Los Angeles: Rally of 4,000 Calls for Stopping the Persecution of Falun Gong in China
(Minghui.org) About 4,000 practitioners joined a rally at Pershing Square in downtown Los Angeles on October 15, 2015. Coming from across the United States and other countries, these practitioners are attending various events, including an experience-sharing Fa conference on October 16, to share how they have benefited from practicing Falun Gong.
The rally theme was “Stop the persecution of Falun Gong, stop organ harvesting from living Falun Gong practitioners, and bring Jiang Zemin to justice.” Erping Zhang, spokesperson for the Falun Dafa Association, said that the suppression in China was not only against Falun Gong practitioners. He said, “By opposing the universal values of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, this persecution is undermining our human civilization. For practitioners, in particular, it is a genocide based on belief.”
Zhang pointed out that through the peaceful demonstration by practitioners, and their consistent efforts debunking the hate propaganda from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) during the past 16 years, a large number of people inside China and overseas have learned the facts about Falun Gong. More than 180,000 criminal complaints have been filed against Jiang Zemin for the severe human rights violations.
Rida Hamida, representing the Office of Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez presented a certificate of recognition to the participants in the rally.
Many elected officials sent certificates of recognition of the event, including U.S. House Representatives (Ed Royce, Karen Bass' congratulatory letter), State Senator (Bob Hertzberg), State Assembly members (Cristina Garcia, Adrin Nazarian, Young Kim, Matthew Harper), a scroll from Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis, and Los Angeles City Council members (Bob Blumenfield, Paul Koretz).
Lisa Bloom, civil rights attorney, founder of The Bloom Firm, and legal analyst for NBC News and Avvo.com, referred to the brutalities such as organ harvest from living Falun Gong practitioners as “unacceptable.” She said the suppression in China occurred because of conflicts between the Communist Party's ideology and Falun Gong principles.
“How can anyone feel threatened by truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance? All moral beings of every major religion and no religion aspire to these values,” remarked Bloom at the rally.
Alejandro Centurion, representing Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting (DAFOH) in California, said the organization “has focused on what we and many believe to be the greatest medical violation happening today—that is the forced organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience in China. There is irrefutable evidence that the atrocity occurred in China and it continues to occur today.”
Among practitioners who attended the rally, about 100 who had been previously detained in China went to the stage. When event organizer Chen Shizhong asked how many of them had experienced blood test during detention, about 40 of them raised their hands. Blood testing is a prerequisite for matching blood and tissue types, and has been conducted mainly on Falun Gong practitioners, not other detainees.
Joan Collins, producer and board director at the United Nations Association of Beverly Hills, encouraged practitioners to raise awareness of these issues to the public through social media and other channels.
Disfigured and Died of Torture
Gao Rongrong, an accountant at an art college, was arrested in July 2003. Her face became disfigured after guards shocked it with electric batons for about seven hours on May 7, 2004. Practitioners subsequently rescued her, but she was arrested again in March 2005. Continued torture resulted in her death in on June 16, 2005. She was only 37 years old.
Her elder sister, Gao Weiwei, shared her story at the rally. “The physical and mental pain my sister suffered is beyond description. And her death is a forever sorrow for me and our family.”
Weiwei and her family filed a criminal complaint against Jiang in June. The documents were submitted the Supreme Court and Supreme Procuratorate in China. She requested help from more people so that justice could be served, for her sister and many other practitioners mistreated for their beliefs.
Many passersby signed petitions to support practitioners. John Papas, who works in a financial firm close to Pershing Square, signed petitions calling on both the United Nations and the U.S. Congress to help end the suppression in China.
“You are not alone. Other people around the planet see your struggle, your pain. We will stand with you. You are not alone. Help is on the way,” said Papas.