France: French Practitioners Commemorate April 25th

On the night of April 25th, 2008, Falun Gong practitioners in France gathered on the Parvis de la Liberté et des droits de l’homme opposite the Eiffel Tower in Paris to commemorate the ninth anniversary of the historic event on April 25th in 1999 when over ten thousand Falun Gong practitioners peacefully appealed in Beijing. The candlelight vigil commemorated those practitioners tortured to death by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party), demanded stopping the persecution and strongly protested against the CCP’s mass arrest of Falun Gong practitioners in the name of the Olympics.

On the 25th of April 1999 over ten thousand Falun Gong practitioners peacefully appealed in the centre of Beijing, demanding the release of the forty five practitioners that had been arrested in Tianjin, to guarantee the legitimacy of the practice, permission for the publication of Falun Gong books. The Prime Minister at the time held talks with Falun Gong representatives, which brought basic resolutions to those issues. This was the famous “4.25 peaceful appeal”, from which Falun Gong practitioners’ rationality, discipline and morals won praises worldwide. On the 20th of July that year, however, the peaceful appeal was twisted into the attack of Zhong Nan Hai and provided an excuse for Jiang Zemin and the CCP’s nearly nine years of brutal persecution of Falun Gong. Since then Falun Gong practitioners have been subjected to the most evil persecution yet unseen in human history, which is still continuing.

“4.25” was also the beginning of large scale rational anti-persecution efforts from Falun Gong practitioners. For nine years, under their firm beliefs in “Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance” practitioners in and outside of China persisted in clarifying the truth in a peaceful and rational manner, creating a miracle in Chinese history of fighting against the persecution while elevating morals. “Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance” are spread across more than eighty countries in the world while the evil CCP will meet its demise as a result of its persecution of the true Buddha law. As a result of practitioners’ continuous efforts in truth clarification, more and more people started to understand, ponder and eventually see through the evil nature of the CCP, hence denounce it whereby choosing a bright future for themselves.

The Parvis de la Liberté et des droits de l’homme is a symbolic place. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was passed and issued at the Palais Chaillot next to the square. A stone slab at the entrance to the square is engraved with Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” Since the CCP started the crackdown on Falun Gong on the 20th of July 1999, practitioners in France have been holding anti-persecution events here for nine years.

At the gathering, a representative of practitioners said, “We strongly protest the evil CCP’s nine years of persecution of Falun Gong, especially the atrocities of organ harvesting from live Falun Gong practitioners for huge profits. We demand to put to an immediate stop the persecution and incarceration of practitioners and strongly protest the CCP’s mass arrests in the name of the Olympics.” Through truth exhibits, leaflets, slogans, and exercise demonstrations, practitioners told people about the truth of the CCP’s persecution.

The event attracted large numbers of tourists and local residents. Having learned the truth of the persecution, many signed to call for stopping the persecution. Some commented that people should have the freedom of belief and speech. Citizens should have the rights to report to the government and uphold their rights. No one would understand or accept this being used as an excuse to persecute. Many residents strongly condemned the persecution, especially the atrocities of organ harvesting from live Falun Gong practitioners. They wanted to support the practitioners through their media.

M. Patrick Orni, a French insurer said, “What the CCP regime is afraid of is the truth being exposed, which is the reason why it tries the hardest to cover up. I know about Falun Gong being seriously persecuted in China. I have no doubt about the existence of death concentration camps and organ harvesting, which is truly horrific. I support you (Falun Gong practitioners). There must be a global effort to stop this, using the Olympics to push for progress in China.

Social welfare consultant M. Patrick Schaffner said, “Having just learned these (truth about the persecution), I think this is extremely evil. The fact that this kind of thing (torture and organ harvesting) still exists in the 21st century is indeed serious. I hope people would react quickly. The truth must be heard so that everybody knows about this. The fact that this kind of thing exists today is a shame in our times. I hope our government would react to such an intolerable persecution. The organ trade has to be exposed. Everyone must know. The mass media needs to get involved. These people have to be saved immediately.”

With candles practitioners formed 3145, the number of practitioners confirmed to have been tortured to death by the CCP. Photos of deceased practitioners were surrounded by candlelight. A gigantic “Remembrance” added a heavy atmosphere of sadness. Practitioners sat silently in memory of fellow practitioners, wearing compassionate expressions with a touch of tenacity. Kind people were moved. They stood silently to join in with commemoration of the deceased. Some gestured as if praying. Some shed tears. Some laid flowers on portraits of the deceased. Some even sat with practitioners.

Tony from Australia lit a candle for the dead. After carefully read all the truth exhibits, he sat silently among practitioners, hands held tight, and cried silently. According to him, his grandfather was murdered in the Second World War for political reasons. He prayed for all killings like this in the world to stop as soon as possible.

Falun Gong practitioners’ commemoration was accompanied by the song “Candlelight”, which goes:

A little candlelight is like sad songs, singing about practitioners’ tragedy,
A little candlelight is like epics, describing practitioners’ tenacity,
A little candlelight is like bridges, bringing together kindness in the world,
A little candlelight is like hopes, spreading around “Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance” beauty.
Light a candle to spread kindness. Light a candle to light up the world.

In nine years of anti-persecution, with their tenacity and compassion practitioners spread “Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance” all over the world. Having learned the truth about the persecution, more and more people extended a helping hand. The conscience recalled is lighting up the world like candles.

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