UK: Practitioner Recieves Design Award From Amnesty International

I was lucky enough to get a chance to take part in Amnesty International’s competition entitled, “A fairer world - A world without torture”. I study Art and Design Technology at school and I knew that I would be able to use these skills in this competition. Therefore I decide to make a large Taiji emblem, where the Yin side contained pictures showing people practicing Falun Gong in countries all over the world and where the Yang side contained pictures of the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China. I knew that the stark contrast between the beauty of the practitioners practicing Falun Gong outside of China and the brutality of Jiang’s regime against Falun Gong in China would be great.

My piece came first in my age category for the North East of the UK and thus I was invited to attend a day in London with Amnesty and the rest of the finalists from the UK. The day started with a trip to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office where I was approached by a member of the UK Parliament who went to have a dialogue with the Chinese Ambassador in London regarding the brutal human rights violations towards Falun Gong practitioners in China. He told me that he went to China last year and he was aware of the atrocities happening in China. He was very interested in my experiences of the peaceful appeal to Chinese leaders in the Forbidden City in Beijing during the Chinese New for a stop to the persecution of Falun Gong. He listened carefully and showed concern for the matter in China.

Later that day I was taken to the National Union of Teachers building where the prize ceremony was to be held. During the ceremony I was surprised to see television stars such as TV and radio presenter Zoë Ball and VIPs such as Irish MP Lembit Opik who were present to view the pieces of work and announce the winners. I thought that this was a very good opportunity to clarify the truth about the persecution to them and ask for their support. As I asked for their autograph I gave them a leaflet and talked to them about the situation in China. Then to my surprise the wife of the Prime Minister of UK, Mrs. Cherie Blair turned up to look at the work and support the event. I managed to present Mrs. Blair with a Falun Gong SOS leaflet. Later, when I queued up for her signature, she was delighted to sign her autograph for me. To my great surprise, she remembered me and immediately commented that I had given her a leaflet. Mrs. Blair showed great interest in the Children’s masterpiece displayed in the hall. When she walked towards the display board with my work on, I briefly explained my design work, which clearly shows the extent of the persecution in China. She expressed her admiration for the artwork that I have done. I was also able to present her colleague with a leaflet as she was looking at my piece.

This event enabled a lot of people come to know about the persecution of Falun Gong in China, has enabled the name of Falun Gong to become recognizable for a lot of people and has further developed the UK practitioners’ communication with Amnesty International. It also made me further realise the issue of using ones skills effectively to clarify the truth of the vicious persecution that is happening in China.

Alex Rostron
28 February 2002

See below for photos

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