On the 12th of November, Falun Gong practitioners from different countries held an enormous parade when China’s President Hu was visiting Dortmund and Düsseldorf.
The parade set off from the train station square in Düsseldorf at 2:00pm. The parade was composed of a drum team, a group of practitioners in white holding photos of those persecuted to death, girls in traditional Chinese costumes and hundreds of banners and picture boards. It was Saturday and the people were shopping in the high street. They stopped and watched carefully when they heard the drums and saw the huge parade. There were also journalists and photographers. People happily received leaflets explaining what Falun Gong s and exposing the persecution against the practice in China.
While applying for permission for the parade, the practitioners talked about the persecution to the police. After the police found out about the suffering of Falun Gong practitioners in China and that this parade was part of global efforts to raise awareness about this persecution, they were happy to allow the parade to pass by the biggest Chinese Trade Centre and two Chinese shops. However, under pressure from their superiors, the police did not allow practitioners to hand out leaflets inside the Chinese Trade Centre. When the parade passed by, almost all the staff in the Chinese Trade Centre gathered in front of the building and watched. One of the police officers on duty said: ‘If I were in charge, I would allow you to give out leaflets and clarify the truth inside the building.’
The destination of the parade was a square near the town hall beside the Rhine River. After gathering in the square, speeches were given for over an hour and a half by the people who supported the democratic movement, the presenter of a human rights organisation, the chairman of the European Falun Gong society and some Falun Gong practitioners who were persecuted in China. They described from different angles how the Falun Gong practitioners are persecuted under the control of the Chinese Communist Party. They also strongly appealed to the German Government to call on President Hu to stop the persecution.
Before Hu’s visit, the practitioners held an anti-torture exhibition in front of the parliament building in Dortmund. The reporters in a media centre nearby also saw this. They approached the practitioners to learn the truth and they also mentioned that they would interview the practitioners during Hu’s visit. The famous TV station WDR and SAT1 videoed the parade and the speeches. They also mentioned Falun Gong practitioners’ peaceful appeal in that night’s report on Hu’s state visit.
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