Participating in the Car Tour to Rescue Charles Li

A Practitioner from Houston

PureInsight | October 27, 2003

Greetings, respected Master! Greetings, Fellow Practitioners!

[] While the Fa-rectification process is advancing rapidly, the evil old forces have become more and more insane, as they can see their eventual fate of destruction. They even dared to arrest a foreign citizen in China, subjecting him to violent brainwashing and torture. They're attempting to achieve some goals outside of China that they cannot achieve inside China. Master taught us in "Teaching and Explaining the Fa at the Metropolitan New York Fa Conference:"

"Don't be afraid that the consulates or the special agents will stir up trouble. As soon as they do that you should use the opportunity to let more people know about the truth. (Strong applause) Actually, you're Dafa disciples, so hey, their plots are playing right into your hands! (People laugh) When they stir up trouble you'll have an opportunity to clarify the facts and expose the evil, right? 'As soon as you evil beings come near, I'll grab you and I'll let the world's people know'–that's the perfect time to expose them."

Outside of China, through practitioners' efforts, most nations' governments and citizens know about the persecution of Falun Gong in China, and they no longer believe the propaganda from the wicked scoundrel regime in China. But many people still do not know about the degree of the wicked persecution and how vicious it really is. They don't know that their own citizens are being persecuted and subjected to violent brainwashing and torture. When we told them that their own citizens are being subjected to this kind of persecution, they're often shocked. So we feel that Charles Li being illegally detained has provided us with an excellent opportunity to further clarify the facts of Falun Gong practitioners being persecuted in China, thereby letting more people become aware of the Jiang regime's evil nature.

Everyone knows that the media plays a critical role in clarifying the truth. However, we discovered that in big cities with many practitioners, because there are a lot of press releases regarding Falun Gong, they don't come to our press conferences very often. For the media in medium and small cities, including daily, weekly, monthly, and college newspapers, along with television and radio stations, because there are not any practitioners there, they don't have any chances to report on Falun Gong directly. They can only carry articles from major newspapers and wire services. In our contact with them, we found that these editors and reporters actually have a lot of interest in Falun Gong, it's just that there are no local Falun Gong activities.

Not long ago we participated in the North American car tour to rescue Charles Li. We visited a lot of cities, and in the vast majority of the cities, reporters came to interview us. Their reports were very objective and had an angle of local news. One editor told us, "Even though this isn't something that relates to us locally, but because you came here personally, we can report on it." From the media reports, many local citizens became aware of the illegal arrest and brutal torture of an American citizen by the Jiang regime. At the same time, they were able to better understand the persecution that is happening in China. In one city, there was a TV broadcast at night, and the next day when a practitioner went to gather signatures for a petition, many local residents said, "We saw the story on TV, we'll definitely sign our names." More and more people have become indignant at what the Jiang regime has done to innocent people. Some reports that came to interview us, as well as policemen and government officials, also signed their names to support us after understanding the facts. At the same time, we also held small scale car tours in the surrounding smaller cities and held press conferences, and received very good results.

When you open up a map of Texas, you'll see so many cities. Some of them have local practitioners, and some do not, but there are even more cities that we have not visited. These cities have their own media outlets such as the newspaper, and quite a few have their own local radio and TV stations. The circulation of each newspaper may only be in the thousands or tens of thousands, but the residents have a great deal of interest and trust in what the local newspaper has to say. These people may ignore international news in big newspapers, but they read local news carefully, because it's close to them. Once, after a report about our workshop was published together with the next class schedule, about 50 people came to the second workshop. For those who did not come to the class, as long as they read the report, they will have a good and deep impression of Falun Gong.

The success of the car tour was the result of practitioners working together as a whole body. Other than those practitioners that directly participated in the trip, the ones who stayed home also contributed. Some of them contacted the media, others obtained permits, some wrote articles for Minghui, while others lent their vehicles for the car tour.

The practitioners responsible for contacting the media would prepare a media alert, focusing on an American citizen who was illegally arrested in China and tortured in jail for trying to reveal Jiang's cruel persecution against Falun Gong. We then went on to explain how Jiang is committing heinous crimes against Falun Dafa practitioners and how lawsuits have been brought against him. We called each media source and asked for the news editor or the newsroom, and informed them that there would be a press conference in front of City Hall the next day (or the day after, depending on the circumstances). We told them that the press conference was about an American citizen being illegally arrested and tortured in China for trying to expose Jiang's cruel persecution against Falun Gong. We also told them that Jiang is being sued for crimes of genocide and cruelty against Falun Gong practitioners all over the world.

The vast majority of editors are interested in this type of news, and they would request that we fax or email the media alert over to them. Some editors would even ask for more information. Whenever possible, we would talk at length with the editor. The more he understands the facts, the more likely it is for him to come to our press conference and produce a good report. Some of the editors would write the report on the spot, so by the time our practitioners went to the city to hold the press conference, the article would already be published. Once, right after we set a series of displays and banners, a staff member at a local newspaper came and gave us a copy of their newspaper. She said, "I heard about your efforts to rescue Dr. Li through your car tour, and I wanted to come sign my name to support your efforts." After signing her name, she went into deeper discussions with us to understand more about Charles' situation in China.

