Europe: Commemorating the Nineteenth Anniversary of Falun Gong's Peaceful Resistance
(Minghui.org) On July 20, 1999, the Chinese Communist Party launched the persecution of Falun Gong. The cultivators of Falun Gong, meanwhile, started the long journey of the peaceful resistance.
At the 19th anniversary of this fight for freedom, practitioners in Europe held a series of events to raise the public awareness of this human rights crisis, calling for help to end it.
This report covers events held in Germany, France, Italy, Czech, and Finland.
Practitioners from multiple European countries held a grand march in Berlin last Saturday. The Tian Guo Marching Band, waist drum team, and exercise demonstration attracted numerous spectators. Besides these, a team of practitioners carried portraits of those who lost their lives in the persecution.
Along the march path, practitioners set up two booths, passing out materials to expose the persecution. Many passersby expressed strong support for the peaceful resistance.
A senior woman read the materials at the booth for a long time. She was shocked by the state-sanctioned organ harvesting in China.
“I cannot imagine that people can be so corrupt,” she said. “I lived through World War II. It was hard back then, but people were not this bad. I feel that people are getting worse, and the trend seems to be unstoppable.”
“I feel like there's no hope for humanity. What do you think?” she asked practitioners.
A practitioner said to her, “I understand how you feel. But look at what has been happening in China. In the face of 19-year long severe persecution, Falun Gong practitioners are still standing here, fighting for freedom. We all believe in Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. Isn't this hope?”
The woman answered, “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. It will be great if we have more people like you. Through you, I see hope.”
On Sunday, practitioners in Paris held a series of events at the Human Rights Plaza, demonstrating the exercises, passing out flyers, and collecting signatures on a petition condemning the persecution.
Mr. Baulande, a teacher from Nime, was visiting Paris with his wife. They had never heard about Falun Gong or the persecution.
“The practitioners are doing a good job. They have made many people, including me, feel that the persecution is related to them. That is why I signed the petition.”
He continued, “Europeans need Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. This practice is righteous.”
“The Chinese people don't have access to the facts due to the internet censorship over there,” he said, “so it is very meaningful to tell the Chinese tourists this information here at the Human Rights Plaza.”
His wife told practitioners that they would tell their friends and family about what they learned there.
“I can see that this practice is very peaceful and positive. I don't understand why the communist party persecutes them,” she said.
“You're doing a great job...You will change the world,” were some of the comments by tourists in Rome to encourage practitioners holding an activity at the Vittorio Emanuele Memorial on Friday, calling for an end to the persecution.
Finnish practitioners held a candlelight vigil in front of the Chinese embassy on July 18, peacefully protesting the persecution.
Practitioners from Czech sent emails to lawmakers, telling them that a considerable amount of evidence indicates that forced organ harvesting in China is still going on.
Practitioners received strong support from the lawmakers.
Parliament member Petr Třešňák condemned the organ harvesting in his reply. He stated that will to bring up the issue during the parliament session.
The vice chair of the Pirate Party Olga Richterová told practitioners that he and the parliament member Jan Lipavský are aware of forced organ harvesting in China and they will speak against it.
Parliament member Ondrej Profant said the organ harvesting is horrible, and he is happy to tie his voice to practitioners' efforts.
Parliament member Marek Novák stated that he supports the Parliament of the European Union's resolution that condemns the state-sanctioned organ harvesting.
Parliament member Pavla Golasowská said he is troubled and shocked by the persecution. He said the persecution tramples human dignity. He stands with all the victims to condemn the suppression of freedom.
Parliament member Pavel Bělohrádek said the he believes that no matter what culture it is, human dignity should not be deprived, which is universal.
Parliament member Helena Langšádlová said that she strongly opposes China's illegal organ trade. She said it is a crime to harvest organs from prisoners.
The lawmakers who replied to practitioners. First row from left to right: Petr Třešňák, Helena Langšádlová, Marek Novák, and Pavla Golasowská; Second row from left to right: Ondrej Profant, Olga Richterová, and Pavel Bělohrádek
Practitioners also held a protest in front of the Chinese embassy, and a rally, in which they re-enacted forced organ harvesting and called upon the public to help stop the atrocity.
Related reports in Chinese: