Washington, D.C. April 3, 2002

Good afternoon everyone. My name is Gail Rachlin. Normally when I stand up here I'm a spokesperson for Falun Gong, but today, I'm a plaintiff in this case, because I, too, have been violated by the Chinese government on American soil.

For sixteen years I lived in the same apartment in New York City, and never had any incidents. But beginning in July of 1999, that changed. That July China's regime began its persecution of Falun Gong. I was appalled at the terrible human rights violations taking place, so I began alerting the media to what was happening. Little did I know, that such a simple action would make me a target of the Chinese regime--right here, in the United States of America.

Not long after I spoke in the media, I came home one day to find my apartment broken into; strangely, my income tax statements were stolen. Not long after that incident, I returned home one day to find that again my apartment had been forcefully entered. This time, my address book was stolen, but nothing more. And according to the police detective who investigated the break-in, my telephone had been tapped. What was even more shocking was that I had only been gone a few short hours, which meant that whoever broke in had probably been watching me. This was truly scary. I then installed two locks on my door, only to then have my apartment broken into a third time. A crowbar had been used, ripping the door right off its hinges. These were no ordinary thieves. They didn't want my valuables. They wanted information on me and those close to me; they had larger plans to violate others like me who practice Falun Gong or stand up for human rights. And sure enough, over the past two and a half years, others--many others--have been targeted right here in America.

China's regime has tried to justify its cruel persecution in the Mainland by saying they're merely "ensuring social stability" and "protecting the Chinese people" from Falun Gong. When human rights organizations and the United States itself told China to stop persecuting Falun Gong, China's leaders were furious, and said that the U.S. was "interfering in China's internal affairs." They demanded that the U.S. "leave China alone."

Then what on earth, I'd like to ask, are they doing instructing their Embassy and Consulates here in the U.S. to beat up Americans who go to the park to meditate? Why are they spending millions of dollars here to wage hate campaigns and breed discrimination? What are they doing spying on us, breaking into our homes, recording our conversations, and threatening to kill us? They are bringing their venom to America.

So this isn't a "China issue" at all. It's an American issue. This is a horrible violation of the values that America stands for, and a mockery of the freedoms we are entitled to. It is a menace to good, peace-loving people like you and me, and it must stop. Today, we are taking action to do just that.

Thank you.