More Than 1,300 Falun Gong Practitioners March in Paris
(Minghui.org) More than 1,300 Falun Gong practitioners from 31 countries in Europe held a rally on Place de la Bourse, Paris on September 30, 2017. The event was followed by a march led by the practitioners’ Tian Guo Marching Band, waist drum team, dragon dance, heavenly maidens in costume, and a demonstration of the Falun Gong exercises.
The practitioners also called for help to stop the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) persecution of Falun Gong that has now lasted 18 years. The march included a section commemorating practitioners tortured to death by the Chinese regime, banners to raise awareness of the state-sanctioned harvesting of organs from living practitioners in China, and a section calling for Chinese citizens to withdraw their memberships in the CCP.
The two-hour march started from Place de la Bourse and passed by the Paris Opera, the Royal Palace, and several bustling main streets before arriving at the Louvre.
More than 1,300 Falun Gong practitioners march for two hours from Place de la Bourse, passing by the Paris Opera, the Royal Palace, and several busy streets before arriving at the Louvre in Paris, France on September 30, 2017.
As it was the weekend, the march attracted large crowds. Many knew of Falun Gong and the persecution in China, while some were learning of them for the first time. They were shocked by the organ harvesting crimes and expressed their support for the practitioners' effort against the persecution.
Françoise Hostalier, a member of the National Assembly of France, and Anastasia Lin, Miss World Canada, walked side by side at the beginning of the procession. Ms. Hostalier expressed appreciation for Falun Gong practitioners who had come from other countries to participate in the march.
“We Need the Energy and Peaceful Mind”
Ikrame-et-daniel-Keitzel is a project leader in a company. She and her husband were attracted by the rich colors of the march. She said, “This practice is beneficial. I don't understand why it is being persecuted...The march brings peace and happiness to Paris in such unstable times.”
François Barrieu, a hobbyist photographer, took photos of the rally and the march. He said, “The march is very peaceful. The weather is good, too.” He commented that Falun Gong’s principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance are good values and make people stress less and live longer. After learning of the persecution, he said, “This must be exposed throughout the world. It is wrong.”
Sculptor Joëlle Lionne said, “I am surprised, as I did not know this issue. The people in the march look very friendly. They are smiling. Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance are great values. Everyone should think so.”
Thibeau, an event manager, said, “This march is wonderful. These people are warm and friendly. This is a good cause.” Josette in the same group said, “We should sign the petition and help stop the persecution.”
Gala Chenasha from Los Angeles, California said, “I think they are very graceful. I like the colors and music.” She also appreciated the size and positivity of the march.
Michele Sage, an English teacher in Paris, said, “I felt a lot of energy when I practiced qigong and meditation when I was young. People today are stressed due to various pressures and become selfish. However, these people in the march follow Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, which is interesting.”
March Brings Attention to the Persecution
Arnaud-Antonique, a private event manager, talked with practitioners and said, “I signed the petition in hopes of protecting the safety of all lives. I think this march is a testament to courage, so I understand that they need to be heard to survive. I don't know much about Falun Gong, but I think Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is essential for human beings. There needs to be civil dialogue rather than confrontation.”
He continued, “The CCP carries out the persecution because it knows [the Party] itself is wrong. Such a march is needed in Paris, which has experienced multiple terrorist attacks. People realize that the power of compassion is being spread.”
Claude-Ross-de-Miollis, a retired realtor who saw the march in front of the Louvre, said, “The march is good. There are many Chinese tourists here. They must be surprised to see this march. People must be able to express themselves. No power should ban freedom of speech.”
“The march held in France is great, as France is home for human rights. Now China pays attention to what is happening in France. Thus, this march is very good and can let Chinese people know about [the persecution]. The persecution of Falun Gong is unjust. Persecution deprives people's most basic right to freedom of speech.”
Sylvie, a secretary at an accounting firm, took photos of the march. She said, “Such a march is good. I know a little about the persecution. We must take action. It cannot keep going. There is too much injustice.”
She agreed with the principle of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance and said, “These are normal values. It is a pity that they are persecuted in China. Indeed, many French people do not know about this issue.”
Falun Gong was first taught to the public in 1992 and soon spread across China due to its beneficial effect on health improvement and morality. Near 100 million people were practicing it by 1999. Out of jealousy and paranoia of losing control of the population, Jiang Zemin, former head of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), initiated the persecution of Falun Gong on July 20, 1999.
The persecution has led to the deaths of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners in the past 18 years. More have been tortured for their belief and even killed for their organs. Jiang Zemin is directly responsible for the inception and continuation of the brutal persecution.
Under his personal direction, the Chinese Communist Party established an extralegal security organization, the 610 Office, on June 10, 1999. The organization overrides police forces and the judicial system in carrying out Jiang's directive regarding Falun Gong: to ruin their reputations, cut off their financial resources, and destroy them physically.
Due to the regime’s censorship of information, the exact number of practitioners who have died in the persecution is not known.