On June 14, 2008, more than 3,000 Falun Gong practitioners held a large-scale parade and rally in support of more than 38 million Chinese people who have quit the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its affiliated organisations. The theme of the parade was to display the wonderfulness of Falun Dafa, expose the CCP's persecution of Falun Gong and encourage more Chinese people to bid farewell to the CCP and its affiliated organisations.
|Andrea and her mother from Columbia watched the entire parade|
Andrea and her mother, who came from Columbia, watched the entire parade. Andrea said, "This is the first time that I've seen a parade with so many Chinese. Right from the start, I found them very peaceful and wonderful. Later I saw many messages, and learned that the people in this wonderful group are being persecuted in China. This parade will make more people like me, who have not learned about all this, to work together to stop the persecution."
|Flaramirez found the parade to be beautiful, and Falun Gong to be a beautiful group|
A middle-aged man named Flaramirez saw the parade and asked three Chinese young people nearby about Falun Gong. They told him they didn't like it. He was puzzled, and said, "Why, aren't you Chinese?"
When this reporter told Mr. Flaramirez what Falun Gong was and why the parade was being held, he said, "Now, I understand, the parade is really very beautiful. People should all enjoy freedom. It should be the same everywhere around the world. Everyone is entitled to decide on their own beliefs, and it's not up to the government to decide. So if there is persecution in a country, there must be efforts to stop that persecution."
After that, he went back to the three Chinese young people and said, "You can have your own views, but I feel this is a very beautiful group."
|Daniel said, "This is the United States, not Beijing; it's Flushing, not Tiananmen Square."|
Daniel, who watched the parade, said, "This is a positive action, because I have been observing the developments of this thing in the past weeks. The CCP tried to intimidate Falun Gong practitioners. But this is the United States, not Beijing. This is Flushing, not Tiananmen Square. They (Falun Gong practitioners) have the right to use a proper way to express their opinions, just as they are doing now."
He said that he was very clear on what Falun Gong practitioners are doing, and obviously the New York police are also protecting them.
Head of Catering Business: I want to help Falun Gong to petition Congressmen
Mr. Ye has been in the United States for over 30 years. He is from Taiwan and is head of a catering business. When he saw some instigators at the rally venue curse and attack Falun Gong practitioners, he told the reporter, "I'm really scared of such aggressive behaviour. In this free and democratic country, these people who have not a single notion of freedom and democracy should go back to their country. I support Falun Gong's freedom of speech. You cannot engage in cursing, beating, smashing and looting in this country. I think it has seriously hindered my freedom of speech, also my sense of security. I do not think that I have this security at all. They (the attackers) took such aggressive actions, it makes me feel my life is threatened. If I passed by the place where these people were making trouble, I would be scared. I was worried that I would be beaten because I took a copy of The Epoch Times."
He suggested to the Falun Gong practitioners who were distributing the newspaper, "I hope you can write a letter to your Congressmen. I will help you collect signatures. Flushing residents who think that their behaviour (attackers) has hindered freedom of speech will sign the petition, and urge the United States government to stop this behavior, which damages the reputation of the foundation upon which the United States was built."
He said, "These people who attacked the practitioners are products of the CCP culture. They failed to distinguish between the CCP and China. This caused their evil thoughts and vile behaviour. They thought they could achieve their goal here by using violence. They are really pitiful."
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