United States: Washington DC Parade Exposes Horrific Persecution and Calls for Investigation into the Truth

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At noon on April 18th, 2006, the day before the head of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) was to arrive in Washington DC, Falun Gong practitioners held a grand parade along the main streets of Washington DC to expose the CCP's brutal persecution of Falun Gong practitioners during the past seven years. At the same time, they called on the international community to support and join in the Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (CIPFG), to go to China to investigate the atrocities, including torture and abuse of Falun Gong practitioners in the CCP's forced labour camps and prisons, and to help stop the persecution.

Bring Jiang, Luo, Liu and Zhou to justice Exposing the CCP's live organ harvests

Setting off from Lafayette Park behind the White House, the parade proceeded along Pennsylvania Avenue to the US Congress. When it reached 6th Street, the parade procession turned north toward Chinatown. After traversing Chinatown, the procession returned to the starting point at Lafayette Park. The entire parade lasted for one hour and forty minutes. The procession was grand and vast, almost spanning the entire length of Pennsylvania Avenue, and was splendid and impressive.

Mourning Falun Gong practitioners who have died as a result of the persecution

Wearing white flowers in front of their chests, practitioners looked dignified. The parade procession was solemn and respectful. Walking at the front of the procession were practitioners holding banners reading "Falun Dafa is Great," and "Stop the Persecution--Call for Investigation of China's Forced Labour Camps and Prisons." Behind the banners were a huge wreath with the Chinese character "Nian" (means mourning) and dozens of practitioners in white suits, holding photos of Falun Gong practitioners who have died as a result of the persecution.

"The Celestial Band" marches through Chinatown in Washington DC

"The Celestial Band" came from New York to participate in the parade. One member of the marching band, Mr. Han said, "During the parade, I was moved to tears. Thinking of those Falun Gong practitioners who are suffering persecution in the CCP's forced labour camps and concentration camps, I'm very moved for being able to do something for them. Though the parade is long and tiring, I have used all my mental efforts to play (my musical instrument). I hope our trumpet sounds can awaken more people."

Ms. Ge, who works as an actuary in a DC governmental department was one of the coordinators of the parade. She said, "We hope the parade can help people learn how cruel the persecution is, and at the same time we hope the American government and the US Congress will support and join in the CIPFG, and urge the CCP to open all forced labour camps and prisons for international investigation."

As it happened to be noon break, many people working in nearby governmental departments and companies stopped on the roadside to watch the parade. When the parade procession marched to different sections of the parade route, practitioners would broadcast through a loudspeaker the introduction to Falun Gong and the persecution happening in China. At the same time, they broadcast the song, "Set Them Free" composed by a western Falun Gong practitioner, which recently won an award for lyric writing in a major international song contest.

Mr. Jadrool, who happened to pass by, had taken a flyer from Falun Gong practitioners before, and had some understanding of the persecution. But when he saw the reenactment of live organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners, and learned that the criminal acts are still taking place in forced labour camps and concentration camps, he was still stunned. He said, "It is simply the same crime committed by the German Nazis during World War II. Any tyranny in history will collapse, without exception. The same with the CCP. It is only a matter of time."

When the parade procession passed by Chinatown, many Chinese people stopped to watch and accepted flyers from Falun Gong practitioners. Mr. Zhang, a young overseas Chinese man, happened to pass by. He did not accept the flyer at first, and said he did not believe all this. But after having a conversation with Falun Gong practitioner Mr. Liu, and learning about the Falun Gong practitioners' tremendous sacrifice, he said, "Actually I know, the CCP can do anything evil."

After the parade was over, regarding the coming visit of Hu Jintao, Celestial Band member Mr. Han said, "He should cherish the opportunity for himself. So many Falun Gong practitioners have died as a result of the persecution. After so many years, he should have learned the truth. I hope he can discern goodness and evil, and choose a correct path for himself."

Many western media covered and reported on today's parade.

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