This morning, San Diegans including local Falun Dafa (also known as Falun Gong) practitioners got together outside of the County Building to rally in support of Senate Joint Resolution (SJR) 10, a human rights resolution introduced by California State Senator Joel Anderson (R-El Cajon) that condemns the persecution of Falun Dafa in China.
State Legislators are in floor session in Sacramento this week due to Friday’s legislative deadline, so statements were read from Anderson and Assembly Member Randy Voepel (R-Santee), a co-author of SJR 10. Other speakers included Falun Dafa practitioners who were previously imprisoned in China for their spiritual practice, which was banned in 1999.
Rally speaker Charles [last name withheld for protection] shared types of tortures he endured while being imprisoned for practicing Falun Dafa, “I experienced a lot of tortures, even faced death, because they wanted to force me to give up this faith and I refused… They used a handcuff, hung me up, my feet only could touch the ground just a little bit until I passed out… No sleeping, no moving, no eating…”
Grace Li was another speaker whose father died after his imprisonment for being a practitioner. Li used to be a judge, and when she encountered severe pressure to stop practicing Falun Gong from the government at her workplace, she appealed to the government. She described, “Without a trial, they put me in a labor camp for three years where I was forced to work for 16 to 17 hours every day. After 30 months, I was transferred to the notorious Masanjia labor camp, known for its brutal torture of Falun Gong practitioners. There they extended my term 10 more months.”
Dr. Gwendalle Cooper, professor emerita at San Diego State University, asked thought-provoking questions during her speech: “The real question is why a letter from the Chinese consulate can change CA's legislative process so easily? What will happen to our democracy if we cave in to such interference? There is no freedom of speech and belief under the regime's rule. There are egregious human rights violations against the people in China under the regime's rule. What will happen to America if we allow the regime to extend its reach to the U.S. soil.
“SJR 10 condemns the regime’s human rights violations against Falun Gong practitioners. The bigger story is why such a simple symbolic resolution can’t even be voted on the senate floor. Which group in America will the Communist regime target next? We call on the residents of California to be alarmed.”
Senator Anderson shared in a statement “...It’s outrageous that the Chinese Communist Party’s power to suppress free speech extends beyond their country’s borders to the California Senate Democrat leadership… Many Falun Gong practitioners who escaped the regime in China and found a home here in California still spend every day worrying about their family members back in China, and these voices must be heard.”
The speeches were followed by a demonstration of several Falun Dafa exercises.
Falun Dafa teaches truth, compassion, and forbearance that strengthens the physical and mental health through meditation. Due to fear of losing ideological control of Falun Dafa practitioners, the Communist government banned the practice in 1999 and Falun Dafa practitioners have since been subjects of persecution. Compelling evidence exists that Falun Dafa prisoners of conscience have been the source of the dramatic increase of organs available for transplantation in China.