United Kingdom: Film and Discussion in the Peace Studies Department of Bradford University

On March 13th, a Falun Gong practitioner arrived in Bradford to share her experiences of the persecution of Falun Gong in China and to draw attention to recent allegations of organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners. The event was held at Bradford University and was made possible with the assistance of staff from the Peace Studies Department.

The event was open to all staff and students, and was advertised as ‘a film and talk’. The event was scheduled for the evening and was to last for two hours, but continued for at least an extra thirty minutes as the audience remained intrigued and inquisitive to learn more.

The evening was structured chronologically, commencing with a brief introduction to the history of Falun Gong, stating important dates and events from its introduction to the public in 1992 to the start of the persecution in 1999. The film ‘Shake the World’, the 21st showing on its global tour, then took the audience through the initial stages of the persecution, adding other important events: the October 1999 Beijing News Conference held by Falun Gong practitioners and the Guangzhou Fa Conference in November 1999.

The experience sharing from the Chinese Falun Gong practitioner talked about her harassment and torture by the Chinese authorities during the period 1999 to 2004. Part of her experience in China included blood testing whilst in a Chinese labour camp. This enabled us to bring the persecution of Falun Gong in China to the present situation in 2007 and concluded by informing the audience on investigations into organ Harvesting.

At the end of the evening most, if not all, the audience signed petition forms to call for an end to the persecution of Falun Gong and several people waited to speak individually to practitioners.

Approximately twenty five people attended the evening, eight of whom were oriental in origin. It became apparent, and most pleasing to see, that some were Chinese.

Three Chinese students spoke at length to the female practitioner; one of them stated that he had read Zhuan Falun, the main text of Falun Dafa, in 2002, but had little understanding of ‘Fa Rectification’, a common term used in Falun Gong. He said he began to understand more after he saw ‘Shake the World’, and requested a copy of Zhuan Falun. Two of the Chinese said they would resign from the Chinese Communist Party after learning what is currently happening in China to Falun Gong practitioners.

Another Chinese student who had previously spoken to Falun Gong practitioners at awareness activities held in their town centre but remained unsure about Falun Gong, understood more from watching the film and listening to personal experiences. They also said they would leave the Chinese Communist Party.

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