September 17, 2016
(Minghui.org) Practitioners of Falun Dafa (also known as Falun Gong) around the world have held public events for more than a decade to raise public awareness of the brutal persecution in China, calling for help to end it and telling people about the ancient Chinese cultivation practice.
This newsletter covers 12 events that took place in the United States, Europe, and New Zealand in the last few weeks.
At the start of the fall semester, college campuses hold orientation events, an ideal opportunity for Falun Gong practitioners in New York City to introduce the practice to students and faculty.
At Columbia University, 300 student organizations set up booths from Low Plaza to Butler Library on September 9. Practitioners gave out information on their free workshops, which interested many students. Several Chinese students were happy to run into Falun Gong on campus and learn what Falun Gong really is.
Students and faculty members sign up for a free Falun Gong workshop.
Chinese students were dismayed to learn the real story behind the persecution of Falun Gong in China.
A similar event was held at Queens Community College on August 31. “Friends of Falun Gong” was one of the 50 organizations at the orientation. More than 30 students registered for the free workshop. Many more signed the petition to condemn the persecution of Falun Gong in China.
Falun Gong booth at the orientation on the campus of Queens Community College.
Practitioners tell their classmates about Falun Gong.
Practitioners at their booth.
Practitioners’ activities in New York were not limited to college campuses. On September 11, they participated in the 20-block-long street fair on Third Avenue in Manhattan. Twenty-five people signed up for the free workshop.
Falun Gong booth at the Manhattan street fair
Learning the exercises
Practitioners in St. Paul, Minnesota, participated in a much larger fair—the 153rd State Fair—from August 25 to September 5. This is one of the nation’s largest state fairs by average daily attendance.
The Minnesota practitioners’ primary goal was to raise public awareness of the persecution of Falun Gong, especially the state-sanctioned organ harvesting from living practitioners in China and called for help to end it.
Their effort was very successful. During the 12 days of the fair, they collected nearly 16,000 signatures on a petition that condemns the persecution.
People sign the petition to support Falun Gong’s peaceful resistance.
After signing the petition, many people came back with their family members the next day to get them to sign, too. Several school teachers said they would tell their students about this human rights violation in China, and others asked for more materials for their students.
Quite a few Chinese also bravely signed the petition despite the suppression in their home country.
Practitioners also demonstrated the exercises several times on the stage. A few people in the audience told practitioners that they had already started reading Falun Gong books and were glad to have a chance to learn the exercises in person.
Demonstrating the exercises at the Minnesota State Fair.
Practitioners’ peaceful resistance activity in Reșița, Romania, on September 11 was strongly supported by the locals. Many people signed the petition to condemn forced organ harvesting. The event also caught the attention of the local media. Several reporters interviewed practitioners and said they would cover the story.
People sign the petition.
Matei, a reporter with Ziar online de Caras-Severin newspaper, wanted to write an in-depth article on the persecution.
Cristina and Cosmin, reporters from Radio Romania Reșița, were horrified to learn about the brutal persecution. They interviewed practitioners and took photos in front of their display board to show their support.
Cristina and Cosmin support Falun Gong.
Thousands of visitors to the British Museum, one of the most famous tourist destinations in the world, have seen Falun Gong events, which have been held there every Saturday for the last two years. And thousands of them have signed the petition, calling for an end to the persecution.
The words on the yellow umbrella at the practitioners’ booth read “Falun Dafa” and “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.”
Tourists study the practitioners’ display board and learn about Falun Gong.
Signing the petition to condemn the persecution.
One of the practitioner’s sincerest desire is to tell her Chinese compatriots about the persecution and persuade them to withdraw their memberships in the Party and condemn its crimes.
Practitioners are glad to see that more and more Chinese are willing to talk to them and learn about this practice that is banned in China. The Chinese tourists were happy to have a chance to learn the facts that have been censored in China for too long. Many of them decided to quit the communist party with practitioners’ help.
Groups of Chinese tourists talk to practitioners and learn the real story of Falun Gong.
The Eiffel Tower is another famous tourist spot where practitioners introduce Falun Gong and expose the persecution.
Falun Gong exercise demonstration in front of the Eiffel Tower on September 11.
Tourists study Falun Gong materials and sign the petition on September 11.
Many tourists were appalled to learn about forced organ harvesting.
Although Balleinger said she was familiar with the beautiful Chinese culture, she had no idea that such a horrible thing has been happening there. “Even Hitler didn’t harvest people’s organs for profit,” she said.
Giovani Stissi also compared the organ harvesting to Nazi’s genocide in World War II. “I’ve read many things about the Nazis, and I even visited Dachau concentration camp, but I was not as shocked as I am now. I am speechless. It is so sad. The murderers will have to pay sooner or later.
“We must help them. It is an important task for Europe,” he said. “Anybody who has a conscience will feel this pain. Our hearts are with you. I wish you courage to continue your fight.”
On September 10 and 11, practitioners in Moscow participated in the celebration of the 869th birthday of the capital of Russia, and collected signatures to protest forced organ harvesting in China.
People sign the petition.
A young boy holds a paper lotus flower made by practitioners and his mother holds Falun Gong literature.
Demonstrating the exercises
Practitioners in Saxony, Germany, were invited to one of the largest community events—Saxony Day—held in Limbach Oberfrohna on the first weekend of September.
Practitioners demonstrated the exercises. Among the 170 groups, the Tian Guo Marching Band, consisting of practitioners from several European countries, played in the parade at the opening ceremony. It was the third time the band has performed at this festival, which attracts more than 300,000 people from the neighboring countries.
The Falun Gong band in the parade
Practitioners’ performances, including the “celestial maidens” dance, the exercise demonstration on the beautifully-decorated float, and the band’s performance, are warmly welcomed by the spectators every year. Last year, the governor of Saxony, Stanislaw Tillich, had high praise for the band, commenting how excellent they were several times.
Two events were held in Sweden last week.
The first one was in front of City Hall in Stockholm. Many local residents and tourists saw practitioners’ exercise demonstration and read their materials. Some of them also started to learn the exercises.
Activity in front of the City Hall in Stockholm
A lady in the front row wanted to learn the exercises. After doing the third one, her eyes were full of tears. She gave a big hug to the practitioner who taught her, saying, “This is so wonderful. I must learn it.”
Many Chinese tourists were surprised to see Falun Gong. Some stopped by and encouraged practitioners to keep up the good work.
One Chinese gentleman said to the practitioners, “You are the hope of China. The persecution is totally wrong. I admire your spirit!”
In Gavle, 100 miles northwest of Stockholm, practitioners demonstrated the exercises and collected signatures to condemn the persecution. Many people, including some Chinese, signed the petition to support Falun Gong.
The Falun Gong event in downtown Gavle, Sweden, on September 9.
On the other side of the world, practitioners dressed as traditional Chinese celestial maidens won the “People’s Choice, Best Dressed Award” and 500 New Zealand dollars at the annual harvest festival parade in Hastings, New Zealand, on September 10.
Falun Gong’s Tian Guo Marching Band in the parade
Practitioners dressed as celestial maidens
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Category: Other Community Events