(Minghui.org) Over 300 Falun Gong practitioners participated in a march on September 17, 2017 at Bensonhurst, the second largest Chinese community in Brooklyn. The Tian Guo Marching Band led the march, followed by an exercise demonstration, a float, the flag team, and waist drummers.

Starting at noon from 83rd Street at 18th Avenue, practitioners turned onto 86th Street and concluded the march at 26th Avenue. Impressed by the scene, many residents in the ethnically diverse neighborhood accepted materials introducing Falun Gong and talked with practitioners about the meditation practice.

Suki Mongkarach said she felt sad that the suppression of Falun Gong in China has lasted 18 years. Looking at posters showing the torture practitioners there endure, she shed tears and said, “We have to help these innocent people and bring the criminals to justice.”

Falun Gong practitioners march in Brooklyn, New York.

Feedback from Chinese Residents

One immigrant from Hong Kong asked about posters refuting misinformation from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). A practitioner explained to her that the CCP uses violence and propaganda in its suppression of Falun Gong, such as the staged self-immolation hoax on Tiananmen Square in January 2001. Upon hearing the health benefits of Falun Gong, the woman was curious and expressed interest in learning the exercises.

A woman in her 60s said she liked the banner reading “China ≠ Chinese Communist Party.” “This is indeed true,” she said. “The Party often brainwashed us with communist theories. We need to be clearheaded on this.”

Ms. He, a tourist from China, was impressed by the march. Having seen Falun Gong being persecuted since 1999, she said it is hard to imagine that the practice isn’t well-received overseas. “I especially like the performance by the Tian Guo Marching Band. The music is really nice, and I can tell there must be a lot of hard work behind it,” she said.

One Chinese resident said, “It is so nice! I wish I had come earlier and watched the entire performance.”

Quitting the Communist Party

After hearing how the CCP has harmed people in its numerous political campaigns, including Falun Gong practitioners, many people chose to renounce their membership in the Party.

One couple told practitioner Zhu that they had heard about the persecution. When Zhu asked if they had joined the CCP or its youth organizations, they nodded and said they had joined the Young Pioneers many years ago. Zhu told them, “Since you vowed to devote your life to the Party, it would be good to renounce your membership to avoid being associated with it when it collapses.” The couple agreed and thanked her.

A cook working at a Chinese restaurant was watching the march when Zhu offered him some Falun Gong materials. He accepted them and chatted with Zhu. Because the cook had previously joined the Communist Party, Zhu suggested he renounce his membership. “No problem!” the man said without hesitation.

One Chinese resident said she often reads the Epoch Times newspaper and knows well what is going on in China. Seeing hundreds of practitioners in the march, she thanked practitioners for preserving traditional values and said, “Falun Gong is the hope of China.”