For one week we had already appealed to the German government about the 130 hunger strikers at the Masanjia Labour Camp in China. Our location was in front of the German Parliament Building (The Reichstag) in Berlin. I saw that there was a photo-shoot taking place in front of the Reichstag of the prominent German entertainer singer, comic and actor- Helge Schneider. I felt that this could not be a coincidence. From a distance one could already see a crowd of journalists surrounding him. Another practitioner and I went straight towards them. My yellow Falun Gong T-shirt could not be ignored. We approached him and asked him whether he would sign the petition regarding the persecution of Falun Gong in China. He responded:
Of course; I will come with you right away to your booth.
A woman came up to him and steered him towards a travel bus, to grant further interviews. I quickly said:
Do you promise to sign after the interview session?
Promise, was his reply.
Because of the rain another practitioner and I waited by the bus, our yellow Falun Gong umbrella open. When he finally emerged from the bus, he looked in our direction, smiled and walked towards us. Together with him we crossed the street, followed by people from radio, TV and newspapers.
When we had arrived in front of our information placard, we handed him a petition list with the appeal to German Chancellor Schroeder. Mr. Schneider signed it while a photo-journalist filmed him. Falun Dafa newspaper in hand, Helge Schneider went back to his bus.
Never before would I have had the courage to approach a celebrity so directly and ask him to sign a petition. This time I was able to overcome my fear because the issue of saving the practitioners on hunger strike was far more important.
September 13, 2001
Practitioners in Germany
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