California: Falun Gong Practitioners Hold "Goodness Prevails Over Violence and Hatred" Seminar at the University of California, Berkeley (Photos)
(Clearwisdom.net) On the evening of April 28, 2004, Northern California Falun Gong practitioners held "Goodness Prevails Over Violence and Hatred" seminar at the University of California, Berkeley (UCB). In the seminar, practitioners pointed out that Falun Gong practitioners in China and overseas have used all peaceful approaches to clarify the facts of the persecution and call for an immediate end of the persecution. The representatives of some non-governmental organizations expressed their support for Falun Gong and condemned the persecution. Some professors and students of UCB also attended the seminar.
Dr. Sherry Zhang is a graduate of UCB and is currently conducting research projects in a Berkeley laboratory. She gave a presentation on Falun Gong. She said that Falun Gong was introduced to the public in 1992, and immediately gained popularity for its significant effectiveness in improving physical and spiritual health. The "Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance" teaching of Falun Gong also helps improve morality. Falun Gong has received proclamations and awards from many governments. She said, "In 1999, it was estimated that there were more than 100 million people practicing Falun Gong."
Dr. Zhang then showed photos of Falun Gong spreading, the 4-25 peaceful appeal and the brutal persecution as well as a short analysis video of the "Tiananmen Self-Immolation" incident. Dr. Zhang said, "As you can see clearly, Jiang Zemin's regime has been fabricating lies to slander Falun Gong. The regime also forces all the media in China to run its propaganda in order to instigate hatred against Falun Gong."
Dr. Zhang also said that hundreds of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners have been illegally sent to forced-labor camps and mental hospitals where they have been subject to torture and nerve-damaging drugs since Jiang launched the persecution. To date, it has been confirmed that at least 958 Falun Gong practitioners have been killed in the persecution. On the other hand, out of their great compassion, Falun Gong practitioners in China and overseas have used only peaceful measures to clarify the facts about Falun Gong to everyday people and call for an end to the persecution.
Falun Gong practitioner Shumin Shen narrated her miraculous experience with Falun Gong and further explained the 4-25 peaceful appeal and the persecution she and her husband have suffered from since July 1999.
Robert Pickus is a member of the World Anti-War Association. He said that he was quite indifferent when Falun Gong practitioners initially introduced the persecution to him. However, through contact with practitioners, he found that these practitioners were very normal, friendly, peaceful and rational which is different from what he had imagined based on what some officials in the Chinese government claim. He called on more people to support Falun Gong and condemn the persecution of Falun Gong.
Steve Fredkin, member of Berkeley Committee of Peace and Justice, said that he was very touched by the practitioners' presentation. He said that he loves peace and wholeheartedly supports Falun Gong to use non-violent means to express their concern. He said, "The Berkeley City Council has passed two resolutions to express its concern over China's persecution of Falun Gong. We hope the situation over there will improve."
Giovanni Vassallo is the chairman of Friends of Tibet at San Francisco Bay. He said that he admired practitioners' peaceful approaches in response to the brutal persecution. He said, "I saw practitioners practicing in front of the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco and they didn't disturb anyone. I don't understand how this can be viewed as a threat."
Mr. Ji, who just came to the U.S. recently from Mainland China, also attended the seminar. He said that he misunderstood Falun Gong because of the "Tiananmen Self-Immolation Incident." After he watched a truth-clarifying CD, he realized that it was a staged tragedy. Later, he obtained a copy of Zhuan Falun, and he didn't find anything bad in it, as had been alleged by the authorities in China. On the contrary, he found the content of this book was very good. He said that Chinese government should not have persecuted Falun Gong and he would tell a relative who is a police officer in Mainland China not to persecute Falun Gong.