79 years ago my ancestors in Poland were victims of the biggest genocide known to mankind. My grandparents were lucky enough to escape to Canada. They changed their name from Yakabuskie to Forrest due to the vilification propaganda spread by the Nazis to incite hatred against Jews. On this day we remember the past and vow to never again turn a blind eye to the persecution of our fellow man. Today I am a citizen of Canada, a country with human rights and freedom of belief, but I have found myself to have become a victim of another genocidal regime that has infiltrated my own country. I practice Falun Dafa, an ancient Chinese discipline based in cultural traditions of health and self-improvement, involving gentle exercises and meditation. Falun Dafa is practiced freely all across the world, but in China 100 million of my fellow practitioners are the victims of the biggest human rights suppression existing in the world today. Hundreds of thousands have been imprisoned, brainwashed, tortured to death, or killed having their organs live-harvested for sale on the world market since the persecution began in 1999.
A vilification campaign launched by the Communist Party (CCP) was spread world-wide in order to incite hatred against Falun Gong, and a systematic spying network was set up to suppress Falun Gong, not just in China, but all across the world. In other countries there have been incidents such as shootings, bomb threats, and mob attacks, but right here in Sault Ste Marie, my fellow practitioners and I have been the victims of telephone harassment, email harassment, having our website blocked, and have even been followed by spies at Algoma University. In a small town like Sault Ste Marie without a Chinese Embassy, the CCP will recruit university or college students from China and pay them to do these things.
We have seen fist-hand, the propaganda package that was delivered to our former Mayor several years ago. This same propaganda has been sent to countless politicians and media all across the world, and some of it has been published in a local news-site here in Sault Ste Marie. The CCP claims that Falun Dafa is an evil cult, that we chop our bodies into pieces, set ourselves on fire, commit suicide in order to reach enlightenment, abandon our families, and amass wealth for our leader. They staged an elaborate “self immolation” hoax in Tiananmen Square (among many other things) in order to have some “proof” for the world’s media.
As an apparent result of this hate propaganda, my husband and I had our lives completely destroyed. We were evicted from our home and forced out of business by our landlord/business lessor because I refused to remove a sign on my front door which read “Truth-Compassion-Tolerance, FalunDafa, Ancient Chinese Practice”. This is the shocking truth of the extent to which I have been victimized in my own country by the infiltration of a foreign campaign of vilification and suppression.
Thankfully the world is waking up to this atrocity and many governments and organizations are bringing widespread attention to this matter. Our own MP Bryan Hayes has joined the many who have spoken out about the issue. In the past several years over 70 lawsuits from 30 countries (including Canada) have been filed against the former leader of China Jiang Zemin and other top officials of the Chinese Communist Party, for Torture, Crimes Against Humanity, and the Genocide of Falun Gong. This has now become the largest international human rights legal effort since World War II. And just as what happened during the Nuremberg trials, each and every CCP criminal will be prosecuted and brought to justice one after another in the world’s courts.
Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day. Let’s not forget what we have learned from the past.
Kerry Foster, Echo Bay Ontario