(Clearwisdom.net) On July 16, 2008, the Toronto Falun Dafa Association held a press conference in front of the Chinese Consulate calling on the Canadian government to condemn the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) persecution of Falun Gong. The conference also called for an end to the persecution before the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

Practitioners in front of the Chinese Consulate call for an end to the persecution

Practitioners call for an end to the persecution in front of Chinese Consulate

Practitioner Zhang Zhaojin of the Toronto Falun Dafa Association said, "In China since January 1, 2008, 8100 Falun Gong practitioners have been arrested by the CCP and 130 were tortured to death."

He said, "On July 20, 1999, the CCP initiated the brutal persecution of Falun Gong. Falun Gong practitioners across the world maintain their steadfast belief in 'Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance', explain the facts, and call for an end to the persecution. Falun Gong has spread to over 80 countries. Before the Beijing Olympics, the CCP is escalating the persecution of Falun Gong. The Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (CIPFG) initiated the Millions of Signatures Global Campaign, and has already collected more than one million signatures, including 150,000 from Canada, calling for an end to the persecution."

Zhang Xuan personally witnessed the CCP's initiation of the persecution of Falun Gong, "At 8:00 a.m. on July 19, 1999, my husband and I went out to spread Falun Dafa. Eight plainclothes police officers walked out from the woods across from our building and said they were from the First Bureau of Public Safety. They took away my husband."

Zhang Xuan returned home and received calls from other Falun Gong practitioners saying that police were arresting people everywhere. They agreed to go to Beijing Appeals Office to request the release of the arrested practitioners. "When we arrived at the Appeals Office, we saw many fellow practitioners there. Later many armed police came, beat the practitioners, and pulled them into vehicles." Ms. Zhang said, "We were taken to Chaoyang Worker's Stadium initially and to Daxing Detention Center in the evening. We were not allowed to eat or drink. On the next afternoon, they took us to Xinghuo High School. The CCP's radio broadcast stations announced the ban of Falun Gong. Thus, the inhumane persecution of Falun Gong practitioners began."

Ms. Chen started practicing Falun Gong in 1997. She said she had a duodenal ulcer and her health was poor prior to cultivating. After practicing Falun Gong, her illnesses disappeared and she now has a healthy body. "After 1999, I could only practice at home." Ms. Chen said, "On the evening of May 6, 2001, three police officers came to my home and said someone reported that I practiced Falun Gong. I said I continued to practice because I regained a healthy body after practicing. The police ransacked my home and took away my little cassette player, the book Zhuan Falun, and other Falun Gong books. The police said to me, 'Curse Master Li.' I said I should appreciate him because I obtained a healthy body after practicing Falun Gong."

"They said, 'If you don't curse, we'll take you to the police substation.' Then they forcibly took me to the police substation." said Ms. Chen.

"I believe in 'Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance'. I benefit a lot from practicing Falun Gong." Ms. Fei said, "I come today to join the rally to call on all kind-hearted people to help stop the brutal persecution and release all Falun Gong practitioners unlawfully arrested."

"This is the third time that I have participated in the 'July 20' event. I will also go to Washington DC to participate in a rally there." Ms. Fei said, "I participated in the candlelight vigil in Washington DC for the first time last year. I shed tears when I thought of the fellow practitioners who were tortured to death or imprisoned in labor camps and prisons."