11 Feb 14
(In the leadup to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, a Human Rights Torch Relay (HRTR) run occurred around the world, to raise awareness of the human rights atrocities committed by China’s communist regime, including the persecution of Falun Gong – ToT)
NEW YORK – There was no shortage of heartfelt guitar ballads at Union Square in New York City on Sunday. At a rally for the New York City leg of the Human Rights Torch Relay, musicians volunteered their time and their tunes to help raise awareness about persecution conducted or supported by the Chinese Communist regime ahead of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Tim Britt, whose band Light Club played their song “Freedom First,” said his motivation for joining the Human Rights Torch rally was growing up in an orphanage in Hong Kong.
“My father ran an orphanage in Hong Kong, and at that orphanage, there were many children whose parents had been killed in China. I was the only one with parents,” he recalled.
“I think it’s very important that people realize what is going on right now, and I think now is the best time; considering the exposure the Olympics is bringing to China, there is not a better time to show what is really going on in China,” said Tim’s bandmate, known as Dnash.
Singer/songwriter Jeff Saphin said he came because he had heard about the human rights situation in China.
Saphin felt inspired as soon as he agreed to compose something for the Human Rights Torch Relay. “All of a sudden I felt something coming through, and it was a song – a song called ‘Save the World,’ which is what I sang. It just came through,” said Saphin, who belted the bold and uplifting piece accompanied by his guitar.
Saphin reflected on the persecution of so many people by the Chinese Communist regime. “It’s a very important thing to know that there isn’t a separation between people – We’re all in the club. The problem is that some people are being horrible to one another. But we have to find a way. That’s it – we just have to find a way. That’s our job on this planet. And that comes from within.”
Singer/songwriter John Berenzy said, “I feel that there’s a global, new-found awareness. China is the lynchpin, the trigger point, for what I believe is a global awareness of human rights issues. China now seems to be on the radar. And I’m here, to be part of the radar.”
Falun Gong practitioners also performed, including the Celestial Marching Band and singer/songwriter Courtney Dowe, who sang a song comparing the 2008 Beijing Olympics to the 1936 Olympics held by Nazi Germany. The folksy song had stirring words that rang through the crisp air on Sunday:
“Can you hold an international track meet / When you got a labor camp right down the street? / Can you sponsor the Olympics in 08 / When you still imprison people for their faith?”
On her MySpace page, Dowe said, “For several years now the communist Regime in China has been persecuting practitioners of Falun Gong severely by means of forced labor camps mass torture resulting in death
“The people of the world must tell the [Chinese Communist Party] in no uncertain terms that not only do we strongly disagree, we will not give consent to these atrocities by remaining silent as they happen.”
By Stephen Summer / Epoch Times New York Staff
The original Epoch Times article can be found here: http://www.theepochtimes.com/news/8-4-16/69252.html