On 21st July, a press conference was held across from the Chinese Embassy followed by a parade through central London to mark eight years of brutal persecution against Falun Gong practitioners by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
Peter Jauhal, the Chairman of the Falun Dafa Association in the UK said, in his speech: “These past eight years have seen a relentless, savage and incomprehensible campaign to eradicate Falun Gong practitioners. But for eight years Falun Gong practitioners have stood firm in their beliefs, compassionate in their response and committed to exposing the truth of this senseless persecution.
“People are disgusted and revolted by what they have seen lurking behind the CCP’s mask and have turned away in their millions. The peaceful dismantling of the CCP is becoming a reality. At the beginning of the persecution, many people were deceived by the CCP’s lies. Eight years have passed and more and more people have learned the facts of Falun Gong and recognize the evil nature of the CCP.
“We look forward to the day when all Falun Gong practitioners will be able to practice their beliefs without fear of being vilified, tortured and killed. We also look forward to the day when a civilised world will no longer put up with being bullied and manipulated into persecuting innocent people just because they choose to follow the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance.”
|Protest and press conference opposite the Chinese Embassy expose and denounce the CCP's human rights abuses|
In a speech by Annie Yang, she recalled the torture she endured in a Chinese forced labour camp for practising Falun Gong: “On March 1st 2005, 7 to 8 policemen searched my home without any legal procedure. My computer, printer and Falun Gong books were confiscated. They sentenced me to forced labour camp without any legal proceedings. In the camp, they tortured me physically – depriving me of sleep, food and water. In very hot summer, 40C, I was forbidden to shower or wash my clothes; even using the toilet was very restricted. I was forced to sit on a board for 20 hours at a time, not allowed to move a muscle. My bottom was festering. I was also mentally tortured and forced to watch brainwashing propaganda slandering Falun Gong over and over. After 18 months my hair turned white. When I was released my whole body was swollen; it is still very difficult for me to walk.”
Falun Gong practitioner Mrs Fengling Zhou also spoke about her experience under the oppressive regime: “China, under the Communist Party is like a huge prison. Because I refused to give up my belief when I was in China, I was watched every day. I was not allowed to speak with other practitioners. I was in constant danger of being sent to a brainwashing centre or forced labour camp. I was forced to leave my family and live homeless for two years. When I came home for a few days on Chinese New Year, I was arrested at my home by police and illegally detained for one month.
“Once people know the truth in life, they will not give up their belief in the face of physical or spiritual torture. Falun Gong’s peaceful principles of Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance means that during the CCP’s campaign against Falun Gong, practitioners will not respond with violence. We speak up and tell the truth to all people because we believe in the power of truth and believe justice will prevail.
“When you are enjoying the happiness of family, please do not forget those who lost their families and became homeless because of the Communist Party’s persecution. When you are enjoying the air of freedom, please do not forget those who, in China, are fighting for their belief and for their right to freedom of belief. Freedom is precious and people who have freedom should help those who are fighting for it. I hope you can learn the truth about Falun Gong and the persecution and help bring the persecution to an end.”
Other words of support at the press conference included those by Councillor Brian Coleman and John Dee of the European Friends of Falun Gong who said “We know for certain that thousands are being kept against their will and tortured in prisons and labour camps across China, and the lives of friends and relatives of practitioners are also made intolerably difficult.
“At a time when the world’s glare is fixed firmly on China, we urge it to end its persecution of Falun Gong immediately, to end its ‘bloody harvest’ of human organs and to release prisoners of conscience being held against their will.”
Following the press conference was a parade through central London. The parade included banners, music, waist-drummers dressed in gold, and many female practitioners dressed in white holding adorned photos of Falun Gong practitioners who were killed in the persecution. The tail of the parade included a float, placards and banners exposing the atrocities committed by the CCP and highlighting the harvesting of organs from Falun Gong prisoners of conscience. There was also enthusiastic loud-speaker calls rallying support from the thousands of onlookers. The parade travelled from the Chinese Embassy along busy Regent Street to Trafalgar Square.
|Parade through central London: dressed in white to commemorate practitioners who lost their lives and re-enacting organ harvesting atrocities|
Thousands of leaflets were also handed out. One elderly woman came back further down the road and asked for another leaflet. She was mopping her tears with a tissue and said that she was very moved by the parade. She said “Why don’t our governments do something about it?” but she quickly added “because all they care about is money”. And she continued to tear and say how awful it was for the people in China.
In Trafalgar Square practitioners dressed in gold demonstrated the gentle Falun Gong exercises to a huge audience. Banners, leaflets, speeches and posters explaining about the persecution were also part of the three-hour event in the Square.
During the demonstration of the second exercise, one young man from Kuwait looked transfixed at the practitioners, smiled and said “It’s amazing!” When some teenagers were asked what their impression was, a young girl said “I don’t like the torture [of Falun Gong practitioners] I think it is very cruel.” She is in London visiting from Spain.
One gentleman onlooker said “I would support the Falun Gong primarily because it is peaceful, unlike the Chinese Government. I hope this will bring a peaceful transition in China from Communism to a free market economy, because a better life for the people in China would mean a better life for all of us.” He is a Croatian currently living in the US.
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