Our WALTA President, Dr Augusto Zimmermann, delivered yesterday a powerful message at the Falun Gong Rally at the Western Australian Parliament House.
Dr Zimmermann, who is also Professor and Head of Law at the Sheridan Institute of Higher Education and a former WA Law Reform Commissioner, spoke out boldly and courageously against the human rights violations committed by the Chinese Communist Party (“CCP”) against their own people in China.
The rally was organised by members of the Falun Gong. Founded in 1992, this spiritual movement was banned in the late 1990s by the CCP soon after 10,000 of its members appeared at the central leadership compound in Beijing in a silent protest.
The persecution of Falun Gong is part of the anti-religious campaign initiated in 1999 by the Communist Party of China, which maintains a doctrine of state atheism. Practitioners are sentenced to ‘reform through labour’ camps where they are starved, beaten, and tortured with electric batons.
For years, there has also been overwhelming evidence that Chinese authorities are forcibly harvesting the organs (particularly kidneys, livers, and hearts) of Falun Gong members.
Unfortunately, the governments of Western democracies have turned a blind eye to these human rights violations. These countries are governed by cowardly politicians who have demonstrated no serious commitment to the protection of fundamental rights. They have allowed their countries, including Australia, to be heavily dependent on China’s economy and means of production.
One of the key elements of the anti-Falun Gong campaign is a CCP propaganda that seeks to discredit and demonize Falun Gong and its teachings as “anti-scientific” and promoted by agents of “foreign” influence.
According to Professor Zimmermann, such accusations are absurd for a couple of reasons.
First of all, the Falun Gong is based on an ancient spiritual practice which draws on China’s long tradition of Buddhism, Taoism, and “qigong”, a centuries-old system of coordinated body-posture and movement, breathing, and meditation.
Second, the very ideology embraced by the CCP is completely Western and non-Chinese. It was created by a pseudo-intellectual and political agitator born in Germany called Karl Marx.
Marx, as Dr Zimmermann explained, was a German socialist who thought his extreme ideology could eventually lead the world to a violent confrontation of social classes and the ultimate abolition of individual rights and the rule of law. He viewed these ideas in solely negative terms, as guaranteeing supposed “class oppression”.
Dr Zimmermann then explained in his speech how Marx actually conceived the state and its laws solely as instruments of oppression. ‘He argued that the laws of communist regimes should simply impose a dictatorship that, although claimed to be carried out in the name of the proletariat, was actual fact favouring the oppressive rule of privileged individuals who conveniently described themselves as the so-called “vanguard of the proletariat”.’
Dr Zimmermann continued: ‘Marxism creates an entire justification for social, economic and political oppression. In a society where the government controls the productive wealth, the bureaucracy is therefore transformed into a hereditary caste of privileged individuals that make everyone dependent on the state to survive. In the words of Trotsky, “In a country where the sole employer is the state, opposition means slow starvation”.’
Dr Zimmermann also explained how the undercurrent of coercive violence so often exhibited by the CCP, is simply the natural consequence of Marxist ideology, a foreign (non-Chinese) ideology based on the essential teachings of an “agent of foreign influence” called Mao Tse-Tung.
Finally, Dr Zimmermann reminded his audience of the Chinese tradition of lawful resistance against tyranny known as the “Mandate of Heaven”.
According to him, such tradition can be traced as far back as the 12th century BC and be credited to the overthrow of the Shang Dynasty (1765–1122 BC).
As Dr Zimmermann pointed out, the Mandate of Heaven asserts that the legitimacy of every government is ultimately derived from Heaven which then blesses good and benevolent rulers, but is profoundly displeased with those who abuse their power to oppress the people.
Besides Dr Zimmermann, other speakers included Andrea Tokaji, Tshung Chang, and Peter Abetz, who spoke firmly about the many forces at work even in our own country, which are likewise wanting to strip away our religious freedom and the freedom of speech.
According to Mr Abetz, ‘All people of faith and people of no faith, should stand shoulder to shoulder and call out the CCP for their violation of human rights. Killing prisoners of conscience to sell their organs for transplanting … is something that very few Western Governments have been willing to speak about publicly’.
He concluded that it is time for us to be vigilant and stand against the same political forces currently operating in our country, who want to undermine our fundamental freedom.
Above all, the speakers came to a common understanding that it is time Australians stand together and urge their governments, both state and federal, to take notice of what is going on in China.
WALTA congratulates Dr Zimmermann and all the other speakers and organisers of this significant event for raising awareness about the ongoing human rights abuses by the Marxist regime of China.