Friday, April 21, 2006
Falun Gong Protest
I work about a block from the White House (17th and G St.) so have walked through Chinese Falun Gong protests the past 2 days. Yesterday I would have called it almost comical, as the shouts were in Chinese, and I couldn't read any of the signs. Indeed, there were many confused Americans wandering around near the protest. Evidently the protestors got the picture, as today they had nearly all signs in English and were handing out pamphlets about the protest. As I understand it (and to be honest, I know much less about the issue as I'd like to), because China is a Communist country the people are not allowed to pursue religion. Falun Gong, apparently somewhat like Tai Chi, is a meditative practice of many Chinese. The desperate looks on the faces of two young women who approached me this morning at the protest was enough to spark tears on the rest of my walk to work. I wonder how these people view President Bush and the richest U.S. man, Bill Gates, giving the Chinese President such a warm welcome to our country. To me, it signifies we must be beginning to understand our new place in the world economy. I have heard more than one economist refer to the U.S.'s new place in the future world GNP as "China's farm."
In light of the fact these protests are getting such little press (besides the one woman who shouted at Bush & Hu from the camera stand), I thought it was worthy of sharing with everyone. Let us always hope for a world more accepting of different religious views.
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