Milan, Italy: Practitioners Commemorate 14th Anniversary of the April 25 Appeal (Photos)
(Minghui.org) Falun Gong practitioners in Milan, Italy, held a special event on April 25, 2013, to mark the 14th anniversary of the April 25 Peaceful Appeal.
Over 10,000 Falun Gong practitioners had quietly gathered in Beijing on April 25, 1999, to appeal to the Chinese regime for the right to freely practice Falun Gong. Subsequently, however, the regime concocted false propaganda to call the peaceful gathering a “siege of the central government compound,” using the preposterous slander to launch a brutal persecution of Falun Gong in July 1999.
For over a decade, Falun Gong practitioners in Italy, along with those around the world, have persisted in holding events on April 25 to raise awareness and oppose the regime's senseless persecution.
Falun Gong practitioners demonstrate Falun Gong exercises.
People read information to learn about Falun Gong and the persecution in China.
A woman (middle) follows the exercise movements along with practitioners.
People speak to a practitioner and sign petition to call for the end of the persecution.
Locals and Tourists Discover Falun Gong
Practitioners set up an informational display on Via Dante, a bustling pedestrian street in Milan. They put up boards with prominent facts about the persecution, demonstrated Falun Gong exercises, and offered passersby an opportunity to sign a petition to oppose the persecution in China.
Additionally, they urged Chinese people to withdraw from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its affiliated organizations, in order to separate themselves from the regime's crimes against humanity and step onto the righteous side of history.
The event coincided with the 61st anniversary of Italian Liberation (Anniversario della Liberazione); on April 25, 1945, Italy launched the anti-fascist resistance movement that led to the execution of then-dictator Benito Mussolini. Many Italian families take to the streets to celebrate this significant day. As a result, Via Dante was busier than usual, and practitioners' efforts attracted much attention from the public.
Many locals, as well as tourists from China and other parts of the world, learned about Falun Gong and the persecution throughout the day. People stopped to watch the exercises, read the display boards, spoke to practitioners, took photos with their cell phones, and signed the practitioners' petition to call for the end of the persecution of Falun Gong in China.
An Italian lady came to the information table and asked, "Please give me five flyers. I want to take them back to my friends to read."
A young British couple was drawn to the exercise demonstration. The young man asked a practitioner, "What is Falun Gong?" The practitioner explained that it is a cultivation practice based on the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, which has greatly benefited millions of people worldwide both mentally and physically.
Upon learning that the practice is heavily persecuted in China, with the regime imprisoning, torturing and even harvesting organs from living Falun Gong practitioners, the young man looked sad. He said although he had known that human rights were greatly suppressed in communist China, he had not realized that such horrible things could happen.
"What can we do to help?" he asked. The practitioner encouraged him to sign the petition to oppose the persecution. The young man responded firmly, “I'll do that!” The couple signed their names with great care. Before they left, the practitioner gave each of them a beautiful paper lotus flower and told them to remember that “Falun Dafa is good; Truthfulness-Compassion- Forbearance is good.”
Chinese Tourists Learn the Truth
A tourist from China told a practitioner that she had read some factual information about Falun Gong posted outside her apartment in China. However, this poster was then promptly removed by police. She expressed her desire to learn more about the persecution. The practitioner patiently answered her questions, and the tourist then agreed to withdraw from the CCP. She left the site with DVDs and flyers with information about Falun Gong.
Two Chinese tourists took the "April 25 Appeal" flyers, saying that they did not know what happened on this day 14 years ago. The practitioner explained the facts about the peaceful appeal in Beijing and the events leading up to the historic gathering. Upon understanding the facts, both tourists readily quit the CCP and its affiliated youth leagues.
Another Chinese person, who is currently working in Italy, also withdraw from the Communist Party, proudly declaring, "I support Falun Gong!"
Overall, 70 to 80 percent of Chinese people passing by the information table agreed to withdraw from the CCP during the event. A practitioner who has attended the April 25 Appeal anniversary activities in Italy each year said that more and more people have come to learn about the persecution of Falun Gong over the years.
With the exposure of the regime's inhumane nature and lies through practitioners' persistent efforts, Chinese people have become more and more clearheaded, summoning the courage to part from the Party and ensure a bright future for themselves.