NEW YORK, May 11, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On May 12th, beginning at 9:30am at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, over 10,000 people will gather for the annual World Falun Dafa Day Parade. The parade will cross Manhattan via 42nd Street stretching from 2nd to 11th Avenue.
This year's parade celebrates the 25th anniversary of the public introduction of the meditation practice Falun Dafa, also known as Falun Gong.
Practitioners in over 100 countries celebrate May 13th each year to commemorate the day in 1992 when Falun Dafa was first introduced publicly in China. Millions of people have since benefitted physically, mentally, and spiritually, achieving a sense of peacefulness and serenity in the meditation practice, and from its guiding principles of Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance.
The parade also draws attention to the ongoing brutal persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China.
"The late Holocaust survivor and human rights activist, Elie Wiesel, once said, 'The opposite of life is not death, it's indifference,'" says Falun Dafa Information Center spokesperson, Mr. Erping Zhang. "Nowhere is this more the case than with the persecution of Falun Dafa, which despite widespread evidence of horrific crimes against humanity, remains one of the most underreported human rights crisis happening today."
What: Parade in Manhattan celebrating World Falun Dafa Day
Where: 42nd Street from 2nd to 11th Avenue
When: Friday, May 12th, 2017 beginning at 9:30am
Contacts: Levi Browde, 845-418-4870
Dana Cheng, 646-596-3828
In July of 1999 China's autocratic Communist Party launched an unlawful campaign of arrests, violence, and propaganda against Chinese citizens practicing Falun Dafa (also called "Falun Gong") with the intent of "eradicating" the apolitical practice.   A report published by Freedom House in February 2017 says the human rights group found "credible evidence suggesting that beginning in the early 2000s, Falun Gong detainees were killed for their organs on a large scale," and their organs used to fuel a booming organ transplantation business in China. The United Nations, Amnesty International, Chinese human rights lawyers, and foreign media have also documented Falun Gong torture and deaths at the hands of Chinese officials.      Hundreds of thousands of Chinese who practice Falun Gong remain in captivity, rendering them the single largest group of prisoners of conscience in China.
Falun Dafa is an advanced practice of self-cultivation — a way to improve wellness and attain spiritual wisdom. The practice is from the Buddha School and is based on easy-to-learn exercises, meditation, and the universal values of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance. It is believed certain Communist Party leaders launched the suppression of Falun Gong fearing the practice's growing popularity (70 to 100 million) and influence as a spiritual movement outside the Party's control. 
 European Parliament Hearing Testimony: The illegality of China's Falun Gong crackdown—and today's rule of law repercussions. By Yiyang Xia, Senior Director of Policy and Research at the Human Rights Law Foundation.
 Jamestown Foundation: The 610 Office: Policing the Chinese Spirit. https://jamestown.org/program/the-610-office-policing-the-chinese-spirit/
 Gao Zhisheng's (one of the most famous human rights lawyers in China) Open Letter to China's National Peoples' Congress. http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/1416868-gao-zhisheng-open-letter-to-chinas-national-peoples-congress/2/
 U.S. State Department 2007 Human Rights Report: China. http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2007/100518.htm
 Amnesty International: Torture in China: Who, What, Why and How. https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/campaigns/2015/11/torture-in-china-who-what-why-and-how/
 Amnesty International: "CHANGING THE SOUP BUT NOT THE MEDICINE?" ABOLISHING RE-EDUCATION THROUGH LABOUR IN CHINA.
 Gao Zhisheng's Second Open Letter on Falun Gong.
 New York Times: Behind Cry for Help From China Labor Camp.
 New York Times: China Still Presses Crusade Against Falun Gong.
 Washington Post: Cracks in China's Crackdown: Falun Gong Campaign Exposes Leadership Woes.
 Forbes: China's Fight With Falun Gong. https://www.forbes.com/2006/02/09/falun-gong-china_cz_rm_0209falungong.html
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SOURCE Falun Dafa Information Center