It is not necessary to have a lot of practitioners present for a news conference. A small unit consisting of about three to four practitioners is enough. We prepared a banner that read, "SOS: Urgent Rescue of US Citizen Dr. Charles Li Tortured in China for Exposing Dictator Jiang's Genocide of Falun Gong," and some poster-size photos of Charles Li. We would erect a frame to support the banner together with a large photo of Dr. Li and pictures of the persecution, and then we Dafa practitioners did the sitting meditation, the standing exercises or sent forth righteous thoughts. Such scenes are very effective for the reporters and leave them with a very strong impression. They would ask about what Falun Gong was and why Jiang would persecute Falun Gong, and the practitioners would answer the questions patiently, one by one. When we got to the part about Charles Li being illegally arrested and sentenced, we would say: Dictator Jiang has made up many lies from the beginning to push forward the persecution against Falun Gong, attempting to deceive the world's people. For example, the worst fabrication was the staged "Tiananmen Self-Immolation" to frame Falun Gong. Even though those of us overseas understand that these are just lies, but because the Mainland Chinese media are controlled by the government, the public doesn't know about the true situation at all, and they don't realize that Jiang is using such cruel methods to persecute citizens trying to lead their lives according to "Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance." Charles Li went back to China to tell the Chinese people about the true situation, so that they would no longer be deceived and so that innocent people would no longer be subjected to this type of suffering. The reporters would meticulously write down the practitioners' words on their notepads. A businessman who happened to be at the city government said, " Knowing how the Chinese government is persecuting its own people, why are we still doing business with them? We should just stop!" Right before he left, he picked up some truth-clarifying materials and said, "I want to take a good look at this when I get back."

Our fellow Dafa practitioners have experienced that we should keep strong righteous thoughts when informing the media. We used to fax the media about our event, and then make a confirmation call, then wait for the media to come. That is not enough. We know what we are doing is very important, more important than other local news. Even though the editors or the journalists may not realize that, we know they should come. For example, on the way to the city of Corpus Christi, we called the local media with our cell phone to tell them it is an important issue concerning whether an American citizen could be saved. That afternoon, all three TV stations and the one newspaper came. We understood that it is also very important to be proactive when contacting the media.

We usually choose city halls for the press conferences. City halls are good places for a press conference because they are usually close to the newspaper office and the radio station. Normally, you do not need a permit to use the front area of the city hall in most small cities. Also, parking is easy, space is plentiful and clean, and you can talk with the Mayor and other officials about the facts of Falun Gong.

If local media did not come to our conference and we had time, we would go and talk with the editors, telling them that we just had a press conference, and that the issue is very important, and we hope to talk with them for even just 5 or 10 minutes, and hope they will do a report on it. We found that "to raise awareness" is an effective phrase that the reporters respond to very well. If they're just too busy, we may even help by writing an article for them and send it to them with pictures attached via e-mail.

A newspaper may not put all of their news on their website, and having their newspaper report could be very helpful in talking with government officials later. We usually leave a card with the media, and ask them to mail us a copy of the newspaper, the audio or videotapes, or leave them with a big envelope. The report is usually published a day or two after the interview, and we would find them in the newspaper's website. If we can't find the website, then we would call to ask whether or when the article will be published. Finally, it's good to send a thank you letter with a gift like a bookmark to show our appreciation of their report, and to establish a relationship for the future.

We feel that all the newspapers, TV and radio stations were created for Dafa, and are good assistants in our large-scale activities to clarify the truth and save sentient beings. In fact, only the evil is afraid of being exposed. It is afraid of both the bigger and the smaller media. After a local newspaper had reported the event, we would send the news to, so it would be quickly known to the whole world as the governments, people, and the evils could all read it. I once told a small-town newspaper editor that after they reported our event, their newspaper became widely known. After I explained to him why, he said: "That's great, I sure didn't expect that to happen!"

We feel that it is a good idea for practitioners to hold press conferences for the local media outlets. In this way we can bring home the fact that an American citizen has been illegally arrested and tortured in jail for trying to reveal Jiang's cruel persecution against Falun Gong, and make this issue well known among Americans. As the smaller, local media begin to report on this issue, it will eventually affect the larger media outlets. Many local media post their articles on the internet, and are easily found through a simple on-line search. Not only will larger media sources read these articles, other small media sources will read them as well. Various government agencies from everywhere, as well as anyone who is interested in Falun Gong, will read these articles, so it does have an impact.

As Teacher said in "Explaining the Fa During the 2003 Lantern Festival at the U.S. West Fa Conference,"

"Since they aren't afraid of having their dirty deeds brought out into the open, we should expose them all to the whole world, and let all Americans know that a U.S. citizen has been arrested. Since they're not afraid of having their dirty deeds brought out into the open, we should go ahead and do those things. Every day that they don't release him is another day for us to expose them."

This time, as we are celebrating the seventh anniversary of Master's coming to the United States to lecture on the Fa, it's another great chance to clarify the truth to various levels of government. We received many proclamations and congratulatory letters from congressmen, state officials, and city officials. The evil is very afraid of these things, as each voice of justice is a heavy blow, and many sentient beings are being saved. The impact of these actions can be felt far and wide.

In closing, let us review Master's words:

"Every time evil uses bad people to damage us, they are actually promoting us!"(From "Lecture on the Fa at the U.S. Midwest Conference" (June 26, 1999, Chicago))

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