Seattle, Washington: Falun Dafa Highlighted in Torchlight Parade

August 05, 2016 | By Minghui correspondent in Seattle, WA

(Minghui.org) With 67 years of tradition, the ten-week Seafair Festival is one of the biggest celebrations in the northwestern U.S., reaching around 2.2 million people. Falun Dafa practitioners performed in the celebration’s highlight—the Torchlight Parade—on the evening of July 30, 2016.

This year, the parade featured 117 groups from nearby states, Canada, and other regions in North America and drew hundreds of thousands of spectators.

The light purple, well-lit Falun Dafa float marched at around 8:30 pm and was met with warm applause along the entire route.

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Float by Falun Dafa practitioners in the Torchlight Parade. The three Chinese characters on the side read “Truthfulness, Compassion, Tolerance.” The characters on the front read “Falun Dafa.”

KIRO-TV, one of the major television channels in the Seattle metropolitan area, reviewed last year’s performance half an hour before the parade began. The preview included the Falun Dafa waist drum team.

During the parade, KIRO-TV filmed the practitioners’ performance from panoramic, close-up, and overhead views, bringing their banners, float, and waist drummers to more than 700,000 viewers. The float was also included on the news of the station’s social media site.

A camera crew member from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer (formerly known as Seattle Gazette) repeatedly praised the performance as he took pictures, “This is really awesome!”

“Falun Dafa, also known as Falun Gong, is an ancient meditation system that improves mind and body,” said the host as the group passed the stage. He said the float, which was designed based on the Chinese treasure ship used for seven voyages during the early 15th-century Ming Dynasty, had won at least 11 awards in various parades.

The meditation practice, as demonstrated by practitioners on the float, has also brought people inner peace, said the host.

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The bright colors and energetic drum beats were applauded by spectators.

The Best Performance I’ve Ever Seen

Patty Goos, who watched the parade with two friends, was astonished by the practitioners’ float and performances. “Bravo! This is truly magnificent. It is the best performance I’ve ever seen.”

Upon hearing that Falun Dafa practitioners are persecuted in China for their belief and have even become victims of forced organ harvesting for profit by the Chinese communist regime, Goos was startled and said, “I am sorry to hear of this tragedy. It should not have happened.”

French immigrant Mírez was watching the parade with her granddaughter and took many photos of the practitioners’ performance. Like Goos, she also hopes to learn the Falun Dafa exercises in the future.

Many members of the Sea Gals, cheerleaders for the Seattle Seahawks, gave a thumbs-up to the performers. Queen, one girl from another cheerleader group, was surprised to hear about the suppression in China and said the brutality must stop.

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Cheerleader Queen hopes the persecution of Falun Dafa in China will end soon.

Connie, who represents a South Korean cultural society, was dressed in a traditional wedding costume. He was glad to see practitioners in the parade and agreed that traditional culture and values should not be suppressed by the communist regime.

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Traditional Korean wedding costume

Ms. Li came from Shanghai to visit her son, who works at Amazon. Both the mother and son greeted practitioners and said they liked the performance very much.

“I used to play drums, too,” Ms. Li said as she moved with the rhythm. “I’m happy that so many people are here.”

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Live broadcast by KIRO-TV of the practitioners’ performance.

Seamless Teamwork

The great success did not come without obstacles. On the day before the parade, practitioners were notified at about 6:30 pm that the permit for the float had been rejected for lack for fire safety measures.

Practitioners immediately worked on the remediation actions. Some searched online for further information, and some consulted with the ceremony marshal for advice. Safety equipment was purchased in a short time, and fire hazard insurance policies were also secured before the permit was finally approved at 10:30 pm.

The cooperative and efficient teamwork earned respect from the ceremony marshals. “Glad to see you’ve made it. Well done!” praised one of the marshals during the parade.

Chinese version available

Category: Other Community Events

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Washington: Falun Gong Awarded Best Entry in Kirkland Independence Day Parade

July 10, 2016 | By a Falun Gong practitioner in Seattle

(Minghui.org) The 17th Celebrate Kirkland Independence Day Parade was held in Kirkland, Washington on July 4, 2016. A total of 81 groups, including the Kirkland Rotary Club and the Kirkland Music Academy, participated in the parade. Practitioners of Falun Gong (also known as Falun Dafa) from Seattle participated in this parade as the only Chinese group and was named the best parade entry.

The practitioners’ procession featured a lion dance, a lotus flower float, waist drummers, and performers playing tanggu (a traditional Chinese drum), adding to the festive atmosphere along the whole parade route.

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Falun Gong practitioners participate in the Celebrate Kirkland parade on Independence Day.

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Practitioners demonstrate the Falun Gong exercises on float.

