(Clearwisdom.net) On April 23, after a grand parade, more than one thousand Falun Gong practitioners and supporters held a rally in Chinatown, Flushing, NY, commemorating the April 25 Appeal.

The rally

Fifteen attendees spoke at the three-hour-long rally. Zhang Erping, a representative of Falun Gong practitioners, briefly reviewed the April 25 Appeal, the history of the persecution of Falun Gong, and practitioners' peaceful resistance of the persecution. Dr. Li Dayong, a representative from the Global Service Center for Quitting the Party, told about the movement to quit the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in China. He pointed out that more than 93 million Chinese people have quit the Party and/or its affiliated organizations. He predicted that the CCP would soon come crashing down. Professor Nie Sen from Catholic University of America talked about the tortures that the CCP has used in the persecution of Falun Gong. He emphasized that the CCP is harming itself by persecuting Falun Gong and that the April 25 Appeal will be remembered forever in history.

Professor Nie Sen from Catholic University of America

Wang Zhiyuan, a spokesman from the World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (WOIPFG), said that WOIPFG has collected massive amounts of evidence of the persecution since it started its investigations on January 20, 2003, and has published more than 3000 announcements. Currently more than 7,000 organizations and 130,000 individuals who have been involved in the persecution are under investigation by WOIPFG.

Wang Zhiyuan pointed out that, in the recent years, more and more lawyers in China have stood up to fight for Falun Gong practitioners. Those primarily responsible for the persecution, including Jiang Zemin, Luo Gan, Bo Xilai, and Jia Qinglin, have been sued in different countries for genocide and torture. More and more governments and organizations are calling for an end to the persecution and bringing those responsible to justice.

Wang Zhiyuan, spokesman for the World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong

Martha Flores-Vasquez, the Executive Director of Community Prevention Alternatives for Families in Crisis Counseling Center in Flushing, said that the persecution of Falun Gong should stop immediately. She said that people should realize that this is a free land, not the land of Hitler and genocide.

Ms. Flores-Vasquez said that, as a citizen who has lived in Flushing for 34 years, she will not tolerate the unjust treatment of Falun Gong. She called upon American government officials and congress members at each level to help Falun Gong practitioners to end the persecution. She believes that the community will stand together against the persecution.

Several Chinese democracy movement activists also gave speeches supporting Falun Gong and calling for human rights in China.

Huang Xiang, a famous Chinese poet, said that Falun Gong represents the traditional Chinese culture and that practitioners follow the law of the universe. He said that one should feel ashamed if he/she does not want to do anything after learning about the persecution.

Xin Haonian, a famous historian, thanked Falun Gong practitioners for fighting for human rights and freedom.

Xin Haonian, a famous historian

Lu Dong, spokesman for the Christian Democracy Party of China

Lu Dong, spokesman for the Christian Democracy Party of China, said that, like Falun Gong practitioners, Christians are being persecuted in China for their belief. However, except for a few people, such as Gao Zhisheng, most Chinese Christians overseas keep silent on the issue of Falun Gong. He said that the reason that he came to the rally on behalf of his party is because he and his friends want to break the silence and call upon the Chinese Christians overseas to fight for freedom of belief along with Falun Gong practitioners.

Wang Jun, the chair of the China Democracy Party World Association, said that Falun Gong practitioners are fighting for their basic human rights and that Falun Gong is not the only group that has been persecuted by the CCP. He called upon every Chinese to support Falun Gong, because supporting Falun Gong is supporting oneself. “If Falun Gong practitioners' human rights are not protected, then you will not have human rights, either,” Wang Jun said.

Some local Chinese people came and listened to the speeches. Some of them told reporters about their own experiences of being persecuted by the CCP. They expressed their support of practitioners. Many accepted truth-clarifying materials.

Nineteen Chinese people quit the CCP and the associated organizations at the rally.