An On-Site Report on Promoting Falun Dafa at the 2002 Chinese New Year Festival Celebration in Melbourne
(Clearwisdom.net) Clarifying the truth to the precious Chinese people is a task of greatest urgency and not a moment is to be lost. Practitioners in Melbourne are also making use of all the opportunities to clarify the truth to the Chinese people. During the Chinese New Year, the intense and impassioned annual celebration festival held in Chinatown, which is located in the heart of the City, was a very good opportunity that we would not miss to promote Dafa and to clarify the truth. Since during that time there would be a lot of visitors from China, we made every effort to contribute to the fullest. This year's Chinese New Year celebration was scheduled on February 16 and 17. Several months ago we submitted our application for a stall, since most stalls were taken in short time due to the popularity of this event. The entire process was full of twists and turns and the resistance we encountered from those in charge of the festival, had always been a test for our practitioners' Xinxing [the nature of the mind or the heart, moral character].
In light of the "no more stalls available" rejection we received last year, (actually there were stalls available), we started the application very early this time around.
Several months ago, when we approached the organizer we were told that the application forms were not ready yet. In early January we were given the same answer. Practitioners felt that the organizer was trying to keep us out of the festival again. However, this also revealed that we did not do well in clarifying the truth of Dafa. When we contacted the organizer a week later, the answers we got were sheer lies, "Actually there are not any application forms. Clients from last year have taken all the stalls. You can be a candidate for a vacancy and we'll notify you once someone quits. " Practitioners decided to pay a visit to the festival committee and clarify the truth to them face to face.
On our first visit, the staff members changed their expression from initially being warm hearted to be indifferent once they learned who we were, and their reasons of refusal were fully revealed on their faces. Though the staff members kept emphasizing the unavailability of vacant stalls, the person in charge spoke without reservation, "If we give you a stall we will not get the contract next year. We are simply doing the business and we have families who rely on us to make a living." They were always unwilling to admit who was the real threat, however they mentioned in the conversation that according to the plan, at some point in time, the Consulate-General of Chinese Consulate should attend the festival celebration. If there was any form of presentation from Falun Dafa practitioners he would not attend. With compassion, practitioners peacefully explained to them the nature of Falun Dafa and the truth of persecution of Falun Dafa practitioners in China. It was apparent that they knew little about the wide spread of Falun Dafa in Australia and all over the world. Their only knowledge of Falun Dafa was from the deceiving propaganda by Jiang's Regime. They refused to accept any of our truth clarifying materials at the beginning, but after we clarified the truth to them, they accepted some, although with a bit of reservation. At this point, we had clarified the truth, and handed them truth materials. They still thought it was a waste of time for us to apply and told us the approval process would be absolutely impossible. So, before leaving, practitioners sternly reminded them that their attitude like this was not only "unlike Australians' way", but was also against the Australian law.
On our second visit, we gave them the truth-clarifying VCDs and wished they would reconsider our application after they read the materials. However, the person is charge was much tougher this time and it seemed there was no ground for discussion.
The two visits proved practitioners' early speculation that it is another living example of Jiang's political gangster regime stretching its vicious hand of terrorism overseas. It would not only push the innocent Chinese people to the abyss of evil, but also took advantage of everyday people's shortcomings into tricking the overseas Chinese that it was correct to trample on the law. How despicable this was.
Bearing Master's teachings in mind, "Validate the Fa with reason, clarify the truth with wisdom, spread the Fa and offer people salvation with benevolence"("Rationality"), "Clarify the truth thoroughly, eliminate the evil with righteous thoughts, save all beings, and safeguard the Fa with determination" ("Dafa is Indestructible"), practitioners searched inwards and both Chinese and Western practitioners went to take action. The Western practitioners went to visit Senators, MPs and members of the city council while the Chinese practitioners were preparing all the materials for participation in the festival.
A senator held that we were undoubtedly discriminated against and suggested that we lodge a complaint with the Equal Opportunity Commission. We adopted his suggestion. The Equal Opportunity Commission decided to mediate after learning the details, and it seemed the case had a favorable turn. On February 13, before the decision, the host of the festival agreed to give us a stall, so we immediately got all the paperwork done, filled out the application forms and paid the charges. Practitioners all felt very happy. Unexpectedly, just one day before the festival on February 15, we suddenly received a fax from the Federation of Chinese Associations that our application was refused again despite the fact that we had paid for it.
Some practitioners realized that this incident exposed the attachment of zealotry of practitioners. As Fa-rectification practitioners, we should maintain strong righteous thoughts all the time and leave no room for the evil to take any advantage. Only by looking inward constantly can we do everything well and keep improving ourselves during Fa-rectification.
On that night, the spokesperson of Melbourne Falun Dafa practitioners was interviewed by ABC Radio and publicized the whole story to the audience. At the same time, practitioners reported this to all the media and relevant government departments and decided to hold a press conference the next day during the afternoon.
Early on the morning of February 16, practitioners took the readily prepared exhibition materials to our "stall". The stall was located within six or seven parking spaces, near the street corner and close to the main stage. Over 80 big display boards with Fa-rectification photos, double colored banners in blue and yellow beautifully hung on our cars. Banners were in the air and balloons with the words, "Falun Dafa is Good", "Truth, Compassion, Forbearance", emblazoned on them were ready to go. There were also Dafa practitioners handing out truth-clarifying newsletters and VCDs with beaming smiles on their faces. Children ran about, with Dafa bookmarks and Dafa balloons, making our stall the most impressive one and attracting much attention.
Compared with other stalls loaded with commercialism, our stall was the most festival-like and attracted countless visitors to stop by. No wonder when the journalists of ABC TV interviewed the host of the festival, the background they selected was just opposite to our stall and the effect for us was even better. The ABC journalists also interviewed us and the details they covered were really out of our expectation. Our handing out materials, visitors' happily tying the balloons to children's cart, and the practitioners' kind answering of questions for all the journalists there made Falun Dafa the main Chinese New Year story on the TV news report that night.
A kind-hearted government staff person, who was in charge of the parking areas along the streets, allowed us to use the parking spaces without any problems.
Seeing so many newsletters and VCDs being happily accepted by people who wished to know about the truth and hearing words of appreciation and best wishes our eyes were filled with tears. So many kind-hearted lives had positioned themselves well. We Fa-rectification practitioners experienced tests and hardships, conflicts and obstructions and were fulfilling the vows made billions of years ago. Masters' articles made us understand the rarity of the last stage of Fa-rectification. Let us do even better.