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Practitioners play waist drums in the parade.

As the Falun Gong procession passed by the main viewing stage, the announcer introduced the group as “a Buddha school practice with the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. It is practiced around the world.” She read it twice and said, “Is there anything better? Thank you for participating in the parade!”

Some Chinese spectators took photos and applauded warmly when the Falun Gong procession passed by.

Congresswoman Suzan DelBene of Washington State participated in the parade. Her group was just behind the Falun Gong procession. She and five other House Representatives wrote to Chinese President Xi Jinping on June 20 to express their concern about Falun Gong practitioners being persecuted in China, including six who are family members or friends of Washington State residents.

Rep. DelBene co-sponsored House Resolution 343, “expressing concern regarding persistent and credible reports of systematic, state-sanctioned organ harvesting from non-consenting prisoners of conscience in the People’s Republic of China, including from large numbers of Falun Gong practitioners and members of other religious and ethnic minority groups.”

The parade lasted one hour and fifteen minutes. One man said to practitioners, “I was so pleased to see your colorful and splendid procession in the parade. Falun Dafa was eye-catching!” A lady said, “I was impressed that every Falun Gong practitioner was smiling from the depths of their hearts!”

Council Member Penny Sweet, the general coordinator of the parade, came to Falun Gong booth and announced that they had been named the best entry among 81 groups. She said, “Your performance impressed people in Kirkland. Two judges and hundreds of thousands spectators had the same voting result.” She added that Falun Gong showed a wonderful message that matches the parade’s theme of “It’s a small world.”

Chinese version available

Category: Other Community Events

Seattle, USA: Xi Jinping’s Visit Met with Call to Prosecute Chief Culprit in Persecution of Falun Gong

September 25, 2015

(Minghui.org) As Chinese president Xi Jinping’s arrived in Seattle on September 22, 2015, Falun Gong practitioners held demonstrations urging him to stop the 16-year long persecution of their spiritual practice. They called on Xi to bring former Chinese dictator Jiang Zemin to justice for initiating the brutal persecution.

Seattle was the first stop of Xi’s eight-day visit in America. Practitioners held up banners on the route from the airport to Xi’s hotel that read: “The world needs Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance,” “Bring the murderers to justice,” “Stop the persecution of Falun Gong,” “Stop the state-sanctioned organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners,” and “Sue Jiang Zemin.”

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Practitioners outside the Westin Hotel where Xi stayed


Xi’s motorcade passes by Falun Gong’s banners outside the Westin Hotel

The coordinator of the Falun Dafa Association of the Northwest U.S.A., Chen Zhiping, said that the purpose of the group’s demonstration was simply to let Xi know that the persecution of Falun Gong is completely illegal and should be stopped, and the chief perpetrator Jiang Zemin should be brought to justice. “That is our mission,” she said.

Ms. Chen said that Falun Gong is a spiritual cultivation group with no interest in politics. “All we ask is an environment where we can freely practice. But the persecution in China is still going on.”

She added that Xi’s administration ended the labor camp system in China, and arrested some officials who were involved in the persecution, but that is not enough.

“We will not give up until Jiang Zemin is held accountable,” said Ms. Chen.“More than 170,000 practitioners from all over the world have filed criminal complaints against Jiang since May, and the number is still growing.”

The Falun Gong demonstrations received support from Seattle residents, some of whom had never heard about the persecution.

Greg Shtraks, a driver in Xi’s motorcade, said that Falun Gong brings hope to the world and that he was happy to see the Falun Gong group outside Xi’s hotel. He said that the Falun Gong group is getting larger and more popular every year. To him, the greatness of America lies in the fact that everyone can enjoy freedom, and he hopes that the Chinese people will have the same right, and that Falun Gong will be freely practiced in China soon.

Several mainstream media reported on the Falun Gong group’s demonstrations during Xi’s visit in Seattle, including the Associated Press, Reuters, International Business Times, and the local newspaper The Stranger.

Sydney Brownstone from The Stranger interviewed several practitioners, who shared their reasons for joining the protest.

Tang Lijuan from San Francisco, a former philosophy professor in China, told Brownstone that her son was tortured to death for his belief in Falun Gong. “Police arrested my son and put him in jail, where they beat him with electric batons and force-fed him. He died soon. I was jailed twice also,” Ms. Tang said.


Tang Lijuan: “The persecution was launched and directed by Jiang Zemin. He must be held accountable.”

Wang Shengjie from Los Angeles had the same wish. His father was put in jail five times. “We can freely practice in America,” Wang said, “but the persecution is still going on in China.”

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Wang Shenjie urges Xi Jinping to stop the state-sanctioned organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners.

Chinese version available

Category: Rallies & Protests