Tuidang Event at Carnegie Mellon University
A Tuidang event, called “Peacefully Disintegrating the Chinese Communist Party”, was held at Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania on April 29, 2016. Organized by the Falun Dafa Student Club together with the Amnesty International Student Organization, many teachers and students attended.
In the middle of the campus is a fence that holds the Guinness World Record as the “most painted object in the world”. For the event the fence was painted yellow the night before and the words: “和平解体中共” along with its English translation, “Peacefully Disintegrate Chinese Communist Party”, on one side and, “退党退团退队” complimented by an English sentence (note: this is not an exact translation) and its English translation, “Building Freedom in China 230,000,000 Quit CCP&Affiliated”.
With the help of the Amnesty InternationalStudent Club, a number of lawn signs were placed around the field near the painted fence that read: “The CCP Killed Falun Gong Practitioners”, “The CCP Killed Christians”, “The CCP Killed Tibetans”, etc. They attracted a lot of attention.
The organizers also distributed the famous book ‘Nine commentaries on the CCP’ in both Chinese and English translations to students and faculties at Carnegie Mellon. For many Chinese students, it is their first time to be exposed to the brutal facts of human rights violations occurring in their home country, which they have no chance to learn and even think of before coming to the free world. Intense communications between the event organizers and students continued until the event was over.
Before midday, a young Chinese man who said he was the “cadre” of the Chinese Student & Scholars Association (CSSA) came and ripped up the lawn signs and ran off. An alumnus helping at the event followed the student and insisted that he return them. He called the campus police, and the CSSA student leader agreed to return the signs and have a discussion together with the organizers of the Tuidang event and the campus police.
Because the signs had been set out with the proper permissions, the police said they could have fined the student leader. They asked the organizers of the event how we would like to handle it, and we said we didn’t need them to do anything, but if they could just explain to the CSSA student leader that in the United States freedom of speech is protected and everyone can have his/her word out.
The CSSA student leader then called CSSA students to protest the event. A number of Chinese students came. Some stood in front of the lawn signs, while others placed newspapers over them. The campus police spoke with them and said they could stand in front of the signs but they couldn’t touch the signs. The campus police stayed for a long time to monitor the situation.
The campus police officers asked the organizer of the event, a post-doctoral student, why the Chinese students were protesting an event that is building freedom in China. The organizer explained that when he first came out of China, he too opposed activities like this Tuidang event that exposed the human rights issues in China. He said it took him four years to change his mind, and that it was the result of the incredibly strong brainwashing by the Chinese Communist Party.
The large group of Chinese students standing in front of the lawn signs, however, really stood out and looked a bit odd. It attracted a fair bit of attention among faculty and students of Carnegie Mellon. One campus police officer jokingly said, “They’re advertising for you.”
Among those Chinese students, a few of them initiatively came to the Fence to argue with the organizers. At the beginning they were rude, but they came to talk, and quite often stayed for extensive conversations. Many times they didn’t agree with the opinions and views expressed by the organizers of the Tuidang event. But they discussed and debated openly, and in the end when they left they didn’t have the hostility they had originally. After about two hours all the CSSA students left, and the event continued without interruption for the rest of the day.
One Chinese student came and asked why it said in Chinese to quit the CCP, and in English it said Tuidang is building freedom in China? He said these were completely separate issues. The Tuidang volunteer explained to him that Tuidang is breaking the cycle of brainwashing the CCP uses to control people. So when Chinese people quit the CCP they get enough space in their heart and in their mind to think critically about the Communist Party. That is the beginning of freedom and it is done through the process of quitting the Communist Party and its affiliated organizations.
A large number of Chinese students study at Carnegie Mellon University. Many have come to learn that the Tuidang movement is not against China, it is actually for China. It is not even against the individuals who are members of the Chinese Communist Party. In fact, the Tuidang movement is precisely trying to rescue Chinese people, including Communist Party members, helping them free their hearts and their minds from the control of the CCP.