(Minghui.org) The peaceful protest by over 10,000 in Beijing 16 years ago brought Falun Gong to the international stage. This year, Falun Gong returned to the spotlight throughout Australia after a primetime documentary about organ harvesting was aired on national television in April.

Many Australians offered their goodwill at practitioners' events in Melbourne and Brisbane this past weekend. These events carried on the peacefulness and determination of tireless efforts to clarify the truth about persecution of Falun Gong for the past 16 years.

Falun Gong practitioners held banners at central Melbourne to commemorate the 16th anniversary of the April 25 peaceful protest on April 25, 2015.

“Falun Gong practitioners were brave because they had the truth on their side,” said Melbourne practitioner Gansin Goldring when describing the April 25 protest in 1999.

Many think that the April 25 demonstration precipitated the persecution, which officially began in July 20, 1999. In reality, the Party showed a pattern of escalating harassment prior to April 1999; it was looking for some way to justify the persecution. The demonstration was an effort by practitioners to thwart a crackdown in the making.

“The Chinese Communist Party persecutes Falun Gong because it feels the threat from a practice that is so good and righteous,” Mr. Goldring continued. “The Party doesn't allow Chinese to have any belief. However, I know that Chinese are very spiritual; the traditional Chinese culture is very uplifting. Once they find Falun Gong, they recognize that it is a great way of cultivation.”

Ms. Zhang, who joined the event in Melbourne, suffered three years in prison before she left China. “Falun Gong's principles give us the courage and strength. Standing up for Falun Gong is a natural thing to do for practitioners, but it's especially remarkable in China's environment. We firmly believe that goodness will triumph,” she said.

She observed a lot of goodwill from passersby. An 80-year-old Chinese lady got off the bus when she saw the banners practitioners held near the Princes Bridge. She told practitioners, “I have not reached my destination, but I decided to stop by. This is my way of supporting you.”

Alexandra Cruikshank, originally from Brisbane, commended practitioners' courage, “They want to reach out to people because they are brave. They try to help others under the risk of persecution.”

Louis Chemont, a manager at the Melbourne International Airport, said that he was absolutely against any organ trade, not to mention killing people for their organs. He and his girlfriend signed a petition to condemn the crime.

Scenes at the event on April 25, 2015, in central Melbourne

Zade Watson, a media professional, has worked at Amnesty International for many years. He spent a long time speaking to practitioners at their event in Brisbane. He said that he hoped to make a documentary for practitioners.

Silva and Dave said that they had signed a petition supporting Falun Gong in New Zealand. They were sad that the persecution hadn't ended yet, “I feel sympathy for Falun Gong practitioners. I hope that I can help more and do more... What's happening in China [organ harvesting] is terrible and disgusting. Such things shouldn't happen anywhere in the world.”

Another passerby told practitioner Ms. Zhao, “Thank you for telling me about organ harvesting. This is not just persecution of Chinese people, it's a persecution of all in the world.”

Ms. Zhao joined the peaceful protest in Beijing 16 years ago with her mother. “The protest was a milestone because such a peaceful demonstration was unprecedented in modern Chinese history,” she said.

“My heart is heavy. So many innocent lives were killed in the persecution. Many have been killed for their organs. I hope more and more people will speak for justice and support Falun Gong,” she added.

“I'm pleased to see the public attention on the issue of organ harvesting, triggered by the SBS documentary. I see hope that we will reach a critical mass soon to put this persecution to an end.”

Falun Gong practitioners held a candlelight vigil on April 24, 2015, to commemorate the 16th anniversary of “April 25th

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