A unique scene unfolding on the square in front of Parliament caught the attention of passers-by. A group of Falun Gong practitioners wearing yellow T-shirts or golden exercise outfits demonstrated the five sets of Falun Gong exercises. Beside them was a large banner worded, “The world needs Truth, Compassion, Tolerance.” The activity was part of a series of events that Falun Gong practitioners held on the 15th anniversary of the persecution, to raise awareness about Falun Gong and the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) brutal persecution of the peaceful cultivation practice.
Nearby, another group of practitioners recreated a Chinese prison cell with black wooden bars to call attention to the CCP's torture of Falun Gong practitioners. On top of the cell was a large banner worded, “Falun Gong: World's Largest Group of Prisoners of Conscience.”
|Falun Gong practitioners in London hold a day-long event to raise awareness about Falun Gong and the CCP's persecution on July 16, 2014|
On the other side of the venue was a large poster board with photos of Falun Gong practitioners who died from the persecution in China. White paper lotus flowers decorated the bottom of the poster board. Above the portraits was a large banner worded, “CCP: Stop killing Falun Gong practitioners for organ tourism.” Practitioners held banners worded, “Please help to stop the persecution of Falun Gong” in both English and Chinese. Additional information was also available to passers-by.
In addition, practitioners distributed information flyers to passers-by and tourists, and collected signatures on a petition calling for a stop to the CCP's forced live organ harvesting.
Members of Parliament Express Support
The practitioners' large-scale event to mark the 15th year of the persecution caught the attention of UK politicians. Ten Members of Parliament (MPs) sent letters of support for the event. Some MPs came in person to express their support and signed the petition against the CCP's live organ harvesting.
MP Mr. Richard Graham chairs the All Party Parliamentary Groups for Pensions, Regeneration Through Innovation, the Commonwealth, Indonesia, and China. Mr. Graham stopped at the event and talked with Falun Gong practitioners. Several practitioners had been invited to his office earlier in the day to discuss Falun Gong and the persecution.
MP Mr. Julian Lewis came to the event to express his support and signed the petition against the CCP's forced live organ harvesting. MP Mrs. Mary Glindon met a practitioner who was distributing flyers outside the building. She offered, prior to signing the petition, “I know Falun Gong. I want to sign the petition.”
Tourists from around the World Learn about Falun Gong and the Persecution
Many people expressed their support for the practitioners' efforts to end the persecution. Approximately 800 people signed the petition, the majority of them tourists from other countries. Many people took photos of the exercise demonstration, and read the flyers and other relevant information. A number of people talked with the practitioners and asked questions. Many were shocked upon hearing of the CCP's live organ harvesting of prisoners of conscience.
Eyal Goldman stopped for a quite a while to watch the exercise demonstration. He had a photo taken after he stepped inside the recreated prison cell. He signed the petition and promised to post the information on his social media websites.
The poster with portraits of Falun Gong practitioners who died in the persecution caught the attention of passers-by.
|Erika from Mexico pauses for quite a while in front of the portraits of Falun Gong practitioners who died during the persecution in China|
Erika from Mexico accepted a flyer from a practitioner. She said that this was the first that she'd hear of Falun Gong and the persecution. She was shocked at the CCP's live organ harvesting. “My God. I have never heard of it before. We don't know about it in Mexico. I will let more people know of this,” said Erika. She carefully looked at the portraits of the Falun Gong practitioners who lost their lives in the persecution and took photos. She said she would do something in Mexico to help stop the persecution.
|A woman and her son from Israel talk with a practitioner in front of the portraits|
A woman and her son from Israel talked with a practitioner in front of the portraits for quite a while. Dafna is a teacher, and her son Ziv just graduated from high school. They were visiting London on a tour for the first time. The mother said that her son was a strong advocate for human rights. Ziv said to the practitioner, “I thank you very much for what you are doing because it is very important. It is terrible that such things occur to a human being. It's great that you hold events like this to stop the persecution.”
A group of German high school students were attracted by the practitioners' activities. After a practitioner likened the persecution of Falun Gong to the Nazi's crimes, the students readily signed the petition.
|German high school students listen to a practitioner discuss Falun Gong and the persecution.||Signing the petition against the persecution|
|A family of three from Italy sign the petition|
A family of three from Italy watched the practitioners' event across the street for quite a while and asked for more information from a practitioner distributing flyers. They signed the petition form later.
There were also many Chinese tourists who stopped by the event. Several practitioners talked to them about withdrawing from the CCP and its affiliated organizations. Several dozen Chinese tourists renounced the CCP on the spot. A number of visitors from China took photos of the practitioners' posters.
People from Many Walks of Life Are Paying Attention to Falun Gong
Mr. Robin Marsh, UK-Secretary General of the Universal Peace Federation, came to the event to express his support. He knows Falun Gong and believes that the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance have significant meaning for world peace. He feels that such principles should be taken as basic values for handling international relations. Mr. Marsh said, “Falun Gong has suffered incredible persecution in China. As a member of the human race, we must pay attention to this.” He hoped that the UK government would do the same as the European Parliament and pass a resolution condemning the CCP's live organ harvesting.
|Mr. Robin Marsh, UK-Secretary General of the Universal Peace Federation, expresses his support in front of the UK Parliament||Mr. Robin Marsh signs the petition calling for an end to the persecution|
Imam Suliman Gani, an Islamic cleric for a community in London, had come to Parliament to participate in a protest. He saw the practitioners' event and was moved. Mr. Gani talked with a practitioner to learn more about the issue.
He said, “I accepted a flyer from a Falun Gong practitioner. The title 'tortured for belief, killed for organs' got my attention. Live organ harvesting is an extreme crime. It is dangerous to keep silent when facing such a crime. So many practitioners have died from this persecution. It is miserable. Such a crime must be stopped. We cannot allow such a tragedy to occur. We need to support Falun Gong and call for an end of the persecution.”
Imam Gani continued, “I think if such a situation continues, more people will be persecuted. More people will be killed. It would be dangerous if people keep silence in the face of the killing. Your raising awareness here is great.”
|Imam Suliman Gani (left), a Muslim cleric for a community in London, learns about the persecution from a practitioner and signs the petition form|
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