Falun Gong Practitioners from Europe and Asia Participate in Grand March in Washington DC (Photos)
(Clearwisdom.net) More than 2,500 Falun Gong practitioners gathered on the west lawn of Capitol Hill in Washington DC at noon on July 17, 2009 and prepared for a grand march. With display boards and colorful banners, the practitioners' parade carried the message: "Stop the persecution of Falun Gong by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)."
It's my duty to come to Washington DC to participate in the activities protesting against the persecution
There was a tall middle-aged western man in the parade, wearing a yellow T-shirt with the words, "Falun Dafa is great." He held a placard with blue words on a white background, reading, "The world needs Truth-Compassion-Forbearance." On the other side of the placard was the message, "Stop the persecution of Falun Gong" in both English and Chinese. This Falun Gong practitioner is Fava, whose family of three came from Italy to the United States to take part in the large-scale event.
Fava started to practice Falun Gong after a trip to Beijing in 1995. "I came to Washington this time because the CCP has been persecuting Falun Gong for ten years. We can't let the persecution go on. This is not the first time that I've come to Washington. I often attend Falun Gong practitioners' experience sharing conferences. In fact, I come here almost every year. This time, it has different a meaning, because Falun Gong practitioners have been peacefully resisting the persecution for ten years. I feel that it is my duty to come."
The reporter asked him why, being Italian, he is so concerned about things in China. He replied, "Being a Falun Gong practitioner, I'm concerned about things happening in China. Besides, I lived in China for eight years, and many things have stayed in my memory. So I'm concerned about the wellbeing of the Chinese people and their lives."
Fava's son Tian Li is nine years old. He studies the Fa every day, and does the exercises often. He said that the exercises make him feel comfortable. Tian Li said that sometimes when he feels wronged, he can follow the teachings of Truth-Compassion-Forbearance to improve and maintain his xinxing. When the reporter asked him why he came to the United States, Tian Li said in his childlike, sincere voice, "I also want to participate, I also want to be like a Dafa disciple."
Falun Gong wins more and more sympathy and support in Hong Kong
During the parade, the reporter spoke to Mr. Kan Hung Cheung, coordinator of the Hong Kong Falun Dafa Association. Mr. Kan told the reporter, "Falun Gong practitioners' annual activities in Washington DC are a focal point that the international community pays attention to. Through such an activity, we can raise the awareness of people throughout the whole world and stop the CCP's persecution of Falun Gong."
Speaking of Falun Gong in the special environment of Hong Kong, Mr. Kan said, "Hong Kong practitioners were under comparatively greater pressure in the first few years since the persecution started, because we directly stood in front of the CCP. The Hong Kong government was also directly controlled by the CCP. The pressure felt as if it blotted out the sky and hid the earth - we were extremely upset. But we practitioners tried our best to clarify the facts peacefully, and rationally resisted the persecution and won the sympathy and support of many Hong Kong citizens. Now the situation is getting better and better. Although there is still some interference and persecution from all aspects, the CCP's influence has become weaker and weaker. We try our best to clarify the facts, because Hong Kong has many people from mainland China. We hold parades introducing and supporting the Quit-the-CCP movement, and other truth-clarification activities, which have yielded good results. Many Chinese people come to these activities and take our truth-clarification materials." Mr. Kan added, "There are over a dozen Quit-the-CCP centers in Hong Kong. Many tourists from mainland China take our materials there, and some directly announce their withdrawal from the CCP."
German practitioner: Cherish this opportunity
Jing Song, who is half Chinese, is a designer for a company in Germany. He has practiced Falun Gong since 1995. He felt great about today's event. "So many Falun Gong practitioners are here holding a grand march against the persecution. I feel that there are more people here than in previous years. I'm busy with my work, and have few opportunities to participate in such an activity. For me, it is a precious opportunity to come here to take part in the event. I feel it is very meaningful."
I know how to be a good person after practicing Falun Gong
At the end of the parade, the reporter came across Ms. Tai from Shandong Province. She came to the United Stated one year ago and just started to practice Falun Gong. When she was in China, her son called her on the phone and told her he was practicing Falun Gong. He said he felt great and suggested that she ၪoin in the practice. Mr. Tai said that she dared not practice, because the Communist Party was too cruel to Falun Gong. She was worried when she heard that her son was practicing it. Since she came to the United States, however, seeing her son and daughter-in-law both practicing Falun Gong, and having more contact with practitioners, and she gradually started to practice Falun Gong herself.
Speaking of the positive changes in her son, Ms. Tai told the reporter, "He has had a big change. Now he has good health. My daughter-in-law takes good care of me since she started practicing Falun Gong."
As for the changes that Falun Gong has brought to her, Ms. Tai said happily, "I had bronchitis and gastric illness since my childhood, and other minor illnesses. After six months of Falun Gong practice, all these illnesses disappeared. Seeing these positive changes, my husband also started to practice."
Ms. Tai continued, "Falun Gong teaches practitioners to live according to Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, to be good people, to be kind in all cases, not to oppose others when we across any conflicts, and not to have ill will against others, and instead to treat others with kindness. I did not know how to be a good person before I started practicing Falun Gong."
Ms. Tai was pleased to share her feelings about today's grand march: "I feel that the parade was great. Practitioners, young or old, all treated everyone with kindness. That's great, I'll definitely continue practicing Falun Gong!"