Florida Practitioners Embark on an "SOS! Urgent Rescue" Bike Ride from Orlando to Washington D.C.
Part 1: The first day of the bike trip and the Press Conference
On July 1, Florida practitioners held a press conference in front of the Orlando City Hall to kick off the "SOS! Urgent Rescue the Falun Gong Practitioners Persecuted in China" bike ride to Washington D.C. During the press conference, a Falun Gong practitioner gave a statement, and read a supporting letter from Florida congressmen and senators. Representatives from the Orlando Human Rights Organization and the Vietnam Religion and Freedom Organization also gave speeches. During the press conference, Falun Gong practitioner Amy Lee described her experiences of being tortured by police in China. She was interviewed by journalists afterwards.
After the press conference, the Florida practitioners marched from the Orlando City Hall to Lake Eola Park to call upon the public to support the "SOS! Urgent Rescue the Falun Gong Practitioners Persecuted in China" campaign. Afterwards, eight Falun Gong practitioners left Lake Eola Park on bicycles, starting a one-thousand-mile long trip toward Washington D.C.
Later that day, four practitioners rode eight hours and finished the first day of their journey. As they traveled along, they explained to the people they encountered their purpose for biking: to call on the Chinese government and Chinese people to stop Jiang Zemin regime's brutal persecution of Falun Gong practitioners. People who listened to their explanations were shocked by the brutality of the Jiang Zemin regime, and were also moved by the bikers' kind spirits.
(Translated on July 13, 2001 from edited version of http://www.minghui.ca/mh/articles/2001/7/4/12814.html)
(clearwisdom.net) Reporters from two local newspapers in Palm Coast, Florida interviewed Falun Dafa practitioners the morning of July 2nd. The practitioners stated the purpose of the bicycle trip, which was to expose the brutal persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China launched by Jiang Zemin and his accomplices. The two reporters were shocked by the brutality of the persecution and showed great sympathy towards Falun Gong practitioners in China. Following the interview, they asked how to offer assistance regarding the Falun Gong issue. Our practitioners told them: "Hopefully, the American media can honestly report and widely disseminate the truth regarding the crisis of Falun Gong in China. Also, the press can appeal to all kind people to stop the murders by the Chinese government."
Many people wave to them. Then they stop and tell them the purpose of the
trip. People are very touched and show firm support for their actions.
On July 3rd, the practitioners held a press conference in Jacksonville, their last stop in Florida. Several TV stations and newspapers covered the event. The practitioners described the current situation in China, how Jiang Zemin and his gang escalated their persecution of Falun Gong, and that fifteen female practitioners were murdered a few days ago. The practitioners delivered to the journalists letters of support from a congressman and the State Speaker of the General Assembly. Following the interview, three practitioners left the city and started their third day of the bicycle trip northward.
The Florida sun is quite hot in July. After the three-day trip, blisters appeared on the legs of some practitioners. Since there were no people or houses along that road, they spread Falun Dafa only when they rested at gas stations. They arrived at another city at 10pm that night.
(Translated on July 13, 2001 from the edited version of:
On July 4th, when the practitioners stopped at each gas station, they told people about the truth of Falun Gong and its persecution in China. Three American children surrounded them and asked many questions during lunch at a fast food restaurant. The practitioners talked to them about Falun Gong and taught them the exercises. One of the children received material about the persecution of Falun Gong by Jiang Zemin, plus information about Falun Gong. After the children and their parents left, one of the staff in the store became interested as well. The practitioners taught her the exercises.
A few days later, the faces of some practitioners were peeling, and blisters appeared on their mouths. There were many blisters on their inner thighs where their legs scraped the bicycle seat. An attendant at a fast food restaurant was very surprised to hear that they had ridden all the way from Orlando. They also spoke to her about the situation of Falun Gong in China, and how with this trip they were doing their best to end the persecution earlier. The attendant immediately understood the gravity of the situation and wished them success.