Candlelight Vigil Marks 16 Years of Persecution

A Dafa Disciple

PureInsight | January 2, 2016

[]  "Today, our people of different nationalities gathered here from all over the world. In this dark evening, we deeply mourn the Falun Gong practitioners who were persecuted to death. We strongly appeal to bring the culprit of the persecution, Jiang Zemin, to justice......"

In the evening of October 15, 2015, more than 1,000 Falun Gong practitioners from around the world quietly sit on both sides of the Chinese Consulate in Los Angeles with lit candles to mourn the death of their fellow practitioners in China. The lines of people with their candlelight extended for two blocks. The mourning speech was touching with solemn music. It seemed as if even the sky was moved and shook above them.

Freedom of Speech Touches Hearts

Chen Dong, composer of the award winning film, Free China: the courage to believe, was one of those who delivered a eulogy. The film exposes two Falun Gong practitioners’ experiences of persecution in China.

Chen Dong says that the freedom of expression at the event made the biggest impression on him at the candlelight vigil. “Everyone in the face of persecution has his own idea. People who know the truth will stand at the side of justice. In the U.S., people can stand with the truth publicly. However, in China, people might face torture or risk having their live organs harvested if they do so publicly. Not to mention how much courage is needed to file a lawsuit against the culprit, Jiang Zemin. Even here, we still need courage to stand up, because we will be blacklisted or unable to return to China. Compared to the Falun Gong practitioners in the mainland, we have done so little.”

Miles Sejni is from California. He started practicing Falun Gong four years ago, when he began university. He believes that the good morals that are most publicly recognized are related to truthfulness, compassion and forbearance—the principles of Falun Gong. He said, “For example, loyalty is a good character no matter what culture you are in. It actually includes truthfulness and compassion. If you want to do a good job or be a good person, you may just follow truthfulness, compassion and forbearance, no matter what field or industry.”

He thinks the CCP's (Chinese Communist Party) persecution of Falun Gong is horrible. "Our appeal is to bring Jiang Zemin to justice. In the United States, even a president can also be punished by law if he commits a crime. Jiang Zemin should certainly take responsibility since he launched the persecution of Falun Gong,” he said.

Falun Gong Practitioners Bring Hope and Courage to Chinese

"This inhuman persecution was initiated by the former Communist dictator Jiang Zemin. We believe the Chinese consulate in Los Angeles is a perfect place to express anti-persecution." One of the event organizers, Albert Roman said, "Falun Gong practitioners around the world gathered together to mourn those practitioners who died as a result of the CCP’s persecution.”

Roman says local Falun Gong practitioners have been protesting against the CCP’s persecution outside of the Chinese Consulate for 16 years, since the beginning of the persecution. Each day, there are 4 to 8 Falun Gong practitioners there and more on weekends.

“Most practitioners who come to spread the truth are older practitioners. Each day, they commute four to six hours, which was pretty touching to see that they were doing their best,” said Roman.

"Unlike other fierce protest groups, you will see some very kind aunt or uncle spreading truth information and telling people about the persecution in China. I believe most people in Los Angeles who plan to travel to China would receive the flyers, listen to the truth and understand the CCP’s evil nature,” he continued.

Many Chinese people have changed their attitude towards Falun Gong throughout the years of practitioners doing truth clarification. Although some Chinese are still befuddled due to the CCP’s lies, most have expressed sympathy and pride towards what Falun Gong practitioners are doing for China and its people.

“We can see the hope for a free China. Falun Gong practitioners’ courage and persistent truth clarification could bring hope and courage for the Chinese who have been subjected to long term repression under the CCP," said Roman.

Helping People for 16 years

On the following night at the Candlelight vigil, Falun Gong practitioners continued to protest the persecution and clarify the truth in front of the Chinese Consulate in Los Angeles.

Since the persecution by the CCP started in July 1999, the Falun Gong practitioners in Los Angeles have insisted on doing the meditation exercises outside the Chinese Consulate, and spreading the truth about the persecution to the consulate staff and visitors. They also try to persuade Chinese people to quit the three CCP organizations. The year-round silent vigil has quietly changed the surrounding environment.

Many of these Falun Gong practitioners are 60 or 70 years old and unable to drive. It often takes between 2 and 4 hours to commute from home to the vigil site.

"Winter in Los Angeles is not too bad, but summer is very tough. The sun is scorching at the front of the consulate," says 70-year-old Lin Yinghua, an associate professor from a mainland Chinese university. She says she has spent 5 to 6 hours a day protesting in front of the Chinese Consulate, since the start of the persecution. She also has an older father to take care of at home, as well as juggling the obligations of work at the same time.

As long as she has free time, Ms Lin not only protests at the Chinese consulate, but also clarified the truth about the persecution of Falun Gong to tourists from mainland China at tourist spots. Her voice is smooth and peaceful. She says she’s gotten used to such a life. “You can resolve everything with reasonable time arrangement. The participating Falun Gong practitioners would support other tourist spots for truth clarification if they had extra time. We need to be here every weekday in addition to participating in Fahui and other bigger projects,” she says.

Ms Lin’s attitude seems to be a common view among other local practitioners; they persist even though it’s very hard for them. Her peaceful attitude reflects an unmovable mind built on more than 10 years of cultivation. Ms Lin started practicing Falun Gong in 1996 and heard the lectures abroad given by the founder of Falun Gong in 1997. She appreciates the opportunity to practice Falun Gong from the bottom of her heart. She says the reason she has stuck it out for so many years is because she truly believes that Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance are the best principles to abide by.

“The consulate replaces its staff every three or four years and we have met five batches already. Some of them were very friendly and reminded us of security by saying, ‘be careful, there is video.’ There were also some who were unfriendly or who just ignored us,” she said.

“The surrounding residents and working people are friendly to us including the police. At the beginning the consulate harassed us badly and we had to ask for help from the police often. So there were a lot of cases where the police had to protect us when we clarified the truth,” continued Ms Lin.

The majority of people who visited the Chinese consulate changed their attitude in a positive way. Some even gave the practitioners drinks and took truth clarification materials. There were practitioners helping the visitors quit the CCP every day.

Ms Lin said, “Sure, some people didn’t understand us and even crashed our sign board with their car. The surrounding residents and police would come to help when it happened. One day, a passing by car stole our banners. We tried to stop them and many people from both sides of the buildings came out. Later they threw out the banners and fled. Two plain clothes police officers told us they copied down the license plate number. Later the consul himself came to tell us, ‘We didn’t do it’… Now it’s relatively easy to persuade people to quit the CCP, because people have changed a lot. Even people inside the consulate changed their attitude towards us. Sometimes they even greet us.”

Not only in Los Angeles, but practitioners all over the world have been clarifying the truth in front of the Chinese consulate for the last 16 years. More and more people understand the truth about the CCP’s persecution of Falun Gong. With the tide of people quitting the CCP and with the lawsuit against the main culprit Jiang Zemin continuing, Falun Gong is renewing the whole world, based on Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.


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