(Clearwisdom.net) On August 19, 2008, Falun Gong practitioners in Los Angeles gathered in front of the Chinese Consulate and protested against the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) for imprisoning more than 8,000 Falun Gong practitioners under the pretext of the Olympic Games.

Voice of America (VOA) reported that Falun Gong practitioners did exercises and distributed fliers in front of the Chinese Consulate almost every day. More practitioners and media gathered on August 19 because many people were protesting the arrests of their families by the CCP prior to the Olympic Games.

Graduate student Ms. Pang Lete came all the way from Missouri to join the protest. She said, "My father Pang Xiaoqian and mother Cao Junping were arrested by the Weifang Police Bureau on July 29. Their excuse was 'social stability' during the Olympic Games. My parents' home was first searched on July 9, and again on July 30, when no one was home. My parents are imprisoned in Weifang Detention Center. My aunt was sentenced to one year of forced labor on August 10. Forty to fifty Falun Gong practitioners were arrested, and their homes were searched in Weifang on July 9."

Ms. Li Jie, a shopping assistant in Los Angeles, had been sentenced to five years in prison for practicing Falun Gong when she was in China. Another practitioner, Xu Na, shared a bunk bed with her in prison. Xu is still in prison since she was arrested in February of this year. Her husband died ten days after he was arrested without any explanation.

Ms. Li said, "They arrested a person off the street just because she practices Falun Gong and her husband was tortured to death. Now they want to sentence her to prison. This is totally unacceptable for anyone in any society."

Other Falun Gong practitioners calling for rescue of their families include American citizen Si Yang, whose sister Si Miao was sent to a forced labor camp and parents were placed under house arrest; Wang Peishang, whose daughter was sentenced to one year in Guangzhou Women's Prison; Liu Yaning, whose mother was sent to a forced labor camp; and Li Hongyuan and Zhang Shuangying. They sent a written request asking for the release of their family. Dr. Churchill, an American doctor who opposes the CCP's organ harvesting from living practitioners, read the request on their behalf.

Falun Gong practitioner Ye Ke from L.A. said that more than 8,000 Falun Gong practitioners have been persecuted in the past six months because of the Olympic Games.