United Kingdom: Commemorating the 11th Anniversary of the April 25 Peaceful Appeal

On the afternoon of April 24, 2010, Falun Gong practitioners in the UK and their supporters gathered in front of the Chinese Embassy in London to commemorate the peaceful appeal of 10,000 Falun Gong practitioners eleven years ago at the State Council Appeals Office in Beijing. They demanded the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to immediately stop the persecution of Falun Gong and called upon the British government, and the British people along with the international community to learn the facts about Falun Gong and work together to help stop the persecution.

UK practitioners peacefully demonstrate the exercises in front of the Chinese Embassy in London

Eleven years after the peaceful appeal, the CCP carries on its lies about Falun Gong. The brutal persecution in mainland China continues and even escalates, while practitioners' belief in the principles of Dafa (Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance) is unwavering. Meanwhile practitioners outside of China have persisted in their peaceful and rational truth-clarification activities to the international community, following the same principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, in an effort to help people see through the evil nature of the CCP. At present, overseas practitioners including those in the UK are urging governments, organisations, companies and individuals to learn the truth of Falun Gong as soon as possible and to act together to dissolve the CCP and stop the persecution.

The coordinator of this event, British Falun Gong practitioner Helen, said that the gathering strived to urge the international community to learn the facts about Falun Gong as soon as possible, so as to stop the persecution together. She said, "Eleven years have passed. I feel sorry that we have to gather once again to commemorate the April 25 peaceful appeal and to once again hold such a press conference to call for concern about those practitioners who came forward peacefully to uphold their freedom of belief eleven years ago. I sincerely hope that people all over the world will awaken as soon as possible to learn about the persecution suffered by mainland Falun Gong practitioners and to immediately stop the persecution together."

At the press conference, the President of the UK Falun Dafa Association, Peter Jahaul, the Vice President of European Friends of Falun Gong, John Dee, and four practitioners who had suffered persecution because of the peaceful appeal gave their speeches. After the press conference, participating practitioners did the exercises together. The scene was solemn, peaceful and calm, not dissimilar to the peaceful appeal eleven years ago.

Peter Jahaul, president of the UK Falun Dafa Association, speaks at the rally

In his speech, Peter Jahaul highlighted the determination of the UK Falun Gong practitioners to bring the persecution of Falun Gong to people's attention and to stop the persecution. Mr. Jahaul said, "We call on people's consciousness and kindness, hoping that they will put human rights on top of business, which is difficult. But we will persevere."

John Dee, Vice President of the European Friends of Falun Gong, speaks at the rally

In his speech, the Vice President of the European Friends of Falun Gong, John Dee called upon governments around the world to put pressure on the CCP to stop the persecution. He said, "Pressure must be put on the CCP to stop the persecution and to release all those illegally detained for upholding their beliefs. We call upon governments all around the world to do what they can to put pressure on the CCP to stop the persecution. Do not ignore Falun Gong practitioners' freedom for the sake of economic and political interests."

A Falun Gong practitioner, Ms. Li, who had just left mainland China, attended the overseas commemoration of the April 25 peaceful appeal for the first time. Noting the huge difference between the cultivation environments in and outside of China, she said emotionally, "I am very happy to be able to take part in today's event, which reminds me of my fellow practitioners in mainland China. I am very lucky to be able to protest the CCP freely here. But they do not have such freedom in China. In the mainland, they do not even have normal conditions for Fa study or doing the exercises. Each day they are under huge psychological pressure." Ms. Li believes that practitioners need to continue with truth clarification to the general public in China and to expose the CCP's lies. She said, "The persecution has been covered up by the CCP. In reality the persecution is systematic, from top to bottom. Falun Gong practitioners are being monitored at all levels including the neighbourhood committees. Especially at these sensitive dates, such as April 25, more practitioners suffer monitoring and harassment, of which ordinary citizens in China have no idea." "Nowadays I often go to London's Chinatown to give out the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party to Chinese people and urge them to quit the evil Party. Whenever I go I clarify the truth, which in my opinion is what a Falun Gong practitioner should do most."

Passersby learn the facts about Falun Gong

The event attracted the attention of passersby. Many carefully read the informational leaflets that the practitioners distributed Some captured the gathering and exercises with their cameras.

Amy and Ash are two college students in London, majoring in photography and journalism. Impressed by the peaceful exercises, they stopped to watch and take photos. Having read the leaflet, they said that they heard about Falun Gong for the first time and were stunned to hear about the persecution Falun Gong has suffered. They said that they "cannot believe things like this are happening in the world." They did not understand "why this is not covered in the media. Things like this should be publicized to stop the murder." On parting, the two said that they would put their photos and the Falun Gong information on their blogs so that more people can learn about Falun Gong.

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