On Monday 10th December 2001 was World Human Rights Day. Practitioners in the UK organised a press conference and a march to commemorate all those Falun Gong practitioners who had been tortured to death as a result of the Chinese government’s policy of persecution against Falun Gong.
Permission had been previously obtained from the police for the day’s activities. Banners were set up and a press conference was convened. Mr Brian Coleman, a member of the Greater London Assembly spoke very eloquently in support of the human rights of Falun Gong practitioners and welcomed the presence of Falun Gong in London. A representative from the Friends of Falun Gong Europe also delivered a speech. Statements of support were received from some Members of Parliament, including the Leader of the Opposition and councillors from around the UK.
When the last speech was being read out, the Chinese embassy began blaring out loud music trying to drown out the press conference. This caused amazement and indignation amongst the local residents and people working in the area. One resident complained to the police officer on duty outside the embassy that what the embassy was doing was illegal and infringing his human rights in his own country. He said he would complain to the local council and the police about the conduct of the Chinese embassy. Many people shook their heads in disbelief and annoyance at the irrational response from the Chinese embassy. A senior gentleman from a professional institute in the area also spoke to the police officer on duty. The Chinese embassy in its last ditch, desperate attempts to prevent the truth from being told only ending up publicly exposing their own repressive nature and bringing shame to the Chinese nation.
On World Human Rights Day the Chinese authorities blatantly and with complete disregard for the laws of the UK tried to extend their persecution from mainland China to British soil. We hope that all fair-minded people will stand up against this violation of human rights.
After the peaceful activities outside the Chinese embassy, the practitioners embarked upon a march through the heart of London. Two female practitioners carried a wreath of white and yellow flowers followed by other female practitioners carrying smaller wreaths with the names of those practitioners who had been persecuted to death. Other practitioners carried Falun Gong banners. The Falun Gong music of Pudu Jishi accompanied the peaceful parade. Leaflets were handed out to the public.
The parade passed through the busiest and most popular places in London which were even busier due to Christmas shoppers. They also passed through Chinatown where truth clarifying literature in Chinese was handed out. Some Chinese people were reluctant to take the fliers at the head of the procession but willingly accepted the literature by the time the last of the practitioners walked by. The parade finished opposite Downing Street, the UK Prime Minister’s official residence. Practitioners did the Falun Gong exercises and continued to hand out information about Falun Gong and the persecution in China to passersby. A letter addressed to the Prime Minister and over 10,000 petition signatures were handed in to 10 Downing Street.
Reported by UK Practitioners
10th December 2001
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