People in Chicago Support Falun Gong’s Peaceful Resistance

August 02, 2016 | By a Falun Gong practitioner in Chicago

(Minghui.org) During a Falun Gong march through Chicago’s Chinatown on July 30, 2016, Alex, from Michigan, commented, “Fairy lady dancing, lotus flowers, and traditional music, everything was so wonderful. Then, all of sudden we saw forced organ harvesting and genocide. The contrast is so dramatic.”

“Such a peaceful group has been persecuted. It is so horrible and beyond my imagination. This is very serious,” Alex said, and her boyfriend echoed, “This march shows the brightness and darkness.”

Falun Gong practitioners from ten states in the mid-U.S. participated in the march. Led by a banner reading “Falun Dafa – Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance” the march procession included three teams.

The first team included a Chinese drum performance and traditional Chinese dance. A large float was decorated with lotus flowers, and practitioners demonstrated the Falun Gong exercises.

The theme of the second team was exposing the brutal persecution. A dozen practitioners held the portraits of those who were tortured to death in the persecution. Following them were a few banners that told the public about the state-sanctioned organ harvesting from living Falun Gong practitioners in China.

The third team supported Chinese citizens withdrawing from the Communist Party, and the large-scale lawsuits against Jiang Zemin, the former communist head, for his role in the persecution.

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Falun Gong march in Chicago’s Chinatown on July 30.

Many people were shocked by the brutality of the persecution which was exposed in the march.

Local resident Brian Hile watched the march on Cermak Street for a long time. He said, “I never thought such things were still happening in today’s world. Forced organ harvesting, communist’s persecution… I would like to see more marches like that, which will raise awareness of the persecution.”

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Practitioners tells the public what Falun Gong really is.

Many Chinese also expressed their support for Falun Gong’s peaceful resistance.

Mr. Shi, who came to the United States six months ago, was amazed by the march. He said, “It is magnificent. You cannot see such a march in China. The persecution is unfair, and I am glad to see that Falun Gong is telling the public about this unfairness. I will send the pictures I took today to my friends and family in China.”

One Chinese lady said she believes that all the information revealed in the march is true, saying, “All of those who were tortured to death have real names, dates, pictures, and stories. It is really heartbreaking… Everything we heard in China was false. Many people don’t have a chance to learn the truth, including my friends. It is sad that Chinese people are living in lies. They don’t know that they have been deceived.”

After the events in Chinatown, practitioners held a peaceful protest in front of the Chinese consulate.

Josh Lav, a retired military officer, praised the practitioners for their efforts. He said he was glad that more people have a chance to know about the persecution. He also learned the exercises with practitioners in front of the Chinese consulate.

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Protest in front of the Chinese consulate.

Chinese version available

Category: Other Community Events

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From Chicago to Houston, Peaceful Demonstrations in Front of Chinese Consulates Call to End the Persecution

April 28, 2016 | By Minghui correspondent Shu Jing

(Minghui.org) Seventeen years ago, the illegal arrest of 45 Falun Gong practitioners in Tianjin led to a peaceful appeal in Beijing joined by about 10,000 practitioners. Three months later, Jiang Zemin launched the nationwide suppression that is still ongoing.

Practitioners from Chicago and Houston went to the Chinese consulate over the weekend, calling for an end to the persecution.

Chicago

With banners reading “Stop persecuting Falun Gong” and “Falun Dafa teaches Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance”, Chicago practitioners gathered by the street across from the Chinese Consulate at 5 p.m. on April 23.

Practitioners Ding Xiangyu and Andy Darin recalled the peaceful appeal 17 years ago. Yang Sen, coordinator of the Mid-USA Falun Dafa Association, said the incident had historical significance. “The firm belief of Falun Gong practitioners, based on the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, is safeguarding the spirit and core values for both China and the entire human civilization.”

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Peaceful protest by Falun Gong practitioners in front of the Chinese Consulate in Chicago on April 23, 2016.

“We believe that truth will bring the defamatory propaganda to an end. And we believe more Chinese will act upon their conscience to support justice. By supporting Falun Gong practitioners, and by supporting the common good, they are walking towards a better future, for themselves and for the nation.”

Through the years, many young practitioners in China have suffered tremendously, just like adults. Sun Xinyu, a 23-year-old engineer working in Springfield, began to practice Falun Gong at the age of four. “Falun Gong taught me to be nice to others.” By knowing what is right and what is wrong, it was easy for him to stay away from bad habits and other temptations.

The harsh suppression was nonetheless a major challenge that Xinyu had to face every day when he was China. “Although Falun Gong taught us to be better people, the slanderous propaganda in China misled my classmates and teachers. They could not understand me and treated me badly.” Despite the huge pressure, Xinyu said he did not give up his belief.

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Sun Xinyu, 23, works as an engineer in Springfield

The event included a candlelight vigil at dusk. Many people learned about the persecution in China. Two Spanish tourists, Antonio and Christian, listened attentively as a practitioner explained to them what Falun Gong is and how practitioners have been mistreated in China for their belief.

“Thank you for telling us these things,” Christian said to the practitioner, “We’d never heard about it before. But this is very important.” He said that he would forward the pictures he took about event to El Mundo, the second largest newspaper in Spain.

Houston

Practitioners in Houston went to the Chinese consulate at 9 a.m. on April 25 to raise awareness of the suppression in China. Many passersby stopped to learn more, and some signed petitions to support the practitioners.

Two pedestrians in their 60s said that they had heard about the persecution before and were glad to help. Several drivers also stopped at the intersection to get information materials.

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Houston practitioners called for an end to the persecution in China.

Two men asked a practitioner to help them quit the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) organizations. The older one thanked the practitioner, “Glad to talk with you today. Each of us has to follow his or her own conscience.”

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Passersby sign petitions to support the Falun Gong practitioners

Hard to Believe, an award-winning documentary on the forced organ harvesting from living Falun Gong practitioners in China, was screened at a meeting room of Southwest National Bank two days earlier.

After watching the film, one of audience, Mr. Li, said he was severely disturbed by the heinous crimes committed by the CCP. Another audience member, who used to work in China as a medical professional, said, “I believe what we have seen in the film. What we saw is hideous, but does happen in China.”

Chinese version available

Category: April 25 Events

“Life Is Beautiful with Falun Dafa”

September 03, 2015 | By Xu Jing in Chicago

(Minghui.org) “The past year has been beautiful for me since I learned Falun Dafa,” said Pavel Castro. He recently shared his experiences in discovering and practicing Falun Dafa at the 2015 Falun Dafa Experience Sharing Conference in Chicago.

Since learning Falun Dafa less than a year ago, 20-year-old Castro restored his relationship with his parents and younger brothers, was offered a manager position at a restaurant, and decided to go to college.

“Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance are three special words with profound meaning. I knew this is what my soul has been looking for,” said Castro.


Pavel Castro seated in Falun Dafa meditation.

Finding Falun Dafa

While surfing online last September, Castro read some stories of people practicing Falun Dafa and greatly benefiting from the exercises. He began reading the book Zhuan Falun.

“At first it was really confusing, like, what is this book about? But the more I read, the more it made me feel like a complete person. It really helped me balance my mind,” said Castro. “I finally realized that it is not how I try to understand certain concepts, but rather my mind is gradually elevated by taking in the spiritual principles in the book. So I can understand the true meaning of the book, not just the meaning on the surface.

“So, for the first half of the year into the practice, I read the book as much as possible every day. I set that as a priority and try to let go of my attachments.”

The Beginning of a Good Life

Before he started practicing Falun Dafa, Castro had drug addictions and was jailed a couple of times. He knew it was not the life he wanted, that he wanted to be a good person, but he didn’t know what could help him turn things around.

He used to work in a restaurant making burritos with a group of young men with similar problems. “The music was awful and they spoke foul language all day long. “Every day before I went to work, I had to study the Fa and tell myself to keep a peaceful mind,” said Castro. He noticed that the more he read the book, the calmer he became, and the negative environment no longer affected him.

“Of course, I sometimes asked Master for help. I was determined to cultivate my xinxing. I tried to improve my mind and to have a steadier mind. The environment may not have been really healthy, but it really helped me focus my mind.”

He focused on his work. If he made a mistake and others yelled at him, he would stay calm. He became more willing to help others.

His teammates noticed that he’d changed and asked him about it. He told them he practiced Falun Dafa and lent them the book to read.

His boss also noticed and offered to promote him to manager. He decided to go back to school instead.

He entered Elgin Community College and is taking general education classes. “I am determined to do better in school, too,” he said.

A Happy Family

Castro lives with his parents and two younger brothers. He used to lock himself in his room playing video games and didn’t want to talk to anyone. His father worried about him and often asked what he was up to. He used to avoid his father and quickly sneak back to his room.

After practicing, Castro became kinder and more attentive to his younger brothers. Castro told them what he had done wrong and how to be a good person. He bought a Spanish version Zhuan Falun for his mother, and she began studying it.

His father is happy to see the huge improvements in his son. Now they often chat a while when Castro gets home. “I feel everything in my family is getting better,” said Castro. “We are more closer now and get along better. I try not to live just for myself, but for them, too.”

Connecting with Practitioners, Working to End the Persecution

Castro had been doing the exercises by watching instructional videos online and had yet to meet another Falun Dafa practitioner. When he saw an ad for Shen Yun Performing Arts in Chicago, he bought tickets for his brothers and himself. He said he felt drawn to see the show but did not realize it was hosted by the Falun Dafa Association. At the show, he happened to meet a Falun Dafa practitioner who helped him find the local practice site.

“I think it is our predestined relationship that brought us together,” said Castro of this practitioner and others he has met since.

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Castro participates in a Falun Dafa march in Chinatown, Chicago 2015.

Castro said he was shocked to learn the details of the persecution in China. “The more I read about Falun Gong practitioners having their organs forcefully harvested in prison, I really wanted to do something about it. I wanted to tell more people about this.

“You would think this stuff is behind us, but it is still happening. Before the practice, I didn’t know anything about China. Now it has made me determined to let people know about this. China has a rich culture, but the Communist Party destroyed the whole system. That is another sad thing about this generation.”

For Castro, though, he says he’s found hope in a dark world and that is his cultivation path in Falun Dafa.

Chinese version available

Category: Beginning Cultivation