Australia: Sharing Jane Dai's Story in Brisbane (Photos)
(Clearwisdom.net) Practitioners in Brisbane, Australia had an opportunity to host Jane Dai for three days before her travelling to Melbourne and then overseas. Jane is a practitioner from Mainland China, who is also an Australian citizen. Her husband was tortured to death last year in China, but the Chinese Embassy in Australia would not issue her and her daughter visas to go back to collect his ashes. With the help of the Australian government, his ashes were finally returned to Australia. Jane has been travelling the world since then telling her story.
We lined up five interviews and an event sponsored by Amnesty International for Jane on the 3rd, 4th and 5th of September. The timing of Jane's visit and the interference attempting to hinder this were quite remarkable. Originally, Jane was going to stay in Brisbane for one week but had to cut the time short because of other commitments. The two and a half days that fit her schedule to come here happened to fall at a time period that all the State MPs were attending a special parliamentary session in northern Queensland and all the Federal MPs were in session in Canberra, the nation's capital. Although several of them wanted to meet Jane, the timing didn't allow this.
Over the two and a half days Jane was in Brisbane, we saw four Brisbane City Councillors, a representative of the State Department of Multicultural Affairs and had a presentation sponsored by Amnesty International at the University of Queensland. All of the meetings were very positive. The Councillors were extremely supportive and were very moved by Jane's story. One of them is a member of Amnesty and he even said that we could use his office's facilities, including photocopying, any time we needed. Many of them said that they would personally write letters to the Prime Minister, Mr Howard, or to the Foreign Minister, Mr Downer. None of them understand the stance Mr Downer has taken in banning our banners in front of the Chinese Embassy in Canberra and feel it is an affront to the rights of expression all citizens are supposed to have in this country.
The Department of Multicultural Affairs representative that we met with was very pleased to share with us and there was also a woman representing one of the women's groups who joined the meeting. They were also moved by Jane's story and the severity of the persecution of such peaceful people by Jiang. We gave all the people we shared with a copy of "Witness to History," several other handouts and two VCDs that give a good background about Falun Gong and also the different aspects of the persecution, including the "self-immolation" deconstruction video. They were all quite pleased to have this as reference material and said they would share these with their colleagues.
The Amnesty meeting at the University was very interesting. We showed two short videos regarding the persecution, with Jane Dai's sharing in between, followed by a summary of the persecution from the Queensland spokesperson. The remainder of the time was used for questions. The students who came showed a great deal of interest and concern about the brutal on-going persecution against Falun Gong in China and asked how they could best help. What was particularly remarkable about this evening, though, was the interference attempting to disrupt this event. Amnesty set this up on a Wednesday night from 6pm to 8pm. They sent notices out to their 300-plus members and put notices up around the campus. They were expecting quite a large number of people. When we arrived, however, we learned that the Prime Minister, Mr Howard, was on campus giving a talk from 7pm onwards. Because of this, many of the people who were going to come to hear Jane and learn more about the persecution in China either didn't come at all or left before 7pm in order to demonstrate against Mr Howard.
After the Amnesty presentation was over, about ten practitioners went over to where the students were demonstrating against Mr Howard's visit. We handed out material, spoke with students about Falun Gong and the persecution and sent forth righteous thoughts. Even though this event had interfered with people coming to hear Jane's story, it was nonetheless a bonus that hadn't been expected.
Although short, Jane's trip was very successful and helped rectify the propaganda of the evil forces by clarifying the true facts about Jiang's senseless and brutal persecution of innocent practitioners in China and the impact this is having on its citizens.