The annual Kingston Carnival was held on September 2, 2012 in Kingston, London. The theme of this year's carnival was “Bringing the World to Kingston.” Falun Gong practitioners in the U.K. participated for the 4th time in this popular summer festival celebration, and once again brought information about Falun Gong to the carnival-goers.
|Falun Gong exercise demonstration stands out at Kingston Carnival|
Early that morning, practitioners set up their information booth in the location specified by the carnival organizers. In addition to setting up informational display boards, several practitioners stood nearby and began demonstrating the five sets of exercises. Several other practitioners handed out flyers and spoke with people to introduce the Falun Gong exercises, raise awareness about the persecution of Falun Gong and collect signatures to call for an end to the persecution. A practitioner collected signatures to call for help to rescue his father who is being severely persecuted in a prison in China.
Kingston Carnival organizers also made a special arrangement for the practitioners to demonstrate the exercises in three small squares where there was the main flow of people. Practitioners dressed in yellow exercise suits and the peaceful exercise music attracted the attention of many people who stopped to watch.
|Signing the petition to call for an end to the persecution|
The Falun Gong booth also attracted the attention of a large number of passersby. Many stopped to watch the exercise demonstration, pick up materials, and sign the petition to call for an end to the persecution.
|Police chief in charge of the security at Kingston Carnival signs the petition to support Falun Gong practitioners' efforts to end the persecution|
A sheriff who was in charge of security during the Kingston Carnival, met with Falun Gong practitioners in last year's carnival, and had learned the facts about Falun Gong then. As soon as he saw the practitioners' booth this year, he walked over to greet the practitioners, and signed the petition to call for an end to the persecution. Another police officer who was with the sheriff listened to a practitioner tell him about the CCP's brutal persecution, and said that he was glad that Falun Gong practitioners can demonstrate the exercises at Kingston Carnival.
|Matthew hears about Falun Gong for the first time and signs the petition|
Matthew is a fitness coach in Kingston. This event was the first time that he heard about Falun Gong. He had had great interest in qigong. He watched the exercise demonstration for a long time, and said he felt peaceful energy from the practitioners. He was shocked upon learning about the persecution, and said that it should be stopped and more people should be aware of this. He said that it sounded like Falun Gong has become a worldwide phenomenon, but he didn't even know about it. He said he would immediately get online to learn more about Falun Gong after getting back home.
|A young girl named Poppy signs the petition to oppose the persecution|
A young girl named Poppy and her parents came to the information booth. The family also heard about Falun Gong for the first time. The mother listened to a practitioner tell her about Falun Gong and the persecution, and then told Poppy what she heard. Poppy asked to sign the petition. When being asked why she wanted to sign, the little girl said earnestly, “The persecution is really terrible. I hope they (Falun Gong practitioners) can freely practice in their own country.”
At the end of the day's activity, more than a dozen people said they planned to go to practice sites to learn Falun Gong.
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