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Monday, June 23, 2008

Focus on Falun Gong: Kusumi

by John Kusumi

Is Communist-led persecution the latest import that has come to America from Communist China? Flushing, NY has become the flash point for confrontations between CCP-led mobs with tactics from the era of the Cultural Revolution -- as they have engaged in intimidation, scare tactics, and hate crimes against peaceful groups of Falun Gong practitioners.

Falun Gong is a spiritual or quasi-religious group. China's Communist Party -- which still runs the Chinese government -- banned the group in 1999, and has gone to genocidal lengths to persecute, eradicate, and eliminate the group. We are facing an example of international religious persecution. In its efforts to push back against the persecution, Falun Gong established print, radio, and television media of its own and then began the "Quit CCP" campaign, in which they have urged members of the Chinese Communist Party to resign from the party.

Their website has recorded nearly 39 million resignations from the Communist Party. In Flushing, NY, the Service Center to Quit the CCP has been running peacefully, without incident, since 2005.

Recently -- after the Sichuan earthquake that hit China in May -- the CCP began to organize mobs that are causing incidents and making trouble for the Falun Gong practitioners in Flushing, which is essentially a Chinatown neighborhood, near LaGuardia airport in New York City.

At the invitation of Falun Gong practitioners, on June 14, 2008, the China Support Network's John Kusumi gave the following speech to a rally in Flushing. The situation has drawn Congressional attention, and Kusumi also wrote to U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice. (See

Hello, I want to thank the organizers and to thank the marching band -- I enjoyed their introduction.

And, I have previously expressed my sympathy, my condolences, and my best wishes to the people of Sichuan Province, where it's my hope that the next generation of buildings will be strong enough to withstand an earthquake. It's regrettable that there's been that tragedy in western China.

And, even when there is a tragedy or these large events in the news -- that is not an excuse to begin illicit or illegal activities in the United States. In other words, I am disappointed to see that the Communist Party has taken advantage of the earthquake --as cover.

It's as if they are thinking, "Oh, great, this diverts people's attention. This gives us a great chance to fight with Falun Gong when no one is looking, or when everyone is thinking about the earthquake victims."

It's regrettable to use the catastrophe in a political way. And, I should say that I am not a Falun Gong practitioner. I don't speak from that standpoint, but it is amazing to me [that] those simple words, "Falun Gong" -- within the population of China, to some people means very very good things. And then on the other side we hear that, "oh, that's a bad thing."

And so I would recommend that we consider that the people with the "good" thoughts are probably right. In fact, I know that they are -- because Falun Gong is a group that cares about China, and cares about its history and its culture; but also the present and the future -- in other words 'Where is China going?' 'Will China have a better future?'

And, the people from Falun Gong care enough to become active. You know, to be politically active -- especially when there's this government with no political freedom -- it takes great courage. It takes great strength. These people are standing on their principles and their convictions, and they have admirable courage to say, "Yes -- Let's change China for the better." China could enjoy democratic values.

And I come from the United States here, where we have those values. And we know that it's our own business what religious or political beliefs we care to have. We simply know that there is diversity. There is this pluralism. We expect to hear different opinions from different people.

And that's accepted! That's normal! --The differences do not require fighting in the United States. It does not require civil war; or even the types of tactics we've seen in recent weeks: Falun Gong practitioners who have been assaulted; who have been intimidated; harassed; given death threats;they've been subjected to violence or property damage, theft and vandalism.

And it's been regrettable to see that. I think that there are some good people in the Chinese community, and perhaps they are following the Communist Party. But they really ought to learn the democratic value of tolerance.

It's time to understand that yes, you have your side of the matter. You may have your opinion; but that doesn't give you the right to attack the other side.

And I think that Falun Gong understands that. --You don't see them going out there and causing trouble to the members of the Communist Party. In fact, when this group finds a member of the Communist Party, they want to speak to that person. They want that person to understand the crimes of the Communist Party, and to quit the Communist Party!

And so, I think that it's a public service that the Falun Gong really engage in. It's a far better future -- for China and all the way around the world; we will all of us be better off without the Communist Party! --That's basically a group of thugs. They are exactly the type of people America stood up against during the Cold War. If we remember the Soviet Union and the approach of Ronald Reagan -- he would never tolerate the Communist methods being applied, right here on the streets of Flushing.

And that is still unacceptable to this day. The consequences may still be coming. But we do not accept the use of those methods: Violence; intimidation, hate crimes; the violence that's been directed to the peaceful Service Center that stands here in front of the library to present information to the passers-by.

And so, that's the kind of activity that's allowed; and it's legal; and in America we value -- things like that Service Center with all of the information. That's fair -- that's allowed and that's legal in a democracy. And when China itself changes to be a free nation, then the very same activity WILL BE allowed -- WILL BE legal, and WILL BE welcome in the democracy of the future free China! Thank you!

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