Local Media Pay Attention as "Car Tour to Rescue Charles Li" Group Arrives in Ohio (Photos)
(Clearwisdom.net) September 3rd report: In order to rescue Charles Li and raise the American people's awareness about the persecution Falun Gong practitioners suffer in China, the "Car Tour Around the US to Rescue Charles Li" group set out from California on August 13, first traveling northward through the states of Oregon and Washington and then turning eastward. On the afternoon of August 30, at 4:00 p.m. the group arrived in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Falun Gong practitioner and American citizen Charles Li was illegally arrested this January at Guangzhou Airport by Chinese police. Later he was sentenced to three years in prison, and is currently detained in Nanjing Jail. Charles Li has been on a hunger strike in prison several times, and he was force-fed each time. He was also beaten and tortured, and deprived of sleep for several consecutive days. The prison guards confiscated his Falun Gong books and have not allowed him to practice the exercises and read books. They tried several times to brainwash him. The Chinese authorities prevent US Consulate officials in Shanghai from visiting Charles and corresponding with him. The persecution of Charles Li reminds people that the Jiang regime's persecution of Falun Gong practitioners has been continuing since July 1999. According to incomplete statistics, over the past four years since July 20, 1999, 775 Falun Gong practitioners are confirmed to have been tortured to death. The actual death toll is believed to be much higher.Cincinnati major media cover and make positive reports on the activity
On August 30, Charles Li's fiancée, Ms. Foo Yeong-ching and local Falun Gong practitioners accepted interviews from the media in front of Fountain Square in downtown Cincinnati. They also held a photo exhibit, collected signatures and practiced the exercises to raise awareness about the rescue drive. Though few people were on duty in the media outlets over the weekend, three major TV stations including ABC, CBS and FOX, the largest newspaper Cincinnati Enquirer, and City Beat came to conduct interviews and made objective and positive reports on the activity.
An American citizen was sentenced to jail because of his belief and mistreated in jail. This news caught the attention of the major media and local people in Cincinnati. Many people stopped to look at the Falun Gong truth-clarification photo exhibit. When they learned that an American citizen who believes in "Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance" was being detained in a Chinese jail, they signed their names to support the rescue of Charles Li. Some people suggested that we report to the State Department to call upon the American government to help rescue him. An older woman looked at the photo exhibit and said, "I'll pray for you, and I hope you succeed." Some other people learned to practice the exercises on the spot.
ABC TV station and City Beat newspaper conducted interviews with Charles Li's fiancée Ms. Foo Yeong-ching. Yeong-ching related to the media about the persecution of Charles Li in prison: he has been subjected to beatings, sleep deprivation, forced brainwashing, and he is being pressured to renounce his belief. He also held hunger strikes several times to protest the persecution and was therefore force-fed. Yeong-ching called upon more people to help Charles Li return to America as soon as possible.
NBC-5 TV station could not come to conduct the interview due to being shorthanded. After the interviews at Fountain Square, the practitioners drove to the NBC-5 TV station without having lunch. The editor on duty showed great interest, but he could not interview us, as no reporters were available. He told us that if a reporter was available, he would let us know. When we finished the day's activity, it was 9:00 p.m. and we hadn't eaten anything since breakfast.
Besides Charles Li, several dozen American residents' family members and relatives are being detained in Chinese labor camps and are suffering torture because they practice Falun Gong. Wang Weiyu, the cousin of Li Guoqiang, a Chinese student from the University of Cincinnati, was secretly abducted by Chinese police in August 2002 for practicing Falun Gong. His whereabouts are still unknown. Wang Weiyu was a PhD student in the Department of Precise Instruments at Tsinghua University. His plight caught the attention of Ohio Congressman Rob Portman, who had expressed in a Town Hall meeting earlier that he would call upon his fellow congressmen to pay attention to this.Press conference in Dayton
The next morning, the practitioners of the car tour group and some practitioners from Cincinnati drove northward to Dayton, 50 miles away from Cincinnati. The Wright Patterson Air Force Museum and Wright Patterson Air Force Base are located in this city. It had been raining heavily, but when we arrived at the Dayton Federal Building, the rain stopped. We had a two-hour press conference without disruption.
Some Dayton Falun Gong practitioners, who had been waiting in front of the Federal Building, immediately set up Dafa truth-clarifying photo display boards, and played the beautiful exercise music. The Dayton Daily News came, largest local newspaper, came to do interview, and so did NBC-22, Fox-45, and CBS-7.
Reporters interviewed Charles Li's fiancée Ms. Foo Yeong-ching and other practitioners. They were surprised at what they heard and saw. They also expressed their appreciation and encouragement to Charles Li and all Falun Gong practitioners for upholding our belief in "Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance" in a peaceful manner. NBC-22/Fox-45 TV station reporters mentioned after the interview that if Charles Li returned to America and if he could come to Dayton, they would come to interview Mr. Li.
People passing by came up to see and ask about the details. A police officer asked the purpose of our activity. When a practitioner showed her the photo of a plainclothes police officer in Tiananmen Square, in front so many people, putting a knife against the neck of a Falun Gong practitioner whose head is under the policeman's foot, she was very surprised. Before leaving, she took Dafa truth-clarifying VCDs and some other materials. She also said she would share these materials with her colleagues.
The ABC-2 TV station reporter did not come to the press conference, due to some other tasks. When we made a phone call to the director of the TV station to tell him that the car tour group practitioners would like to come to their TV station to have an interview, he was very pleased and made an appointment with us. So, all of major media outlets in Dayton covered the activities of the rescue drive.
After the interview in Dayton, the car tour group set out again to Columbus, the capital of Ohio.Cultivation experience: obtain naturally without pursuit
Local practitioners improved a lot while preparing for the press conferences in the cities of Cincinnati and Dayton. Some practitioner thought, "If only one person learns about the truth, we won't have done it in vain." With this thought in mind, we made phone calls to the media to invite them. We tried our best to do all this, and the results were surprisingly good. "Obtain naturally without pursuit." Before, we had placed too much expectation on the presence of the media, and some media outlets did not come or did not come often. This time, we also noticed that our previous efforts were not in vain. While having conversations with reporters, we learned that they had learned some things about Falun Gong, the persecution and the rescue of Charles Li. Perhaps, the success of this activity was based on our previous efforts. In addition, we especially realized that the car tour had given us a good opportunity to promote Falun Dafa and clarify the truth.
For those media outlets that were not present at the press conference, we took the initiative to go there and ask them to conduct an interview. During this time, we tried to have more media members learn the truth. The practitioners also realized that when we clarify the truth, we must let people know what Falun Gong is. When they learn that our belief is "Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance," they can easily see through the evil nature of the persecution.
One more point is that it is very important to send forth righteous thoughts. Sometimes when we slacked off, the evil would take the advantage and interfere, causing some damage to our truth-clarification efforts.
Therefore, it is very important that practitioners frequently remind each other and cooperate well.