(Minghui.org) Falun Dafa practitioners held activities in front of the Chinese Consulate in Chicago on July 16, 2022, to condemn the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) 23-year-long persecution. They demonstrated the exercises and held a rally and a candlelight vigil to commemorate those fellow practitioners who died from the CCP’s brutality.

Their group exercises and peaceful protest drew many people’s attention. Some stopped to watch, read display boards and asked for more information. Some people asked what they could do to support practitioners and help stop the persecution. Others wanted to learn more about Falun Dafa and find local group practice sites.

Practitioners held a rally and candlelight vigil in front of the Chinese Consulate in Chicago on July 16, 2022

Family Torn Apart Due to the Persecution

At the rally, Ms. Zhang described how she was persecuted, “At two o’clock in the morning when our family was asleep, a group of police officers broke into my home and took away my mother with handcuffs. I was only 15 years old at the time. I was so frightened that I cried and shouted, but to no avail.”

Two days later, Ms. Zhang’s father was also abducted. In the 23 years since then, both of her parents lost their jobs, were sent to brainwashing classes, forcibly displaced, and sentenced to prison. Years later her family has not reunited.

Ms. Zhang said, “My family is only one of hundreds of thousands of families of practitioners in China. Many practitioners were tortured to death, and many were killed for their organs. The CCP manipulates the media to spread lies to deceive people across the world. I hope the world can learn the truth about Falun Dafa and hear our voices. Every year when I stand here, I hope this is the last time. I hope this persecution will end as soon as possible.”

Ms. Zhang (on left)

“For the past 23 years, practitioners have practiced great compassion and tolerance, and protested the persecution peacefully and rationally,” said Ms. Su, a Falun Dafa practitioner. “Falun Dafa is persecuted by the CCP in China, but it is practiced all over the world. Countless people have come to know the true nature of the CCP, and have chosen kindness, and condemned the persecution.”

Ms. Su speaks and addressed the rally.

The Scene Draws Passersby

Trisha Graham and her husband talk with practitioners.

Trisha Graham, who works in an investment management firm in Chicago, stood across the street and watched as practitioners did the Falun Dafa exercises. “The scene is so beautiful that it captivates me and draws my attention.”

When she learned about the CCP’s 23-year persecution of the spiritual practice, she said, “It’s horrible!” She said that the group practice was beautiful. She said she wished to cross the street to be closer to them.

Rita talks with a practitioner.

Rita, who lives in downtown Chicago, said that she seldom passed by the street where the Chinese consulate is located. “Usually, I would go the other way,” she said. “But I came here today and saw them (group exercises). I don’t think it’s just a coincidence.”

Rita said that the group practice was spectacular, and she supported their protesting in front of the Chinese Consulate. She said she was glad to be there and sign the petition calling for an end of the persecution.

Crystal Amaye

Crystal Amaye, a tourist from Connecticut, said practitioners’ peaceful protest in front of the consulate was powerful.

Amaye said that communism had never brought anything positive. “It (Communism) is always a dictatorship and never has a good connotation,” she said.

Calling for the Persecution to End

Many people stopped to learn about Falun Dafa and signed the petition to end the CCP regime and the petition to support the “Falun Gong Protection Act” (H.R. 6319), expressing their support for Falun Gong practitioners and hoping to help stop the CCP’s persecution.

Majorie and Nicholos

Majorie and Nicholos, who live in Chicago, learned about the CCP’s persecution of Falun Gong and signed the petitions to end the CCP regime and support the Falun Gong Protection Act.

Nick and Kaden read display boards

Nick and Kaden traveled together to Chicago. They work for an oil pipeline company in Indiana. They said that this was the first time they heard about the CCP’s persecution, and they were shocked by the CCP’s horrific organ harvesting from live practitioners for profit from transplantation.

Silvia Mejia and Rowaldo

Silvia Mejia was shocked and saddened by the persecution. She said that she never liked communism. Both she and her friend Rowaldo signed the petition, hoping to help stop the persecution.

Meg said she supported Falun Gong practitioners’ protesting the persecution after signing the petition.