(Clearwisdom.net) At 7 p.m. on July 20, 2009, dozens of Falun Gong practitioners from the Greater Philadelphia area held a public rally and candlelight vigil on Independence Square next to the Liberty Bell to protest CCP's persecution of Falun Gong and to call for its stop.

On July 20, 2009, Falun Gong practitioners from the Greater Philadelphia area rally to protest the persecution

A candlelight vigil to call for an end to the persecution

At the rally, two practitioners who had just left China shared their personal experiences of the persecution. The misery they endured touched many passersby who paused to listen.

Ms. Jia just came to Philadelphia from China. Five of her family members practice Falun Gong. During the ten-year-long persecution, they faced the possibility of never seeing some of their loved ones again ten times. From 2007 to 2008, her aunt, cousin, sister, and mother were arrested. Her mother is currently imprisoned in the Anhui Province Women's Forced Labor Camp. She is under constant monitoring by drug user inmates even when she eats, sleeps, or goes to the restroom. Every day she is forced to do hard labor for 16 hours.

Jason was a teacher at an university. During the persecution, he was fired and forced out of his apartment for practicing Falun Gong and speaking out about the persecution. He was imprisoned six times in forced labor camps and tortured. To prevent police harassment of his family and his father, who was in his 70's and had heart disease, he stayed away from home. Some of his friends, students, and colleagues were tortured to death for practicing Falun Gong.

People that know the facts oppose the persecution

Spectator Mr. Lin said, "I've read about the persecution in the newspaper, but I did not feel the true impact as I am today. I am hearing these people's stories in person today. The CCP is truly evil."

Lynn, a court officer, said, "I don't believe that anyone should be persecuted for their belief."

Danny, a student at Drexel University Law School, said after seeing the reenactment of live organ harvesting, "Too horrible!" He wants international organizations and every country to do something to prevent the persecution of belief worldwide.

Alex, who started practicing Falun Gong in 2005, said, "Tonight I sit here and feel peace and serenity. We support justice and ask for an end to the persecution of Falun Gong in China. I noticed that many passersby paused to learn the facts. Some stopped for quite a while." He hoped they would tell their friends, relatives, and people around them about the true situation to help stop the persecution.

Philadelphia TV stations Fox29 and NBC10, and the Philadelphia Inquirer and Public Record newspapers covered the event live. The Philadelphia Inquirer and KYW radio station announced the event beforehand.

A reporter from Fox29 TV interviews a Falun Gong practitioner

High Resolution Picture

Photo report in the Philadelphia Inquirer