By Julie Patel

July 10, 2004

People passing Mountain View's City Hall on Friday were met with re-enactments of torture in a performance staged by Bay Area Falun Gong followers.

The protesters say they are being persecuted for practicing their faith in China. Performers wore makeup to appear as though they had been beaten. They demonstrated torture methods, pretending to stab under fingernails with sharp bamboo shoots.

"We wanted people to see with their own eyes, vividly, how this is happening,'' said Mary Qian, a practitioner from Mountain View.

Qian said there are about 300 Falun Gong followers in the Bay Area.

Note: "Sect followers" in the title was replaced with "Falun Gong practitioners," as Falun Gong is not a religion, but an ancient Chinese cultivation practice of mind and body based on the teachings of "Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance."