Australia: Falun Gong Practitioners Participate in Independence Day Parade

On January 26th, Australian Independence Day, a grand parade was held in downtown Melbourne, sponsored by the local government. This year, 3000 people from 63 groups with different cultural backgrounds participated in the parade, which proceeded down Swanston Street and ended in Alexandra Park.

The Divine Land Marching Band

Local Falun Gong practitioners' entry was led by the Divine Land Marching Band, while other practitioners demonstrated the exercises and performed traditional Chinese dances. A young practitioner sat in a giant lotus flower on the float, waving to the audience. Falun Gong practitioners have participated in the Independence Day parade for several years in a row now.

Many Chinese people watched, excited to see Falun Gong in Melbourne. A Chinese couple, who had just arrived in Australia two months ago, said they had tears in their eyes when they saw a Chinese group in the parade. They said that information about Falun Gong is blocked in China, but they heard how severe the persecution is, and they know some practitioners were jailed and tortured to death. They were touched when they saw Falun Gong today. “They were so peaceful,” they said.

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