From a Swedish Practitioner: My Experience on Tiananmen Square
Falun Gong has enriched my life enormously. I experienced four years of peaceful practice before the persecution in 1999. At that time I practiced in a park every morning for two hours, together with my best friend. After morning practice we happily went to our jobs. That was the most wonderful time of my life, as I had just opened a new door to something very beautiful. The meditation became deeper and deeper, and brought such peacefulness and happiness to my soul. I read Mr. Li Hongzhi's writings and helped translate them into the Swedish language. Mr. Li's writings talked about mankind's possibilities, making choices, and taking responsibility for life, as well as treasuring life as a human being. I felt that I, too, wanted to be a good person. By doing the exercises and by talking to friends who also practiced, I found inspiration and saw proof that it worked; the goodness started to reveal itself to me.
I went to China several times before the Chinese Government began persecuting Falun Gong. I met people who had practiced Falun Gong for some years longer than I had in Sweden. I remember their faces, their clear eyes, their way of looking at us Westerners. They had the same spirit -- the spirit to believe in mankind's good nature and to become an example of that goodness. What I saw in my friends' faces and eyes over there makes me convinced that goodness can't be taken away by Jiang Zemin's propaganda, and nothing can make me forget this.
Falun Gong practitioners all over the world have tried to raise the public's awareness of the terrible persecution going on in China. We have made peaceful appeals on every occasion, and we have received a lot of understanding and support in Sweden and all over the world. But the situation still has not improved for those practitioners in China. Every day I read information coming from China, and I know that every time some information "leaks" out, another person has risked or lost his or her life just to get the information out. I read about women getting raped, about police brutality, torture, murder and the XX regime's propaganda. The terrible thing is that the Chinese Government's propaganda also tells the Chinese people that its persecution of Falun Gong is supported by the West. The State terrorist pressure is at all levels, and it is designed to make everybody a target. For example, in the workplace, if someone finds out that you practice Falun Gong, other employees have to pay a large fine as well.
Why did I go to China and peacefully appeal for Falun Gong on Tiananmen Square? I wanted to cherish the right to believe in and act according to the characteristics "Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance." Some people unfolded a banner that said, "Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance." Soon afterwards, we were violently dragged into police vans by the policemen; then we were beaten. Why do some people react so violently toward these words, "Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance?" That is a question I have been asking myself, and it is also a question I am asking others. This is one of the reasons for my going to Tiananmen Square and peacefully appealing there together with three dozen other practitioners from 12 countries.
In China, many people have appealed to the government to stop the persecution, and so far over 300 of them have died as a result. Tens of thousands have been arrested and put into labor camps. In such captivity, the options are few -- giving up one's belief in goodness, being tortured, or even death. In spite of this harsh reality, practitioners are still choosing their peaceful appeals by going to Tiananmen Square and making their voices heard. Another reason I went to Tiananmen Square and sat there in protest was to show my admiration for the Chinese practitioners who keep on peacefully appealing to the world. It was a way for me to tell them, "You have something important to tell the world! Don't you ever forget that."
I want to thank the Swedish Embassy in Beijing, the Swedish Foreign Minister, and everyone else who helped us return home safely. I also thank my friends and my family for their support.
Category: Standing Up for Falun Dafa