Two men who attacked Falun Gong practitioners this summer over their unflattering views on China were ordered by a San Francisco neighborhood court to write apology letters and were told to stay 10 feet away from the victims. One of the men also must take anger management classes.
Neighborhood courts are used for minor offenses that don’t warrant serious criminal prosecution, said District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Stephanie Ong Stillman. But Falun Gong supporters say the two attackers — Yongyao Wu and Jingjun Chin — are only two offenders among many more who have carried out 10 attacks this summer in Chinatown.
Sherry Zhang, who led City Hall protests against the violence earlier this year, contends the incidents should have been taken far more seriously.
“We’re a little bit disappointed because we saw these as hate crimes,” Zhang said. “We saw this as a pattern.”
Since its inception in the early 1990s, Falun Gong has been labeled a cult and dangerous dissident group by the Chinese government, but practitioners in San Francisco’s Chinatown have asserted their First Amendment rights to speak out against the country’s Communist leaders and its alleged human-rights abuses.
Police broke up two related skirmishes near the corner of Grant and Washington streets in June.