Rally on Capitol Hill Calls for End to Persecution of Falun Gong
(Minghui.org) More than 6,000 Falun Gong practitioners from all over the world held a rally on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C., calling for an end to the 19-year persecution of Falun Gong in China.
U.S. lawmakers, human rights activists, and representatives from non-governmental organizations also took part in the rally and expressed their support for Falun Gong's peaceful resistance to the persecution. The speakers condemned the Chinese regime's state-sanctioned forced organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience in China, praised the universal values of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance (Falun Gong's core principles) and called upon the public to recognize the evil nature of the Communist Party.
Practitioners held banners calling for an end to the persecution and for awareness about the dangers of communism: “Communism’s Ultimate Goal: Destroy the Human Race,” “The Evil Specter of Communism Is Ruling Our World,” “Humanity’s Only Hope Is to Return to Tradition,” and “Humanity’s Only Hope Is to Improve Morality.”
Alan Adler, executive director of Friends of Falun Gong and host of the event, raised the question of why the Chinese Communist Party has wanted to persecute a peaceful group of meditators for nearly two decades. He said the answer must lie in “the hidden agenda of communism.”
Adler said, “No matter what forms communism may take, it has one goal: the destruction of humanity.” He added that communism destroys tradition and cuts us off from the divine above and in ourselves.
Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL) said she knows about the evil specter of communism from her own experience in Cuba and the repression of all freedoms there. “The ultimate goal of communism is the destruction of the human race—I know that personally to be true,” she said.
Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (CA) addressed the practitioners with heartfelt remarks. He said he would not be a longtime supporter of Falun Gong based merely on the right of people to express their viewpoint; rather, he identifies with the core principles of Falun Gong. “I am proud to stand with you and always have been,” he said.
Nina Shea, the director of the Center for Religious Freedom, said, “Religious Freedom is part of the National Security Strategy Report of the Trump Administration. It makes the protection of religious minorities to be a national security strategy. It is easy to see why. What is happening [with the persecution of Falun Gong in China] shows the utter savagery and brutality, brutalness of the Chinese government. This must stop, we must continue to keep this issue in front of Congress, in front of the American Government, and in front of the world.”
Kristina Olney from the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation said, “The United States must stand against the lies and abuses of the Chinese Communist Party. We must not allow the Communist Party to spread its vile tyranny abroad and to silence us in our own country, and it is witnesses like yourselves, gatherings like the one we’re having here today, that will ensure the truth is heard.”
Gayle Manchin, the vice chair of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), said, “When Chinese authorities harass Falun Gong practitioners, when they detain, torture, sexually assault, experiment on, and forcibly harvest organs, their brutal actions not only defy countless international human rights standards and the broader rules-based international order, but they chip away at the very foundation of humanity, because let us remember that freedom of religion or belief is not a government granted right, it’s a universal right available to all. It is up to us to never let China forget, to let them know that we are watching and do stand in solidarity with Falun Gong, not just in China, but all over the world.”
Robert Herman from Freedom House said, “Let’s be clear, these actions violate the international norms and standards and simple human decency. The Chinese leadership must be held accountable. Democratic governments and multilateral institutions with a mandate to advance democracy and human rights are complicit when they fail to speak out. Their silence and inaction affect condones China’s behavior, and will be viewed in Beijing as a lack of political will to confront a rising global power.”
Atticus Swett from the Lantos Foundation said of Falun Gong practitioners: “The followers of this noble and peaceful meditative practice are known and admired for their kindness, compassion, and high moral standards. Falun Gong practitioners represent the very best of humanity. Embodying the virtues of tolerance, forgiveness, and fidelity to the truth. I am honored to be among you, and I am filled with admiration for the example you are to the world.”
Suzanne Scholte from Defense Forum Foundation admires Falun Gong practitioners' courage and spirit. She believes their efforts not only help their fellow practitioners in China, but also all people who suffer from the Communist Party's dictatorship.