(Clearwisdom.net) Under the hot sun in June, she stood quietly on a roadside in Flushing, home to one of the largest Chinese communities in New York. With a smile, she passed out copies of The Epoch Times newspaper to every passerby. She told the reporter, "It looks like we are here protesting, but we are only here peacefully, saying: Let's help our brothers and sisters in China, like America helping Germany to be free again from communism."

This slender western woman is Gisela Sommer. This weekend, she flew from San Diego, California, to Flushing, New York, to take part in a march and rally organized by Falun Gong practitioners. If she did not mention it herself, one would not have guessed that she is in her 60s.

Gisela Sommer (left) flew from San Diego to New York to work as a volunteer to raise awareness in Flushing over the weekend

The reporter learned that Gisela is a German immigrant. In the 1950s and 60s, she lived in West Germany, but many of her relatives lived under the totalitarian communist rule in East Germany. "At that time, there were 17 million Germans living in East Germany," Gisela recalled. "The communists had to build the Wall in order to keep people in. If not, they would have all run away to the West, because living in the East under communism was so bad. So many German people tried to escape. They built tunnels, they tried to climb over the Wall, and many were [stopped] or killed by the communist guards. Of course, in East Germany, they were ruled, just like now in China, with fear and threats.

"So this is a very important thing (referring to clarifying the facts to people living in Flushing), because I have grandchildren, and I care about their future. Even though they live in America, what's happening in Flushing today (the violent attacks against Falun Gong practitioners) shows us how we are all in danger from this communism, because they do not operate like the rest of us. The Chinese Communist regime does not want the best for the people of the world. They want to export their tactics of torture, suppression, and keeping people oppressed in labor camps. They want them to be like slaves, with no voice, no rights. That's what they want for the whole world.

"We need to wake up. I am an American citizen, I've been living in this country for almost 40 years, so I know what freedom is like."

Gisela mentioned that sometimes people brought up the fact that the American government also has many problems, and they asked her why she pays so much attention to the problems in China. She answered, "The American government does have its own problems, that is a fact, but in the United States, we at least have freedom of the press, freedom of speech, and freedom of belief, while Chinese people have been living under an autocratic regime's high-handed fear for the past 50 plus years with no choice. Now, it's time for Chinese people to enjoy freedom."

She told the reporter that only after she learned about the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China--about the CCP's brutal torture of practitioners, including over 3,000 verified cases of Falun Gong practitioner-deaths--was she even more clear about what the lack of human rights means in mainland China.

"I am now a senior citizen, I am a grandmother. At my age, most women would retire." Gisela said firmly, "But this is a worthy cause, I feel, because life is over very quickly, and we look back and we say, 'What have I really accomplished?' I think we have a responsibility to the people of this world. I said [I do all this for] my grandchildren, but I really meant all the people in the world. So it looks like that we are here protesting, but we are only here peacefully, saying: 'Look, this is what is happening and this is dreadful. "et's help our brothers and sisters in China, let's help them be free, like America helping Germany to be free again from communism.'"

Gisela said that when President Reagan made a speech in front of the Berlin Wall, he said, "Tear down this wall." Later, the wall was really torn down. "So this is what I hope for the Chinese people: Tear down that firewall, tear down that terrible wall of oppression, and give the Chinese people the freedom that human beings should have."