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Columbus, Mississippi: The Commercial Dispatch Reports on Falun Gong Protest

May 12, 2006 |  

(Clearwisdom.net) On May 6, 2006, The Commercial Dispatch in Columbus, Mississippi published an article reporting on Falun Gong practitioners from the Southeastern US who are taking part in a van tour to tell more people about the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP's) atrocities of harvesting organs from living Falun Gong practitioners in forced labor camps in China. The purpose is to raise people's awareness and help bring about an end to the persecution.

The article said that a group of Chinese Falun Gong practitioners passed through Columbus Friday, pausing at City Hall long enough to spread their message of outrage about an alleged state-sponsored organ harvesting program in China.

The issue made national news on April 20, when Chinese doctor and journalist Wenyi Wang was arrested for demonstrating at a welcoming ceremony for Hu Jintao at the White House. Wang pleaded with Bush to tell Hu to stop the killing in China and stop the persecution of Falun Gong.

The article described Falun Gong as a Chinese spiritual discipline that includes exercise and meditation. It is practiced by millions of Chinese people who claim it brings better health, reduced stress and inner peace, among other benefits.

A small band of Chinese Falun Gong practitioners who now live in the Southeastern U.S. are traveling through 16 cities in Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi and Arkansas to spread their message.

Falun Gong was outlawed in China in 1999 by then-president Jiang Zemin. Falun Gong practitioners outside of Communist-controlled China are beginning to spread the word about what they claim is a state-sponsored live organ harvesting program operated by prison camps and hospitals which profit from the transplant surgery.

Mike Chen, a Falun Gong practitioner who now lives in Birmingham, Ala., was among the protesters in Columbus. Chen alleged the Chinese Communist Party has been known to harvest organs from criminals condemned to death. Now he says the CCP is doing it to Falun Gong practitioners for huge profits.

The demonstrators also are asking the U.S. government to drop all charges against Wang, who they say was taking the opportunity to speak out to President Hu in person, something that is not allowed in China.

Chen said, "Today we drive long distances to raise awareness, we call on President Bush to drop the charges against Dr. Wang. On the surface, it appeared a reporter was acting rudely. Once you understand the complaints, it's easy to see she was acting out of compassion."

Karin Wells, a sympathizer from Fayetteville, Tenn., spoke of the horrors of live organ harvesting, equating it to actions of the Nazis during the Holocaust.

Wells said, "What do we do when history repeats itself and the world turns a blind eye? Does America support this? Have people become numb?"

Also present was Chinese national Xiau Mei, who gave her story of imprisonment and persecution through an interpreter, Edward Wei.

Mei was passing out Falun Gong flyers in Beijing when she was arrested by state police and sentenced, without trial, she said, to a year and a half in a forced labor camp. Once there, Mei said her captors would not let her sleep until she signed a document renouncing her Falun Gong beliefs.

When she refused, Mei claims she was kept awake through forced marching for 32 days, developing hallucinations and hearing voices along the way before eventually collapsing. Mei said she was allowed to sleep only two hours per day over the next 10 months.