~e; teleprotestation

From bc <human@electronetwork.org>
Date Thu, 7 Mar 2002 23:29:35 -0600

  [it has become common in analyses to recognize the role the media
  plays in the political/social/economic power system of a culture.
  when wars are waged, if WWII or the USA-Allied Gulf War I, some
  of the first things hit are powerplants, tv and radio transmitters,
  repeaters, infrastructure. and some of the psyops (psychological-
  operations, if that is the correct military branch) conducts radio
  and tv jamming functions, sometimes cancelling and replacing the
  normal broadcast signals in a given radius with alternative content.
  this was done in China by the Falun Gong, and while the politics are
  not the reason for posting this message, it is quite unique in that it
  is not common to hear of such a technique (at least not to available
  memory), and is curious how such a breach could happen in a system
  where in the USA a hacker/cracker/phreaker may find a way to access
  something someone thought inaccessible (satellite tv dish motor controls,
  say), but a 50 minute tape on state TV is, well, an amazing protest.]

Friday March 8, 2:53 AM

Falun Gong temporarily hijacks China city's TV airwaves
By Jeremy Page


BEIJING (Reuters) - Defiant members of the banned Falun Gong 
spiritual group hijacked state television in a northeastern Chinese 
city to show a film protesting a government crackdown on their faith, 
locals said on Thursday.

Reports of the television protest, one of Falun Gong's most 
audacious, emerged as China detained seven foreign adherents on 
Tiananmen Square for protesting Beijing's campaign against the group 
it calls an evil cult.

State television broadcasts in Changchun were interrupted on Tuesday 
evening by footage of Falun Gong's U.S.-based leader Li Hongzhi and a 
film accusing the government of staging a self-immolation of alleged 
adherents in Tiananmen Square last year, locals said.

"There was a brief blackout and then there was Li Hongzhi speaking, 
banners saying Falun Dafa is good,' and there was a news analysis 
about the Tiananmen Square self-immolation incident which indicated 
that it was planted by the government," a television viewer in 
Changchun told Reuters.

The footage lasted about 50 minutes before normal state television 
programming resumed, he said.

It was one of the most daring protests by Falun Gong, whose once 
regular demonstrations in Tiananmen Square have petered out in the 
last year since the government arrested group leaders and sent 
thousands of followers to "re-education" camps.

However, foreign adherents have kept up their campaign with a string 
of protests on the square -- the latest coming on Thursday right in 
front of the building where the National People's Congress, China's 
parliament, was holding its annual meeting.

Police whisked away the foreigners, at least three of whom were 
Australian, after the latest of several protests in recent months by 
foreigners who were swiftly expelled from the country.


Police in Changchun had arrested a local man in connection with the 
television incident, the Changchun Evening newspaper said, without 
offering more details.

Changchun residents said they believed the incident was the work of 
underground Falun Gong practitioners still active in the city, but it 
was unclear how they managed to penetrate the local cable TV network.

Changchun, a city of 1.3 million people, is Li Hongzhi's home town 
and thousands of people there remain faithful to the self-styled 
spiritual leader, they said.

Officials at the city's police department and state-owned Changchun 
Cable Television Corporation, the city's biggest cable broadcaster, 
declined to comment on the incident.

But a city government official told Reuters a police circular sent to 
city hall said high-ranking officials and investigators from the 
Ministry of Public Security in Beijing had been sent to Changchun to 
investigate the incident.

The television protest was the group's latest effort to fight back 
against a fierce state media campaign to discredit the group, 
focusing on the self-immolations in which a 12-year-old girl and her 
mother died.

Falun Gong denies they were true adherents and accuses the government 
of setting up the incident.


The foreign demonstrators were detained on Tuesday at a police 
station where they sat in a circle and meditated, a witness said.

"I heard this one man telling the Chinese police about their rights 
of protest and expression according to the Chinese constitution," he 

"I saw the banners that belonged to them spread out on a table. They 
were banners for Falun Gong -- some were purple and yellow."

Kati Vereshaka, a spokeswoman in Australia for the Falun Gong which 
is also known as Falun Dafa, identified three of the detained 
protesters as her cousin Mihai Molnar, his wife, Candice, and Greg 
March, all from Melbourne.

Vereshaka said she had asked the Australian Foreign Ministry and the 
Australian embassy in Beijing to intervene.

"They are now trying to get in contact," she said. "Hopefully, they 
will be released soon because they have done nothing illegal," 
Vereshaka told Reuters.

"They went there to appeal on behalf of the Chinese Falun Gong 
practitioners. All they did was unfurl a banner saying Falun Dafa is 
good in Chinese characters."

There was no immediate comment from the Australian embassy or from 
the Chinese government.

China expelled 53 Westerners last month and 35 foreign Falun Gong 
members in November for similar protests.

China branded Falun Gong an evil cult in 1999 after thousands of 
followers shocked the government with a mass protest demanding 
official recognition of their faith around the Beijing leadership 
compound near Tiananmen Square.

Falun Gong says more than 1,600 followers have since died as a result 
of abuse in police custody or detention centres.

The government says only a handful have died, mostly from suicide or 
natural causes. It blames Falun Gong for the deaths of at least 1,900 
people by suicide or refusing medical treatment.

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