be accepted by international society, it must stop its evil behavior.
Congresswoman Woolsey thanked practitioners for their efforts and expressed that she will continue to fight with them for freedom.
Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen: Stop the persecution now
Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida has attended the anti-persecution rally in Washington D.C every July 20 since 1999. This year, her schedule had conflicts with rally, so she sent her assistant to give a speech on her behalf. But before the end of the rally, she came and gave a speech herself.
Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen said, "The issue of organ harvesting by the Chinese regime has been of great concern to me for some time, which is why I chaired one of the first Congressional hearings on the subject, and addressed it in several legislative measures I have authored.
"I commit to you that I will continue to press for an end this abhorrent practice.
The message that we send to Beijing here today should be loud and clear: End the persecution of Falun Gong now!"
Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen expressed that quitting the CCP is very meaningful, and she hoped that the CCP has heard the people's voice.
She said that it is proper to call the Olympic Games 2008 in Beijing the "Bloody Games."
Congressman Dana Rohrabacher: The Olympic Games should not be held by a government which suppresses its own people
Congressman Dana Rohrabacher of California said that America should not send athletes to the Olympic Games held by a government which suppresses its own people.
He said that the poisoned food, poisoned toothpaste and other product made in China have been imported to the U.S.A., and the source of the poison is the CCP. He pointed out that the poisoned products will be stopped if and only if the source--the CCP--is eliminated.
Officials from non-governmental organizations: All of us should stand with Falun Gong practitioners
Dan Fefferman, Executive Director of the International Coalition for Religious Freedom (ICRF), said he felt both glad and sad to see Falun Gong practitioners at the rally again this year, because it means that the persecution has been going on for eight years, and not ended yet.
Suzanne Scholte, President of the Defense Forum Foundation and the Chairman of the North Korea Freedom Coalition, said, "I have wondered why China's Communist Party so violently represses Falun Gong. How can the government of China be so threatened by people who wish to practice truthfulness, benevolence, and forbearance?
"I believe it is because of their intent to repress the human desire to practice the first and foremost freedom: the freedom of thought, conscience and religion. When our own nation was founded, our Founding Fathers believed that 'first freedom' was a God-given right, and was the most important because all freedoms are derived from it."
Michael J. Goggin, the chair of the InterFaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington, pointed out that the attendees of the rally stand up not just for Falun Gong, but for everybody.
Dr. Roderick said that governments often underestimate the power of people's spirits and don't understand that the anti-persecution power will only become stronger and stronger if the persecution doesn't stop. Dr. Roderick pointed out that Christians should support Falun Gong practitioners, because the freedom of belief is a basic human right for everybody.
Re-enactment of CCP tortures shocked tourists
Many tourists came to the practitioners' photo exhibition and anti-torture exhibition. They said that the CCP is too brutal. Some of them said that they can sense the pain that practitioners have been suffering and said that those who stand up to expose the tortures are heroes.
Andy Green and Michelle Heid, who work next to the Capitol, said that the American government should do more to stop the persecution. They also expressed that the Chinese government violates the spirit of the Olympic Games.
Some tourists said that they would bring the information to more people and would ask their congressmen to take action to help.
The rally was organized by Friends of Falun Gong and Freedom House. the Epoch Times, NTDTV, Sound of Hope Radio. www.youmaker.com broadcast the entire rally live.