Miami Anti-torture Exhibition Draws Big Crowd (Photos)
(Clearwisdom.net) On June 5, Florida Falun Gong practitioners held an anti-torture exhibition on Miami Beach to inform the public of the ongoing persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China. Miami Beach draws visitors from around the world with its beautiful scenery and warm weather. The re-enactment of the torture methods used against practitioners in China allowed people from different nationalities get to know about the shocking facts of the persecution.
Practitioners in Florida realized that although Miami was not close to a Chinese embassy or consulate, holding anti-torture exhibitions in Miami would be significant, since it is an important tourist destination that draws millions of visitors from around the world each year. After listening to the facts about Falun Gong and the persecution, those visitors will take the truth of the persecution in China back to their home cities and countries.
The first step was to secure a permit. The police officer in charge of issuing permits stated that he had already read many Falun Gong materials and spoken to the City's attorney. He said that we were allowed to do the exhibition according to the First Amendment, but he imposed some restrictions. For example, the scene could not be too graphic, we should not make loud noises, and the number of participants would be restricted to 6 or 7. The practitioners had a discussion afterwards and realized that the police officer did not fully understand the facts. When the officer called back, the practitioner said, "Do you know that police officers have something in common with us practitioners? Our purpose in presenting the anti-torture exhibition is to stop violence, end the persecution, and promote peace to the public, and we are doing it for the sake of humanity. Your cause is the same; police officers try to prevent violence and maintain peace in the community. The only difference is that we practitioners don't wear police uniforms." Immediately, the officer's thinking changed. Instead of speaking of restrictions, he said, "Just do what you feel is best at the site. I have approved your application. You will get the permit soon."
During the anti-torture exhibition, through viewing the display boards or listening to the practitioners' introduction, people were shocked at the persecution going on in China. It's hard for people who live in a democratic country to imagine that such brutal things are actually taking place in today's society. Practitioners told them that the Chinese Communist Party's evil nature determined that it would not tolerate people's longing for "Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance". Some people asked how they could provide support, and some wanted to donate money to help rescue orphans of Falun Gong. Many local people asked about practice sites and schedules.
This was the first time for practitioners in Miami to hold an anti-torture exhibition. They did not have any previous experience. While setting up the exhibition, practitioners contributed their ideas that complemented the whole. From setting up the posters to displaying the worldwide spread of Falun Dafa, to the elegant exercise demonstration; from distributing truth-clarifying materials to collecting signatures opposing the persecution and calling for the rescue of orphans; from setting up the display boards showing the torture methods used against practitioners in China to playing the recorded explanations and to the live reenactment of the torture methods, everything was done orderly and smoothly.
Here are some of the experiences the practitioners recalled:
1. A couple took a truth-clarifying flyer and listened to the practitioners' introduction about Falun Gong and the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) persecution. They also learned that the CCP abuses the media to deceive people. The husband said he would make a shirt with the words "I love Falun Gong" and show it to his Chinese colleagues.
When the practitioner learned that they were from Ireland, he told them about Zhao Ming's story. The story brought tears to the husband's eyes, and he put his sunglasses on to cover his eyes. His wife also cried. They signed their names and left.
2. After hearing about the atrocities happening in China, a lady shed tears. When she signed the petition, her tears left a big wet place on the paper.
3. Another lady said she was very supportive of our peaceful protest. In the winter, she had brought hot coffee to practitioners in front of the Chinese Embassy.
4. A visitor from Germany said that the Berlin Wall had collapsed overnight. The Soviet Union also disintegrated very quickly. She said she firmly believed our effort to stop the persecution would succeed.
5. Many visitors to the exhibition were from Cuba and had had personal experiences living under Communist tyranny. Upon seeing the banner, an older couple stopped by on their bicycles and offered to donate some money to help the victims of persecution. Many people wanted to donate money. When they learned that Falun Gong does not accept donations, but they could get related information from a website to provide donations to help rescue children orphaned in the persecution, a gentleman suggested that we could prepare stamped and addressed envelopes so that they could directly send their donations.
6. When a visitor learned that a practitioner's relative was sentenced to eight years in jail just because he had distributed some flyers, the visitor said, "Because of that, please give me more flyers. I will let my friends know about the persecution."
7. In the afternoon, two security persons wearing Internal Intelligence insignia showed up. A gentleman who had been talking with practitioners for quite a while went to talk to the security personnel to make sure they understood the persecution in China and to ask them not to bother the practitioners' exhibition. The security personnel gladly accepted flyers and said that we practitioners could do whatever we needed to do.