February 21, 2014 | By a Falun Gong practitioner in Washington, DC
(Minghui.org) Washington DC, the capital of the United States, is a major tourist destination. The National Mall, spanning from the Lincoln Memorial to the Capitol, is a must-see for tourists from every corner of the world, including visitors from China. One of the first stops for visitors to the Mall is the National Air and Space Museum.
The Falun Gong truth-clarification site across from the National Air and Space Museum has become a familiar fixture for tourists from both China and the West. Rain or shine, hot or cold, Falun Gong practitioners in the Washington DC metropolitan area have maintained a daily presence here to inform people of the beauty of Falun Gong and the brutality of the persecution that has been taking place in China for the past nearly 15 years.
The practitioners also encourage Chinese visitors to renounce their membership in the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its affiliated organizations, the Communist Youth League and the Young Pioneers. When people learn of the atrocities committed by the CCP, they are usually eager to disassociate themselves from it.
As with other popular tourist sites in New York and Europe, Washington DC practitioners see more Chinese visitors during Chinese New Year. Already this year, over 800 Chinese tourists renounced their memberships in the CCP and its affiliates during the week of February 3, and about 500 during the week of January 27.
Falun Gong practitioners’ truth-clarification site across from the National Air and Space Museum on the National Mall serves tourists every day.
Tourists sign a petition to support Falun Gong practitioners.
“Don’t Give Up Hope”
Mr. Eli Bohemond (center) and Ms. Kaitlin Giuglianotti (right) hear of the crimes of organ harvesting for the first time.
Eli Bohemond and his fiancee Kaitlin Giuglianotti, from Pennsylvania, were sightseeing on the National Mall and were attracted by the peaceful Falun Gong exercise demonstration.
“I just learned about Falun Gong and [the Chinese regime’s forced] organ harvesting of the practitioners. It’s surprising and awful to hear. You have my support to get this legislation passed to have our government help out,” Eli said, referring to H. Res. 281, the pending resolution in the U.S. Congress condemning organ harvesting of non-consenting prisoners of conscience.
Eli added, “To have your freedom taken away without being able to do anything about it. Or being forced to do something just because you are a little bit weaker, you don’t have the money, you don’t have the power. Just because you believe in something peaceful. It’s very backward. I disagree with the persecution and the whole communist movement.”
His fiancee Kaitlin said, “It’s powerful that people are spending their time to share this information and diffuse it to others who don’t know [about it]. With that, we can look forward and see positive change.”
Shelly Bruse, a massage therapy student from California, has a lot of knowledge about energy-based modalities and a lot of Eastern culture. She commented, “I think [the persecution] is ridiculous and horrible. Nobody should be subjected to anything like that. It doesn’t matter what culture you are. No one should be persecuted for their belief in this age. It’s not the 1400s anymore.”
She also had words of encouragement for practitioners persecuted in China: “I hope everything gets better. If there’s a way that we in America can help, then I think we should. Don’t give up hope!”
“We Know about Organ Harvesting”
A young German couple were celebrating Valentine’s Day in the United States and passed by the practitioners’ site on the National Mall. They were proud when they saw the informational board about the resolution passed in December 2013 by the European Union Parliament, condemning the state-sanctioned organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners: “This is passed by our representatives. We know about this!” They both signed the petition to support the cause of ending forced organ harvesting.
Chinese Tourists Appreciate Learning the Truth
A Falun Gong practitioner clarifies the facts to Chinese tourists.
It has been unusually cold in Washington DC this winter. However, the Chinese tourist traffic is larger than usual. More of the tourists are regular Chinese citizens, unlike the busloads of CCP delegates in the past. The National Air and Space Museum is usually the first stop on their visit to the National Mall.
Falun Gong practitioners try to reach Chinese tourists in a variety ways so that they can learn the truth during their brief visits overseas. Banners, display boards, pictures, and radio broadcasts have all proven effective at getting the message out.
Many visitors from China immediately stop at the Falun Gong site upon arrival. They take pictures of the banners and read them out loud: “There’s only hope for China when the CCP disintegrates.” “The CCP does not equal China.” Some people have commented, “Exactly!” while some read the display boards silently.
Three elderly ladies from the mountain area of Sichuan Province had never heard of Falun Gong and didn’t know about the persecution. Upon hearing the facts, they very much appreciated knowing about Falun Gong and said that they would remember and share the message that “Falun Gong is good” with their neighbors and friends.
A woman and her son immediately decided to quit the CCP and its affiliated organizations after speaking to a practitioner. The mother was so excited that she was going to kneel down on the ground with her son, a traditional Chinese way of expressing ultimate gratitude. The practitioner said to them, “Please don’t. I’m happy that you have made this decision to ensure your future. If you insist on thanking someone, please thank my Master. Master Li asked me to help you.”
Three women from northeastern China stopped at the truth-clarification site before they entered the Air and Space Museum. They read the display boards, took informational materials, and quit the CCP and its affiliated organizations. Before they said goodbye, they thanked the practitioners and said that they would share the facts with more people.
A young man from the coastal area of China spoke with a practitioner for almost an hour. In the end, he asked a question, “What is your real purpose in asking people to quit the CCP?”
The practitioner responded, “It’s not for power or money. We are helping our fellow Chinese. The CCP has killed 80,000,000 innocent Chinese citizens over the past six decades. It persecutes Falun Gong practitioners and even harvests their organs for profit. Seeing through the evil nature of the CCP and dissociating oneself from the CCP offers a person fundamental inner peace and freedom. Our nation will have hope once we reconnect with our traditional cultural roots without interference from the CCP.”
The young man was pleased with the answer.
A graduate student from Shaanxi Province told practitioners that he had read about the persecution by circumventing the Internet blockage. He said, “Of course!” when a practitioner asked him whether he would like to quit the CCP.
“Please Tell Us More”
Chinese tourists usually have very packed schedules and don’t have much time to do sightseeing on the National Mall. Yet, some have chosen to allocate their limited stay to hear more from practitioners.
A practitioner approached a group of Chinese tourists sitting in front of the National Gallery of Art and urged them to quit the CCP. Some nodded in agreement while listening to the practitioner. She then said to the first member of the group, “You look nice. How about quitting the CCP with the alias ‘Kindness?’” The man agreed. One by one, all 14 people renounced the CCP.
A woman and her son, who had been off sightseeing, reunited with the group. The others spoke to them, “You should quit the CCP. Don’t miss out.” They quit the CCP, too. The practitioner then told them, “Take the time to visit the National Gallery of Art. You have all quit the CCP.” They said, “No. It doesn’t matter. Please tell us more. We like listening to you.”
“Greetings to the Founder of Falun Gong!”
Once, a Falun Gong practitioner clarified the truth to six high-ranking CCP officials. One of them agreed to quit the CCP. Afterward, he raised his arms and said out loud, “Greetings to the founder of Falun Gong!” to express his excitement and gratitude.
Policeman Thanks Practitioners for Exposing the Facts
A policeman stopped by to read the display boards one day. The practitioner he spoke to had just come from mainland China, and therefore couldn’t understand him. She called another practitioner over and learned that the policeman often passed the site but had never had the time to read the information. Now that he finally was able to take the time, he was shocked to learn about the persecution in China. He wanted to say thanks to the practitioners for their perseverance in exposing the facts.
Category: Clarifying the Truth