NEW YORK, February 8, 2002 (Falun Dafa Information Center) — In the past 10 days, numerous regions of China have declared "Falun Dafa Day", and celebrated in spite of Jiang Zemin’s heightened campaign of persecution and suppression. These celebrations demonstrate the widespread grassroots support for Falun Gong throughout China.The special Falun Dafa Days are being marked with increased activities to inform Chinese people of the reality of the persecution imposed on Falun Gong, which has been shielded by an intense and demonizing state-run propaganda campaign. The Days were jointly declared on Feb. 4 by Falun Gong practitioners in over 20 Chinese provinces. Since then, such days have been proclaimed independently by many more cities and provinces inside China.Spring Festival ("Chinese New Year") Chosen to Signify Renewal in ChinaRepresenting both the coming of Spring after the enduring of a long and harsh winter and the arrival of a new year, Falun Gong practitioners have proclaimed "Falun Dafa Day" over the course of China’s "Spring Festival," Feb 4-12.The Days are inspired by China’s first Falun Dafa Day in Changchun City on Dec. 22, 2001. Changchun, in the northeast province of Jilin, is where Falun Gong was first introduced and also one place where the persecution has been particularly severe. The day saw numerous large banners speckled over public places in the city, the mounting of loudspeakers in various locations, and the distribution of flyers in mailboxes and on bulletin boards, all telling Chinese people of the persecution Falun Gong has endured and clarifying the truth about the practice that has been misconstrued in the state smear campaign.Falun Dafa Information Center spokesperson Gail Rachlin noted, "The practice of Falun Gong has received over 700 award proclamations such as ‘Falun Dafa Day’ by mayors in cities around the world. These events in China demonstrate that Falun Gong remains strong even amidst persecution and it shows that the harsh persecution of a cold dictator is failing."Over 54,700 "Solemn Declarations" Published On a separate but related note, the Falun Gong Chinese-language website Minghui.org reported this week that it has received over 54,700 "Solemn Declarations" in the last 13 months from Falun Gong practitioners who previously signed and made statements denouncing Falun Gong under the duress of torture and brainwashing. Published at risk to their own safety, and amidst an extremely tight information blockage, the statements declare null all that was said and written while under intense coercion and reaffirm a commitment to the practice of Falun Gong. Rachlin added, "The number and content of these declarations demonstrate two things: One is that the current regime has gone to immeasurable lengths in this campaign to attack and have people renounce their own fundamental beliefs against their will; the second is that this effort has failed, and despite torture, repression, and propaganda, the resolve of Falun Gong practitioners has not been put out." "We are aware that many more who have been unable to submit declarations on-line have turned to other means such as posting them on trees, bulletin boards, and other open public sites as a means to inform the public that what they said earlier was not true. The actual magnitude of those practicing and supporting Falun Gong in China is not known, largely due to the Chinese government’s information blockade."