NEW YORK (FDI) – More than five thousand practitioners of Falun Gong from all over the world gathered in New York City this past weekend to participate in local activities aimed at raising awareness about the ongoing persecution of Falun Gong in China. On Saturday, a parade on Madison Avenue told the story of Falun Gong’s growth in the Mainland and 60 other countries during the last twelve years. The parade also demonstrated how Jiang Zemin initiated and has continued the pervasive persecution of the 100 million practitioners in China since July 1999. On Sunday, thousands of practitioners met at the Jacob K. Javits Center for a conference to share experiences of the practice. Joining United States practitioners, participants came from Australia, China, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore, Japan, France, Sweden, Germany, Poland, Russia, Spain, England, Canada, Argentina and other countries. Mr. Li Hongzhi, the founder of Falun Gong, attended the conference and answered questions from the participants about how to apply the practice’s principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. He also spoke about the on-going persecution in China.Among several other activities during the weekend, practitioners formed a "Great Wall of Courage," stretching through New York City’s streets and calling for legal action against all those who are taking part in the persecution.“Jiang Zemin and those responsible for the persecution would like you to believe that they’ve done nothing wrong, and succeed in ‘eradicating’ Falun Gong,” commented Gail Rachlin, a local volunteer. “Their propaganda has even convinced many Chinese living in the U.S., but we are here to tell the truth. Millions are being persecuted to this day, and those responsible must be exposed and brought to justice."