(Minghui.org) Over one thousand Falun Gong (also known as Falun Dafa) practitioners held a rally, march, and candlelight vigil in Washington, D.C. on July 14, 2016. The events aimed to raise public awareness of the Chinese communist regime's persecution of Falun Gong, and called on all circles to help stop the atrocities that have now persisted for 17 years.

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) initiated a violent campaign against Falun Gong on July 20, 1999. Since then, practitioners have been systematically arrested, imprisoned, forced to undergo brainwashing, tortured, and even killed for their organs. Facing the brutal persecution, Falun Gong practitioners continue to hold peaceful protests and call on the international community to take action to stop the Chinese regime's crimes, including at large events in Washington, D.C. around July 20 every year.

The rally was held on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol at noon on July 14. Invited speakers, including several House Representatives, spoke at the rally to express their support for Falun Gong and condemn the CCP's persecution and human rights violations.

Related report: Large Rally at the U.S. Capitol Calls for End of 17-Year-Long Persecution

After the rally, practitioners embarked on a 2.3-mile march from Capitol Hill, along Pennsylvania Avenue, 15th Street, and Constitution Avenue, ending at the Lincoln Memorial. The march lasted one and a half hours. Many government employees and Congressional staffers watched the march.

Falun Gong practitioners march in Washington D.C. on July 14, 2016 to protest the persecution of Falun Gong by the Chinese communist regime. The four practitioners in front are holding large Chinese characters reading “Stop the Persecution.”

Practitioners' Divine Land Marching Band leads the march.

Five practitioners hold large Chinese characters reading “Falun Dafa is Good.”

The white banner in front reads, “Disintegrate the Chinese Communist Party and Stop the Persecution.”

The large banner reads “Bring Jiang Zemin to Justice.” Jiang Zemin is the former head of the Chinese Communist Party who launched the persecution of Falun Gong in 1999.

Marchers commemorate practitioners killed in the persecution of Falun Gong by the Chinese regime.

The front banner reads, “The CCP's live organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners is an unprecedented evil on this planet.”

The front banner shows images of practitioners tortured for their belief in Falun Gong.

A banner supporting 243 million Chinese who have renounced their current and past memberships in the CCP and its youth organizations.

Practitioners held a candlelight vigil in front the Lincoln Memorial, which symbolizes freedom, hope, and civil rights. They held candles to commemorate fellow practitioners who were tortured to death by the Chinese regime for refusing to renounce their faith.

Falun Gong practitioners hold a candlelight vigil in front of Lincoln Memorial on the evening of July 14, 2016.

Participants hold portraits of fellow practitioners tortured to death by the CCP for their beliefs. The big Chinese character in front reads “In Memory.”