(Minghui.org) Falun Gong practitioners sat quietly in front of the Chinese consulate in Los Angeles on the evening of July 19 with candles and pictures of those deceased as a result of the persecution in China.

Practitioners mourned those who lost their lives defending their beliefs and called for ending the 19 years of the persecution. As evening fell, the night breezes dispersed the heat of the day, and the flickering candlelight attracted passersby, who stopped and watched from across the street.

A candlelight vigil on July 19 was held in front of the Chinese consulate in Los Angeles.

Li Youpu: Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance Is Hope for Mankind

Li Youpu, president of the US Southwestern Falun Dafa Association

“Falun Gong practitioners are passing along the message of compassion to the world. China has its splendid long history. How can it be corrupted and eroded by the communist specter that is not part of its traditional culture? We hope more people will find out the truth about Falun Gong and the persecution and choose a bright future [by cutting their ties with the Chinese Communist Party],” said Li Youpu, president of the US Southwestern Falun Dafa Association.

According to Mr. Li, Falun Gong practitioners have been clarifying the facts and exposing the crimes of the persecution since it began in 1999. Many people have learned the facts over the past 19 years. Over 310 million Chinese have quit the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its affiliated organizations.

Tribulation Didn't Shake His Belief

Mr. Wang began to practice Falun Gong in 1995. He was a college student in Jinan City, Shandong Province. He went to Bejing after the persecution began to speak up for Falun Gong and tell the Chinese regime that the persecution was wrong.

He was arrested and sent to a forced labor camp, where he had to make disposable chopsticks and wig models. He was severely beaten. He lost his job and had to move frequently after his release.

“The persecution has been going on for 19 years. Many Falun Gong practitioners I knew were tortured to death. Many families were torn apart. I demand the disintegration of the CCP and the end of the persecution. Bring the main culprit—former head of the CCP Jiang Zemin—to justice!”

Joining Falun Gong Because of Practitioners' Kindness

Xu Yanjie joined other Faun Gong practitioners to cultivate and raise awareness of the persecution because she saw how kind they were.

She said that, when she arrived in the United States in 2003, she realized that the Falun Gong practitioners she met were kind and healthy, which was not the impression she got from the Chinese propaganda. She and her husband worked in Chinese restaurants for many years and suffered from health problems. Their health improved significantly after taking up the practice.

Their blood pressure returned to normal, and her back pain disappeared. Based on her personal experience, Ms. Xu said, “Falun Gong practitioners protect Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance with their lives. They tell people the truth.” She called for people to join their peaceful efforts to end the persecution.