(Minghui.org) Falun Gong practitioners in the midwestern U.S. held a parade in Chicago's Chinatown on August 5 to introduce the meditation practice to the public and call for help to stop the ongoing persecution of Falun Gong by the communist regime in China.

The march consisted of three sections: benefits of Falun Gong, stopping the suppression in China, and encouraging Chinese citizens to quit the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

Drummers lead the march in Chinatown, Chicago on August 5, 2017.

Heavenly maidens, flag team, and exercise demonstration

Led by banners reading “Falun Dafa is good,” the first section of the march included a drum team, young women dressed as heavenly maidens, and practitioners demonstrating the Falun Gong exercises on a float.

They were followed by the section for “helping to stop the persecution in China,” in which practitioners in white carried photos of practitioners who have died as a result of torture in China for refusing to renounce their faith. Others held signs calling to stop the brutality in China, especially the state-sanctioned killing of practitioners for their organs.

The last section explained the crimes committed by the Chinese Communist Party in its persecution of Falun Gong, and encouraged Chinese citizens to withdraw their memberships in the Party and its youth organizations.

Since Falun Gong was banned by the Chinese regime in 1999, practitioners have been systematically detained, tortured, and even killed for their organs.

Along the parade route through Wentworth Avenue and Cermak Road in the center of Chinatown, local residents and tourists took pictures, waved to practitioners, and gave them thumbs up.

'The entire world needs to know this'

Brett Otte from the western suburb of Aurora did not know about Falun Gong before the parade. “I just read about the persecution in China in the pamphlet—it's too bad that people cannot practice what they want,” he said. His son, 16-year-old Baily, agreed, “It's unfair that Chinese people do not have freedom of belief.”

John Heidon is a software developer working for Siemens in Michigan. Having read about Falun Gong in a newspaper before, he was glad to see the event while showing his friends around Chinatown. “The march is great!” he said. “It helps people to know what's going on. The entire world needs to know this.”

Hayden Rawlins, an education major at Indiana University, said the suppression in China was “horrible,” adding, “Meditation is part of Chinese cultural heritage. They [Communist Party officials] can't just take it away.”

A practitioner explains Falun Gong to a couple.

Local Chinese: The Persecution Is Wrong

Spectator Mr. Qiu said he liked the march very much. “After the Communist Party took power, I fled from Guangdong Province to Hong Kong in the 1950s, and came to the United States in the 1970s.” He said he knows the Chinese Communist Party very well. “If I thought the Party had hope, I would not have left China,” he said.

Mr. Liu came from mainland China 25 years ago. “I remember seeing such a march before. Both of them are very good, and they are well-organized,” he commented.

Mr. Liu condemned the Chinese regime's censorship of information: in addition to news media, it blocks sensitive words on social media and other platforms.

“Falun Gong practitioners are innocent. They just want to have better health and be good citizens,” he said. “I think the persecution should stop. After all, Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance is good for society.”