By Epoch Times
LOS ANGELES—Over 150 Falun Gong practitioners gathered opposite the Chinese Consulate in Los Angeles on July 20 to commemorate the persecution that began 15 years ago and demand the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) cease its atrocities against the practice.
Dr. Yingnian Wu, a professor at UCLA and spokesperson for Falun Gong practitioners in the greater LA area, addressed the group regarding a general misunderstanding that an appeal by Falun Gong practitioners in China on April 25, 1999, caused the persecution. He discussed how the CCP had already been harassing Falun Gong practitioners for some time, while having agencies undermine the practice publicly.
From 1992, when Falun Gong—a spiritual discipline based on truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance—was first brought to the public, to 1999, it grew in popularity, gaining support from officials and scholars alike. Mr. Li Hongzi, the founder of the practice, had even received various awards from official agencies. However, in the background, an infiltration was ordered by Jiang Zemin, the former top leader of China. The secret agents revealed no negative aspects of the practice. In fact, they praised its effects on the health and well being of the people.
Zemin, however, was not satisfied. He ordered various professionals of different disciplines to attack the practice’s philosophy and health benefits and have those published through various public means—a strong turn from the previously supportive stance the CCP took in declaring the Falun Gong practice to be a benefit to the people before 1999.