(Clearwisdom.net May 11 2003) Series report I: the American Midwest Falun Gong practitioners' celebration of Falun Dafa Month in Chicago:
|Press conference||Chorus||Practitioners perform "Fan Dance"|
|Child enjoying the celebration||12-year-old practitioner playing the flute||Group practice|
|Exercise demonstration||Sending righteous thoughts||Sending righteous thoughts|
|Spectators reading the poster boards||Celebration and experience sharing|
On May 9 2003, both Chinese and Western Falun Gong practitioners from 12 Midwestern states gathered at the Federal Plaza in Chicago to celebrate "World Falun Dafa Day" and "Midwest Falun Dafa Month." May 13 is "World Falun Dafa Day," and at the same time, practitioners of the Midwest region have designated May as "Falun Dafa Month in the Midwest." Practitioners organized a large-scale rally at the Federal Plaza, which featured a press conference, music and dance performances that were composed, directed and performed by Falun Dafa practitioners, and large scale exercise demonstrations. The event was serene and pleasant and attracted numerous passersby to stop and watch. The entire center and surrounding area were filled with the pure and beautiful atmosphere created by the practitioners.
Two Very Significant Events Combined: Celebrating "World Falun Dafa Day" and Supporting the "Bring Jiang Zemin to Justice" Lawsuit
Federal Plaza is in the center of downtown Chicago, where there are numerous visitors every day. In addition, many government office buildings are located around the plaza. Holding performances and exercise demonstrations here is a good opportunity to show the beauty of Falun Dafa to the government and other people, and of course, it can also suppress and clear away a lot of evil.
Under the mighty righteous thoughts of Dafa practitioners, the weather suddenly turned bright and shiny after days of dark clouds and rain. The carefully made banners that read, "Celebrate World Falun Dafa Day," "Celebrate Midwest Falun Dafa Month" and colorful balloons imprinted with "Happy Birthday" [for the Teacher] floated in the pure blue sky, under which, the practitioners sat quietly in meditation. What a beautiful scene!
Many States and Cities Proclaim Falun Dafa Month; Governors and Congress Members Send Congratulatory Letters
The activities started at noon with a press conference. Practitioners from Missouri, Illinois, Michigan, Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin and other areas presented proclamations from their states and cities. So far, four states and six cities, including St. Paul, Minnesota, have proclaimed May as "Falun Dafa Month," and many Governors and congress members sent congratulatory letters to Falun Gong practitioners. The letters and proclamations highly praised Falun Gong for its health benefits, for its high moral principles and for the contributions and efforts made by Falun Gong practitioners.
Practitioners Use Personal Experiences to Validate Dafa and Expose the Evil Persecution
At the press conference, five practitioners spoke about their own experiences of how Falun Dafa benefited their minds and bodies and how Jiang's regime brutally persecutes Falun Gong practitioners. A practitioner from Missouri talked about her experience of how Falun Dafa healed her cancer. Another practitioner from Missouri told the audience her experience of being detained and tortured for 18 months before she came to America. Her personal experience revealed the severe and dangerous situation that Falun Gong practitioners face in China. A practitioner from Minnesota shared how his mother was illegally sentenced to three years of forced labor for practicing Falun Gong, and pleaded for support, as she is currently still being detained in the labor camp. A western practitioner from Michigan exposed how Jiang's regime extended the persecution overseas and restricted his freedom. His named was put on a blacklist by Jiang's regime and he was prohibited from entering Iceland when Jiang visited there. An elderly female practitioner from Chicago shared some moving stories about how senior practitioners of Chicago persisted in a sit-in protest in front of the Chinese Consulate year around. They experienced the support of the American people for Falun Gong and the practitioners. Representing all the practitioners, these practitioners strongly appealed to the Chinese government: "Stop the persecution of Falun Gong; Falun Dafa is good; Release the detained practitioners immediately; Return the good reputation of the Teacher!"
Local media, including World Journal, Epoch Times, New Tang Dynasty TV, and Chicago New Century TV, chronicled the activities.
Wonderful Performances Captivate the Audience
After the press conferences, practitioners put on a performance of wonderful music and dance to the public. It began with a chorus of "Falun Dafa is Good" sung by practitioners from Chicago. The practitioners of the Midwest region pulled this concert together in less than a week. Though their workloads are high, they united as one body and cooperated smoothly. Chinese practitioners performed bamboo flute solos, a fan dance, red ribbon dance and other musical instruments. Western practitioners performed vocal solos and instrumental solos. The professional level of the "amateur" performers attracted many passersby. They seemed to forget that they had to work in the afternoon and stood with us to enjoy the performances. Two ladies who appeared to be from Asia stayed and watched until the performances were almost finished. They were very surprised to see two western practitioners sing solos in fluent Chinese.
After the performance, the practitioners demonstrated the exercises and sent forth righteous thoughts. Many passersby surrounded the poster boards, reading them carefully and raising questions to practitioners from time to time. When we were sending forth righteous thoughts, a man on a bicycle passed by on the other side of the street. He stopped his bike, then pressed his hands together and bowed to the practitioners. He stood there in solemn admiration for a while and then left. Another passerby read the truth clarifying display board and wanted to learn the exercises. After being given the group practice information, he happily left and turned back to look at us after every few steps.
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After dinner, the practitioners from mid America gathered to exchange their experiences. Practitioners from each state shared their experiences of working with governments and attending some celebration events. The practitioners listened to a report on the lawsuit against Jiang and understood the importance of bringing Jiang to justice from the standpoint of Fa. The practitioners all agreed that we must keep our righteous thoughts all the time to try Jiang publicly and completely deny the "old force" arrangements. This is a battle between the Righteous and the Evil in the universe. We are the protectors of the universe. As an article published on Minghui.Net on May 7th stated, we will "Open Trials of Jiang Zemin All Over the World in the Court of Morality and Justice, the Court of People's Hearts, and the Courts of the Human World."