Account of the Citizens Against Communist Chinese Propaganda protest demonstration held on December 22, 1996 at Florida Splendid China

Respectfully submitted by Jack Churchward.

Dedicating a new exhibit....

As like clockwork, at 9AM on the 22nd of December, the hardy members of CACCP in attendance started the joyous march on a chilly Florida morning to the main gate of the Florida Splendid China theme park.

This day, two members of the Southern Mongolian Freedom Federation, dressed in traditional Mongolian attire, two Tibetan Fulbright scholars and many other members of CACCP from across the state of Florida were here to commemorate the 3rd Anniversary of the Grand Opening of the Chinese Communist owned and operated theme park known as Florida Splendid China.

The flags of Tibet, Southern Mongolia, and Eastern Turkestan were carried along with the US flag, as well as signs and banners which read, "Free Inner Mongolia", "Free Tibet", "Stop the Illegal Chinese Immigration into Inner Mongolia", "Red China Out of Splendid Tibet", "Free Eastern Turkestan", and "Democracy Now". Security was not in evidence at the arrival of the main party, which were greeted by the latest exhibit at the Florida Splendid China theme park, "The Torturer's Jail".

"The Torturer's Jail", the new exhibit, is part of an effort to tell the real story of life for Southern Mongolians, Uighurs and Tibetans in the People's Republic of China(PRC). The documentation of torture was recently covered in a four part series in the Philadelphia Inquirer earlier this month. They have gone to great lengths to provide indisputable evidence of this phenomena. In testimony before the US Congress, the Venerable Palden Gyatso, the longest held prisoner in Tibet, displayed the implements of his torture as well as detailed his thirty-seven (37) years as a political prisoner. The exhibit was a sad reminder to some of the demonstrators, some of whose grand-parents, fathers, uncles and other close relatives had been beaten and tortured, some even to death.

CACCP maintained the vigil with occasional shouts of Free Eastern Turkestan, Free Tibet, and Free Southern Mongolia, while the Chinese music from the park continually wailed to break the silence of the once-quiet Florida morning. The demonstrators took turns in the jail, knowing full well that the same peaceful activities could place them in real jail in the PRC. It was uneventful for the first 45 minutes as passing cars honked and waved in solidarity with the demonstrators. The exact count of cars turning back was not undertaken, because the number of vehicles going into the park was so low. It was difficult to determine if they were performers or tourists. Then, between 9:45 and 10AM, two Osceola Sheriff's Office deputies slowly drove out of the park and assumed a watchful position across the street from the demonstrators. We were very happy that we didn't surprise them again and run into any hassles.

The demonstrators also noticed Christmas decorations on the great gate> which marks the entrance and found it odd. The recent publication of 'Feeding the Red Dragon: The Case Against Canada's Aid to Communist China', by Gilbert Gendron and his permission to make the chapter 'The Dragon's Grip: The Persecution of Christians in Red China" available on the CACCP web-site, seems too much to be coincidental. (The real clincher was the Christmas tree and Santa display inside ChinaTown).

Later in the morning, leaving the new exhibit occupied by one Tibetan Buddhist monk, the demonstrators proceed to the rear of the park, followed by one of the deputies, to repeat the traditional picture-shoot of the Potala Palace exhibit, complete with demonstrators. The demonstrators were sad to see that large cracks were appearing in the replica, showing that proper upkeep on the structure is not being completed. One participant quipped, "They must be trying to show the damage done by the PLA bombardment in 1959."

Surely the park can remove the exhibit if they don't plan to take proper care of it.

The attendance at the park, even after the day had warmed into the seventies under bright sunny skies was minuscule. The number of attendees at the Pagoda Garden show area to witness the acrobatic exhibition were outnumbered by the demonstrators.

This demonstration caps a year of growth in the size and number of demonstrations against the propaganda theme park and indicates a surge in interest and support for the removal of the Potala Palace, Tomb of Abakh Hoja, Id Gah Mosque, Mausoleum of Genghis Khan and Mongolian Yurt exhibits. The demonstrators promised to make 1997 an even bigger year.