Scotland: Falun Gong Grabs the Limelight at the Glasgow West End Festival

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The annual Glasgow West End Festival always attracts a large number of visitors in June every year. Falun Gong practitioners were invited to participate in the event this year.


Demonstrating the Falun Gong exercises at the Glasgow West End Festival
Many people sign the petition against the Chinese Communist regime's persecution

When Falun Gong practitioners wanted to set up their booth, something unusual happened: The people at the neighboring booth were not happy about the practitioners’ displaying a banner between the two booths. The practitioners thus apologised and removed the banner. However, the practitioners’ kindness seemed to touch their hearts. The people at the neighbouring booth eventually came to say that he was interested in Falun Gong and took some information.

After the activities began, more and more people arrived. The organiser of the event invited the practitioners to perform the Falun Gong exercises on an open air stage. Two years ago, Falun Gong practitioners offered to perform the exercises, but the offer was rejected. Last year the organisers noticed that there were a lot of people surrounding the Falun Gong booth to see the demonstration of the exercises. As a result, they especially invited the practitioners to demonstrate the exercises on the stage situated at the central area of the square and could be seen by all the audience.

There were a lot of visitors coming to the Falun Gong booth incessantly. A practitioner who gave away flyers said that once the music for practising the Falun Gong exercises was played, the audience stood in a semi-circle to watch the demonstration and many of them asked for flyers one after another.

When practitioners were demonstrating the exercises, it was especially easy for them to give away flyers. Thus they ran out of flyers several times. Altogether about 7,000 leaflets were distributed during the activities. In the meantime, many people signed the petition against the Chinese Communist regime's persecution of Falun Gong. Many people said that they had heard of Falun Gong either from BBC news reports or from the Edinburgh Folk Festival.

A young Chinese approached the booth and forcibly took away a large bundle of the leaflets. When running away, he was swearing at the practitioners and trying to tear up the materials. After the police rushed to the scene, the practitioners told the police that they would not blame that youngster as he was poisoned by the Chinese Communist regime’s vicious lies. The police asked the practitioners if they would press charges but they told the police that there was no need to do so. However, the young man was still taken away by the police. Many people around witnessed the episode. The practitioners hoped that this youngster could calmly think it over again so as to discern good from bad.

A man from Argentina told a practitioner that one of his lawyer friends in Argentina was representing Falun Gong in a lawsuit accusing a visiting Chinese official. Before leaving, he wished practitioners good luck.
A mother who came with her child not only signed the petition against the persecution, but she also asked her child to sign it, saying that she would take leaflets to her child’s religious teacher and Modern Studies teacher.

When the activities came to an end, the organiser said that it was a pleasure for them to have Falun Gong participating in the festival and it had made the activities more successful.

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