(Minghui.org) On April 18, 2021, an estimated 1,000 Falun Dafa (also known as Falun Gong) practitioners gathered in Flushing, which has the largest Chinese community in New York City. They held a grand parade and rally to commemorate the 22nd anniversary of the April 25 peaceful appeal.

An estimated 1,000 Falun Dafa practitioners participated in a parade to mark the 22nd anniversary of the April 25 peaceful appeal.

It was a sunny spring day. The parade, led by Capt. John O’Connell, commanding officer of the New York City Police Department, set off at noon from 38th Street. The procession followed Main Street, Sanford Avenue, and Kissena Boulevard and concluded at the Flushing Library, where a rally was held. Police officers offered protection throughout the event.

The parade was made up of three sections: “Falun Dafa Is Wonderful,” “Stop The Persecution,” and “Support The 375 Million Brave Chinese Who’ve Quit The CCP.” Practitioners held banners with messages about each topic: how amazing Falun Dafa is, the brutality of the Communist regime’s persecution, and the fact that 375 million people have already withdrawn from the CCP.

Practitioners in New York held a parade on April 18, 2021, to mark the anniversary of the April 25 peaceful appeal.

Many people stopped to watch the procession, and some even followed and joined in to show their support. Spectators took photos and videos with their phones, and many gave practitioners a thumbs up. According to their comments, the spectators were moved by the message of unwavering spirit and kindness. Many people, including police officers, took the small lotus flowers with the message “Falun Dafa is good” that practitioners were handing out.

The “Global Quit the CCP Center” organized the day’s events. Yi Rong, the president of the organization, said that on April 25, 1999, tens of thousands of practitioners peacefully appealed in Beijing for the right to practice their belief. That was the precedent for peaceful, rational protests to resist the persecution and set a great example. Since then, for 22 years, practitioners have put into practice their belief in the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance, holding countless peaceful protests to raise awareness about the ongoing persecution. They’ve won the respect of the entire world and are generally welcomed by the Chinese community in Flushing.

Yi Rong pointed out, “The parade reflects our determination to counter the persecution. At the same time, in the midst of the pandemic, practitioners hope to awaken people’s conscience through understanding the true nature of the CCP and join in the movement to reject the ruling regime.”

Over 200 Quit the CCP

During the day’s events, 209 people decided to renounce their memberships in the CCP. Among them, 13 quit the Party, 107 quit the Youth League, and 89 quit the Young Pioneers.

Mr. Li Fei, who is in his 80s, took the train from Elmhurst in Queens to watch the parade. He said, “Falun Gong is getting stronger and stronger. I have great respect for it. I see hope for the Chinese people through Falun Gong. Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance encompass everything.”

Ms. Tian, a spectator, said, “This is amazing! Those who are virtuous are aided while the wicked will lose support. I believe in the power of being positive. The dark side will end one day.”

Ms. He, another spectator, said, “I hope everyone will support Falun Gong and help redress the grievances of those who were persecuted.”

Judy said, “I wish everyone in the world could be like Falun Gong practitioners.”

Shao Jun, who manages the New York Church of the Rock, said, “This persecution is the largest, cruelest thing in history. Chinese citizens should unite. We should support Falun Gong, show sympathy, and oppose the regime’s suppression of its people.”

Peter Zhang, who arrived before the parade started and stayed to watch it, said he is from Malaysia. More than a decade ago, he heard about the persecution and thought it was terrible. He thinks that every Chinese should support practitioners and uphold human rights. “If you are a human being, you should condemn the persecution,” he said.

A rally was held next to the Flushing Library after the parade to explain the significance of the April 25 peaceful protest. There were no slogans or signs. In the face of a totalitarian government in 1999, practitioners elected to express their request for a legal environment to practice the spiritual discipline in an organized, peaceful way. Their courage and demeanor continue to inspire practitioners today.

Seven Chinese nationals who renounced their membership in the CCP during the rally were given certificates. That night, practitioners peacefully protested outside the Chinese consulate office on 12th Avenue in Manhattan.

Chinese version available

Category: April 25 Events