Since then the Fa [principles of Falun Gong] has changed my life and I am very grateful for the opportunity to be a practitioner and clarify the truth.
Our group was made up of seven practitioners, six eastern and one western (myself). I must say that I was a bit apprehensive about participating in my first truth clarifying activity in Belfast City [in Northern Ireland] amidst crowds on a busy Saturday, 15th Dec 2001.
This was a very cold December day.
The day was a mixture of interference and kind-hearted people.
Our first place to stop and give out leaflets, practise the exercises and offer petitions for signing, was one of the side streets of the centre mall. There were street buskers nearby and they were playing their music, and a truck was unloading goods near to us also. We began giving out leaflets and some of the group were doing the exercises. There was a lot of noise going on around us and we then did the righteous thoughts meditation. After some time we continued on and some people came along and began to talk to me and ask questions about Falun Dafa and why the practitioners in China were being persecuted. I explained to them why this was happening and they willingly signed the petitions and took the leaflets. I also drew their attention to the web sites on the leaflets so that they could find out more about Falun Dafa.
A lot of people signed the petitions, and many of them stated that it was terrible what the Chinese government were doing to the practitioners.
As some of our group were sitting doing the meditation exercise a man from the store just behind the practitioners came out and said that we would have to move and that he did not want us outside his shop. We packed up our equipment, banners, tables, etc. and moved up the street to the very centre of the shopping mall. We set up just in front of this bandstand. We took turns doing exercises and I sat with two other practitioners for the fifth exercise, the sitting meditation. A group of youths came up to us while we were sitting with eyes closed and one of them threw a coin at my face and a few minutes later another one pushed my head. this was done to see what reaction they would get, I continued to sit with my eyes closed in the meditation position. They left after some time and I was not bothered by them again.
Later on that day a police van pulled up right in front of us. They were moving some street traders near us who did not have a licence to sell on the street. The traders were not happy and started giving verbal abuse to the police and some other onlookers joined in. Suddenly two armoured land rovers appeared in the crowd, and I suggested that we move as we could be caught in the middle if a riot erupted.
We moved our things a few yards away and waited, but there was no trouble and the police moved them off. We then set up again in the same place.
A woman approached me during the day and offered some money towards our cause. I thanked her but told her that we do not collect any monies, but would be grateful if she could sign our petition. She was very glad to do this and took a leaflet as well.
Some time later a group of youths moved onto the bandstand behind us and they started playing music loudly and doing break dancing. A crowd started to gather to watch them and the numbers grew after some short time. Our banners and table were now surrounded by the crowds of onlookers and it was getting quite cramped, so again we moved our things to another location not far from the band stand.
We continued on and some youths again pulled the arms of one of the practitioners while she was practising the exercises. Another youth was jeering and attempting to touch another practitioner. I approached two of them and offered them a leaflet and then they moved on.
Another man who approached us was very sympathetic to our cause and gave me advice about groups that we could contact for support.
I noticed a girl of about four or five being pulled along by a man quickly through the crowds of shoppers, obviously in a hurry to get his shopping finished. I heard the little girl say to the man that had her by the hand, but was not taking any notice of us or her “Look that’s Falun Gong”. He did not hear her but I did.
I later found out that 3,000 leaflets had been handed out that day.
24 December 2001
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