(Clearwisdom.net) Falun Gong practitioners and supporters held a rally in front of Capitol Hill, Washington D.C. on July 16, 2009, marking ten years of peaceful protests against the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) brutal persecution of Falun Gong. A number of elected representatives and NGOs delivered speeches or sent statements supporting efforts by practitioners to end the persecution in China. Excerpts from two of these statements are provided below.

Congressman Christopher H. Smith: I am very moved to be here among you

Congressman Chris Smith of New Jersey spoke at the rally, voicing strong support for practitioners' endurance, and their efforts to expose and stop the persecution.

"Thank you so much for coming here today and standing up for the human dignity of Falun Gong practitioners--the most cruelly persecuted group in China.

"On the tenth anniversary of the Falun Gong's inspiring silent protest at Zhongnanhai many people still do not understand the savagery of the Mao-style campaign unleashed in 1999, when the Communist Party created an extralegal security force known as the "6--10 Office" to implement the ban with truly Gestapo-like tactics.

"Many of the Falun Gong have fled to the United States and the Chinese government have dared to follow them here, cyber-attacking Falun Gong's American web sites, sending agents to spy on them, and raising crowds to harass and beat them, as happened last year in New York.

"We need to learn more about whether our government is doing everything it can to protect the Falun Gong here in America. Along with another Member of Congress, I have requested an FBI briefing on how the Chinese government has tried to extend its persecution to the United States, and what our government is doing about it. We will do everything we can to see that you are protected here and not let the world forget what is being done to you in China.

"...many of you have supported the Global Online Freedom Act, which I have re-introduced in this Congress. This bill would make Internet freedom a true foreign policy priority, and give our government the means to challenge the Chinese government's coercion of U.S. IT companies.

"I am very moved to be here among you. You are great witnesses of courage."

Suzanne Scholte, Chairman of the North Korea Freedom Coalition:

Ms. Scholte paraphrased a German pastor's poem, describing how a "rising and growing evil in just one country can not only bring terrible suffering in that country, but will eventually effect the entire world." The poem describes many groups being persecuted and the writer not speaking out on multiple occasions because he wasn't a member of any of the persecuted groups. The paraphrased poem ends with the line, "Then they came after me -- and there was no one to speak out for me."

"Today, we mark the 10th anniversary of the persecution of the Falun Gong, while just last month we marked another anniversary: the 20th anniversary of Tianamen Square.

"We cannot allow the CCP to crush the hope and potential for a bright, prosperous, and peaceful future for the Chinese people.

"[Gao Zhisheng] loves China and only wants for his homeland prosperity and peace, which can only come when human rights are respected, he is released from prison and the persecution against Falun Gong ends.

"Thank you and God bless you for being here and let us work together for that day."