MANHATTAN, New York—Hundreds paraded in lower Manhattan through one of America’s oldest Chinese communities to protest ongoing abuses in communist China that the international community has described as “crimes against humanity.”
It marked the first time in almost five years the participants were back to Chinatown, home to one of the densest Chinese immigrant populations in the country. Prior requests since 2017 had been repeatedly turned down, which, the event organizers suspect, were in part the result of Beijing’s influence.
The event, according to organizers, served a dual purpose: to put pressure on the Chinese communist regime that has been arresting and torturing faith adherents, while raising awareness about these violations among the Chinese diaspora.
“You can just see for yourself what we are all about,” Pengfei Yan, a 27-year-old computer graphics designer attending the parade, told The Epoch Times.
Most of the participants there were adherents of Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been the target of a 23-year-long persecution at the hands of the Chinese Communist Party. The meditative practice, which espouses the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance, attracted about 70-100 million adherents in China by 1999. That year, the regime, threatened by the practice’s popularity, unleashed an expansive campaign of persecution, one that continues today.
Read More: Hundreds Gather in New York’s Chinatown to Highlight Ongoing Persecution of Falun Gong in Communist China