Crackdowns in China prompt rally on
National Mall in Washington DC
CSN invites the public for July 19 rally, 3-6pm
Marking the tenth anniversary of Falun Gong persecution in China
"I think that one year of genocide is too much. So why are we talking about ten?" This rhetorical question sets up the speech we anticipate to be delivered by John Kusumi, founder of the China Support Network (CSN), at a Washington DC rally upcoming on Sunday, July 19 2009. Rock band Light Club, known for its songs that present Chinese human rights issues in the form of American rock music, will also appear and debut a new sonic experience to boost Chinese human rights. Live streaming video of the event will be viewable in China (to those who can get around the Great Firewall of regime-sponsored internet blockage.)
These are weighty times in the China issue. On July 5, the CCP (Chinese Communist Party-led government) commenced a new crackdown with a massacre of Uyghur residents in the city of Urumqi in the west of China. News reports have likened that crackdown to the one which occurred in Tibet last year. China's President Hu Jintao quickly abandoned the G8 summit and left Italy to return to China.
"He had to hurry home to commit genocide and crimes against humanity," offered CSN's John Kusumi as his interpretation of the move. Kusumi has also published an article, "What recently happened with Uyghurs?" that offers more nuanced analysis and is currently making its way around the internet.
Kusumi offered some more perspective by saying, "The China Support Network began in order to denounce one crackdown, the Tiananmen Square crackdown [of 1989]. Now look at what is on our plate today: Tiananmen crackdown , Falun Gong crackdown [1999-present], Tibetan crackdown [of 2008], and Uyghur crackdown [of 2009]. The CCP can't finish having one problem before it commences to add new ones into the record of history."
In terms of death toll, the Falun Gong crackdown is the biggest and deadliest, followed by the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown, the 2009 Uyghur crackdown, and the 2008 Tibetan crackdown in that order. Hence, it is fitting that the rally which is planned for Sunday on the National Mall (between 3rd and 4th Streets, in Washington DC) is in observance of the tenth anniversary of the still-ongoing Falun Gong crackdown. "The Communists are stubborn, and don't change their ways," observed Kusumi.
The rally is sponsored by Friends of Falun Gong, with the China Support Network and Light Club as co-sponsors. Thousands of Falun Gong practitioners are likely to be in attendance. Additional music and speeches will come from other quarters as well. The China Support Network and Light Club are mainstream in the Chinese pro-democracy movement, and their starting point was response to the 1989 Tiananmen massacre. They have strongly supported the Falun Gong, and so the program will now blend these angles into a more general angle that is pro-freedom and in line with the international human rights community.
Light Club is an American rock act started by CSN man Tim Britt. Britt is the band leader, songwriter, guitarist, and at the University of Hartford, Britt is a professor of audio technology. Previous rallies have heard performances of "Remember Tiananmen Square," "Freedom First, Olympics Second," and "Bye Bye CCP." Could there be something new this year? Yes. According to Kusumi, "It's safe to spill the beans. This will be the premier live performance of 'Chinese Democracy Defiled.' It nicely rounds out an excellent quartet of songs for this cause. The existence of the song is not a secret; it's already on MySpace. What will be new is to hear it live with a large audience."
For those who want to preview the new song, 'Chinese Democracy Defiled,' it is at www.myspace.com/lightclubmusic.