Autumn is the UK’s political party conference season when MPs, MEPs, councillors, VIPs and activists of various parties gather in seaside resorts. This year UK Falun Gong practitioners held anti-torture exhibitions at the Liberal Democrat, Labour and Conservative Party conferences in late September and early October to let the delegates know about the persecution of Falun Gong in China.
There have been many great offers of support and help from delegates of all three parties and in total about 1400 delegates signed a petition calling for an end to the persecution of Falun Gong and for the human rights abuser and instigator of the persecution Jiang Zemin to be brought to justice.
Delegates were appalled by the torture that Falun Gong practitioners have been subjected to and were shocked that some of the practitioners at the event suffered personally in the persecution. They showed great support to a practitioner who is trying to rescue his sister from a forced labour camp in China.
At all three conferences, Falun Gong practitioners received media attention. At one of the conferences, a journalist from a major newspaper waited for a long time till a western practitioner has finished demonstrating the Falun Gong exercises then approached him for an interview. At another conference, a journalist took a photo of a practitioner holding up the banner “Help Stop the Persecution of Falun Gong” and told the practitioner that it will be published in his magazine. At the third conference, another major newspaper named our anti-torture exhibition as the “Best Protest”
Although the party conferences were all on weekdays, many practitioners overcame significant difficulties of various kinds to arrange leave from work or study to come and support the events.
At all three events we encountered unexpected difficulties in our efforts to raise awareness of the persecution. Practitioners kept up righteous thoughts and every time the situation gradually changed and we found more effective ways to explain the facts to the delegates.
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