(Minghui.org) During his recent visit to New York, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang encountered Falun Gong practitioners' peaceful protests calling to bring former communist party head Jiang Zemin to justice. Jiang is responsible for orchestrating and perpetuating the devastating 17-year persecution of Falun Gong, an ancient cultivation practice based on the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.

In the United States to attend the 71st General Assembly of the United Nations, Premier Li arrived in New York City on September 18. Outside the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel where he was staying, and along the route to the UN Headquarters, local Falun Gong practitioners gathered, holding large banners calling for an investigation into Jiang's crimes and calling for an end to the persecution.

Falun Gong practitioners hold banners outside the UN Headquarters calling for an end to the persecution in China.

Falun Gong practitioners quietly protest outside the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.

Banners in downtown Manhattan call to bring Jiang to justice (in English and Chinese).

Practitioners hand out materials in Manhattan to raise awareness about the persecution in China.

Jiang Zemin launched the persecution of Falun Gong in 1999 and personally directed the campaign, which has led to thousands of deaths and millions of practitioners imprisoned. Independent investigations have linked the persecution of Falun Gong to a major state-sanctioned industry of organ harvesting and transplantation.

Since May 2015, more than 200,000 Falun Gong practitioners all over the world have filed lawsuits with the Chinese Supreme Court against Jiang for his role in the persecution.

On September 18, Premier Li's motorcade drove past the practitioners' banners. The next day, Falun Gong practitioners at the intersection of Fifth Ave. and 51st Street opened their banners when they saw the Chinese delegation's motorcade approaching. The practitioners clearly saw Premier Li lean forward to look at the banner reading “Bring Jiang Zemin to Justice.” Other Chinese officials in the motorcade also pressed toward the windows and read the banners.

Public Support for the Protests

During the protests, practitioners handed out materials on the streets informing the public about the persecution in China. They were warmly supported by passersby. Some people smiled at them and gave a thumbs-up, while a number of people said that they have signed the petition to condemn the persecution.

Ezekiel, an employee at JPMorgan, heard from his co-worker that Falun Gong practitioners hold protests every year during the UN general assembly. He came out of his office and wanted to learn more about Falun Gong and the persecution. Ezekiel was shocked when told about the forced organ harvesting. He told practitioners that he would post what he learned today on his facebook page, to let more people know about it.

Three women traveling from France stopped to talk to practitioners to ask what the protest was about. Although the ladies had trouble communicating in English, when they finally understood what was going on, one of them took out a French-English dictionary, pointed to the word “courage” and gave a thumbs-up.