On Wednesday March 31, Ottawa Falun Gong practitioners together with the Falun Dafa Club of Carleton University held a symbolic trial of Jiang Zemin on the campus of Carleton University in Ottawa. Carleton University is one of the nine universities taking part in the nationwide initiative to hold symbolic trials in universities across Canada.
A few days ago the event was reported on Clearwisdom [Falun Gong website], so today I would like to talk about the process we went through in holding the symbolic trial, which was equally important, if not the most important part of this experience.
In the days preceding the trial a number of practitioners visited Law, Political Science, Journalism and History professors. Through our efforts, we were able to speak with about 10 professors from each department. For the professors who we were not able to talk to in person, we left invitation letters and information packages in their mailboxes. We used this opportunity to clarify the truth to them about the severity of the persecution and the goodness of Dafa. The form of the symbolic trial also provided an easy connection to clarify the truth about Canadian citizen, Prof. Kunlun Zhang's, persecution story and his efforts to bring Jiang Zemin to justice in Canada. Speaking with them about Prof. Zhang's case proved to be a very good opportunity to have them show their support for Dafa, as many professors gladly volunteered to send a letter to the Attorney General in support of Prof. Zhang's case. Many of the professors also told us that they would inform their classes about our activity. In addition, two political science professors invited us to speak to their classes about the symbolic trial. Both class presentations went very smoothly and were well received by the students. Some students showed great interest and took the initiative to ask questions.
Posters that clarified the facts and announced the event were put up in buildings, hallways, and tunnels across the campus. Also I, as the main coordinator of the activity, was invited to do an on-air interview with the school radio station to talk about the symbolic trial. The interview, which was broadcast live the morning of the trial, gave me over ten minutes to clarify the truth from many different angles and to a broad range of people.
Of the people who watched the symbolic trial from start to finish, many were either journalism students or journalists. The journalism students likely knew about the event from either the posters we put up in the journalism department or from their professors, who we clarified the truth to the week before. The journalists knew about it either from the media advisories that we sent out or from the fact that one of the journalism professors with whom we spoke was the editor of a local newspaper and told us that he was going to do a feature article about Dafa. This professor told us that he was looking for a topic for the feature article of the new issue of his paper, but did not know what to write about. He then added that the information we told him was perfect and that he would write his article about Falun Dafa, the persecution, and Prof. Zhang. In addition, during the week of and week before the trial a few journalism students called me in order to have interviews about our activity, Dafa, and the persecution in general. The school newspaper also reported on the trial and published an article about it the following day.
The symbolic trial was also a good opportunity to have none Falun Gong practitioners take part in our activities. We spent quite some time trying to find someone who had the time to play the part of the defence lawyer, but many of the people we asked were students and since school was finishing, they were very busy with year-end assignments and could not find the time to play the role. Finally I decided to ask my own family members who, although they do not practice Dafa, have always shown great support towards our efforts. After seeing how Dafa has changed my life and having had discussions with me about the Fa [principles and teachings of Falun Gong contained in the book Zhuan Falun], my brother has always felt that Dafa is good and understands to some extent the evilness of the persecution, so after I asked him to play the part he quickly agreed to it. I think that in his heart he has wanted to do something for Dafa for quite a while, but did not know what to do, so this was a very good opportunity for him.
Many opportunities leading up to the day of the event were taken to clarify the truth about the persecution. After taking part in these initiatives it became very clear to me that although the whole time we were speaking with people about the symbolic trial, and on the surface, it seemed that we were preparing for the symbolic trial, the symbolic trial itself was only one element in the process.
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