Public Support for Falun Gong in Stockholm
(Minghui.org) Every morning this summer, Falun Gong practitioners in Stockholm set up a booth in front of the Stockholm City Hall to introduce this peaceful mind-body cultivation practice and raise awareness of the brutal persecution of Falun Gong in China.
Each day from 9:00 a.m. to noon, practitioners demonstrate the exercises, hand out flyers and collect signatures on a petition that condemns the persecution. They have received enormous support from people from all walks of life.
When practitioners applied for the permit for the booth, the police department assigned them a spot far away from the main entrance to City Hall – a different location than previous years.
The coordinator for the practitioners explained to the police that their goal is to help those who are still being persecuted in China. They also talked about the infiltration of the Chinese Communist Party into Sweden. The police then understood the significance of the practitioners' activities and let them pick the spot for the booth.
Visitors from all over the world this summer have learned about the practice of Falun Gong and the human rights crisis in China.
One day, a Swedish tour guide talked to practitioners for a long time. He said, “You know, the other day I learned about the persecution from you guys here while waiting for my clients. I was totally shocked and very angry. The persecution, especially the state-sanctioned organ harvesting [of prisoners of conscience], is horrifying. I could not speak for a whole hour. My mind was blank. It is so shocking. We must stop it. I support you.”
Not only have Westerners learned about Falun Gong and the persecution, many Chinese tourists have had the opportunity to learn the facts too. Some Chinese tour guides even help practitioners talk to their clients.
Once, when he heard a Chinese tourist telling another that Falun Gong practitioners were paid to be there, a Chinese tour guide corrected him. “They are not paid by anybody. They have been here for many years. I know them. Don't listen to the Chinese government's lies,” he said.
Many Chinese tour guides also encourage their clients to take informational materials from the practitioners' booth. “Don't be scared. Taking a flyer or newspaper does not break any law,” they often tell their tour groups.
When passing by practitioners' booth, some tour guides briefly tell their clients what Falun Gong is and what practitioners are doing there. Such introductions often encourage tourists to take the materials, take photos, and talk to practitioners.
Tourists are happy to see Falun Gong materials in their own language. Some of them are interested in learning the exercises, and have said that they plan to contact the local exercise sites in their home regions.
Peter, a Stockholm resident, picked up a flyer at the practitioners' booth. After reading all the display boards at the booth, he talked to a practitioner for a long time. He was impressed by how widely Falun Gong has spread in the world, and how it benefits those who practice it.
What touched him more is practitioners' 19-year-long peaceful resistance in the face of the brutal persecution.
“You are the best people I've ever met,” Peter said, “you are peaceful and quiet here, but you are very strong. It's encouraging! This practice must be the best. I want to be one of you.”