United Kingdom: Car Tour in Southern England to Raise Awareness about the Persecution

In mid-September, UK practitioners started a five-day car tour in southern England to spread the truth of Falun Gong and to urge the British people, the media and VIPs to pay attention to the inhuman crime of organ harvesting on live Falun Gong practitioners by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

When the practitioners started the trip from London, they felt uncertain about the result of the car tour. One practitioner even felt a sense of unexplainable worry about inadequate preparation. After talking together, they realised that this worry was not righteous and they should be clear about one point: whether they had prepared enough or not, to let more people know about the CCP’s persecution of Falun Gong in China is a very righteous and important task. After the sharing, the worry disappeared and they felt confident and energetic.

The first stop of the car tour was Salisbury. The practitioners had already sent a press release to the local media organizations beforehand. They marked all the places they wanted to visit and worked out an itinerary to follow so that they could save time. When they arrived at the local BBC Radio station, a man was just going to enter the door and he asked them if they wanted to follow him. After a short chat, the practitioners found out that he was a BBC reporter just coming back from an interview. As soon as this reporter learned about the allegations of the harvesting of organs from living Falun Gong practitioners, he was shocked and decided to interview practitioners on the spot.

In the interview, an English practitioner firstly introduced some background information about this issue and then a practitioner who had been illegally detained in China talked about the torture and persecution he experienced in China’s forced labour camp. At last, the English practitioner talked about how people could effectively help to stop this crime against Falun Gong practitioners. After the interview, the reporter expressed his support for this car tour and asked for copies of all the leaflets in Chinese and English.

After the BBC interview, practitioners visited the local Member of Parliament. The secretary of the MP had an in depth chat with them. During the chat, she kept expressing her shock over the issue of organ harvesting and her support for the car tour. Before practitioners left, she said with tears in her eyes that she would urge the MP to write to the Prime Minister as soon as possible and to push the British government to condemn the CCP’s crime of organ harvesting.

The second stop of the car tour was Exeter. As soon as they arrived, the practitioners on the car tour met up with local practitioners and made a rough plan for the activities of the next day. But on the next day, they had some difficulties. Finding a table for a street activity was a big problem. The practitioners talked together and realized that they had strong emotional pursuits in what they were doing. After getting rid of their emotional pursuit, the practitioners found that their problem was gone.

ITV, one of the UK's main television channels, came to video the activity. The biggest local newspaper also sent a reporter to take some photos. A local MP came to welcome the car tour participants. The practitioners divided into two groups. One group were in a shopping centre to giving out leaflets. Another group went to the city council and the university newspaper to deliver information about the organ harvesting issue to them.

The next stop on the car tour was Taunton. At first, in order not to affect the traffic, a city ranger asked practitioners to put their table at the crossing of a road near some roadworks. But soon after practitioners finished setting up, the Mayor of the city came. He expressed his support and greeting to practitioners and took a photo with them. Then he offered to let practitioners do their activity on the other end of the street, which is the busiest crossing in this city. Later a local councillor came to welcome practitioners and posed for a photo with them.

In the afternoon, the practitioners divided into two groups again. One group continued giving out leaflets and the other group went to a radio station for an interview where they told the listeners about Falun Gong and the persecution. Before they left, the presenter said sincerely that the practitioners brought sunshine to the radio station and local residents.

After this, two practitioners visited BBC Radio. The presenter was embarrassed and said her programme was a relaxing programme and was unsuitable for the information on human rights abuses. The practitioners suggested talking about the beauty of Falun Gong and its excellent effects on health and wellbeing. The presenter accepted their suggestion. One practitioner demonstrated the first of Falun Gong’s five sets of exercises while another practitioner talked about the principles of the exercises and gave some details of Falun Gong websites and the contact details of local practitioners. At the end of the programme, the presenter talked with practitioners further about the persecution in China.

The fourth stop was Bristol. Activities in the town centre were cancelled because of heavy rain so practitioners decided to concentrate on visiting the local media. The last stop of the car tour was Guildford. On the one hand, local people signed the petition to condemn the CCP’s crime of harvesting organs from live Falun Gong practitioners; on the other hand, practitioners met the Mayor of the city.

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