(Clearwisdom.net) The eight Falun Gong practitioners in the West Coast "Van Tour to Support the Lawsuit against Jiang" set off on May 11 from San Francisco, then passed through Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, and Nebraska, and arrived in Iowa on May 20, 2004. The practitioners demonstrated some of the torture methods used against practitioners in China, and exposed the ongoing persecution there. (For more detail of torture methods, go to http://www.clearwisdom.net/emh/articles/2001/11/24/16156.html). The van tour caught the attention of local media and people along the way, and won their support.

Police in Arizona Could Not Understand the Persecution in China

On May 15, the van tour arrived in Flagstaff, Arizona. The practitioners from the van tour, along with local practitioners, introduced Falun Gong to the local people and exposed Jiang's crimes of genocide, torture, and crimes against humanity.

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Demonstration of torture methods

Both local and van tour practitioners practiced the Falun Gong exercises in Flagstaff's Tempe Beach Park, and displayed posters about Falun Gong and the persecution. By chance, several other groups were holding activities in the park. This gave practitioners the opportunity to hand out truth-clarification literature and to demonstrate the exercises to more people.

On the square in front of the Flagstaff City Hall, practitioners from the van tour held an exercise demonstration, and they also demonstrated the torture methods used in China against practitioners. When the practitioners arrived there, two police officers walked over and watched them making preparations. The practitioners stepped forward and explained the facts of Falun Gong and the persecution to the police. The police initially listened without paying much attention, but after watching the demonstration of torture methods and hearing practitioners' explanations of the persecution of Falun Gong in China, their attitude changed and they began asking questions about the persecution. The officers shook their heads while listening, and said that the persecution was inconceivable. The police became friendly and took many photos of the exercise and torture demonstrations.

New Mexico Citizens Believe That People Have Freedom of Belief

On Sunday, May 16, the van tour arrived in New Mexico. Local and van tour practitioners demonstrated the exercises and the torture methods on the square in front of City Hall in Albuquerque, the largest city in New Mexico. The event was covered by NBC and CBS. Passers-by learned the exercises and asked for information about local practice sites.

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Media interview

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Passers-by learn the Falun Gong exercises

A Christian person said, "People should have the right of belief. But the Chinese government persecutes people who have belief, for fear of losing control." One woman said, after accepting a postcard to help rescue Charles Li, "I know that Charles Li is imprisoned in China. I am following the case." Another woman admired the contributions of Falun Gong practitioners after accepting the truth-clarification literature and said, "I wish to be like you. What can I do for you?" The practitioners told her to write or call the President and human rights organizations and ask for their support for the practitioners in China. She said she would do so.

Reporter Thought It Was Important to Have More People Know About the Persecution of Falun Gong

The van tour arrived in Des Moines, the capitol city of Iowa. Reporters from the local FOX media affiliate arrived before the scheduled event and talked with the practitioners from the van tour. The reporter asked the photographer to take photos from different angles, and explained the torture demonstration in his report.

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Reporter from FOX explains the torture methods

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Reporter from the Quad City Times learns the Falun Gong exercises after the interview

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Media in Colorado interview the practitioners

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Practitioners interviewed by media in Nebraska

After the interview, the reporter said, while shaking a practitioner's hand, that it was important to have more people know about the persecution occurring in China. He thanked the practitioners and said he hoped that the persecution would be ended as soon as possible.

After the conclusion of the activity in Des Moines, the van tour traveled to Davenport, 167 miles east of Des Moines.

When the van tour arrived at the activity venue in Davenport, a reporter from the Quad City Times, the largest local newspaper, was waiting for them. The reporter had interviewed a practitioner, Steven, over the phone the day before and published a newspaper report. Some of the audience members said that they came to see the demonstration of torture after reading the report.

The reporter from the Quad City Times continued talking with practitioners for nearly an hour, and learned the Falun Gong exercises after finishing the interview. After learning Exercise One, he said he felt relaxed and knew that it was a great practice. He shook hands with each practitioner before departing to write his report.

Many passers-by asked for more information, and audience members were shocked after watching the torture demonstration. They expressed support for the van tour and for Falun Gong.

Practitioner Steven said that the van tour would go to Wisconsin and then arrive at its final destination, Chicago, on May 21.