London: European Falun Gong Practitioners Exercise Together and Raise Awareness of the Persecution
(Minghui.org) Falun Gong practitioners from all over Europe gathered in London to raise awareness of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) persecution. They held activities at many local landmarks on August 29 and 30, 2019.
During the activities, practitioners spoke with tourists and locals about the 20-year-long persecution in China and asked people if they knew about China's state-sanctioned organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners. Practitioners had posters set up at each site with information about Falun Gong that passersby could pause and read, and they also distributed fliers. Over the two days, practitioners collected hundreds of signatures for a petition that calls on the UK Government to help end the persecution.
The activities were held at Parliament Square Garden, Trafalgar Square, opposite the Prime Minister's office at 10 Downing Street, outside the British Museum, and in Leicester Square. Many people paused to watch the Falun Gong exercises, read the posters and fliers, and talk with the practitioners.
Event at Parliament Square Garden
Jim works for the UK National Health Service and lives near Parliament. He watched the Falun Gong practitioners’ group practice for a long time.
“This is the Parliament. I have seen various kinds of protests here. I like this protest [by Falun Gong practitioners]. It is very peaceful. There is no noise or fierce emotions. Peaceful protests are the most effective,” he said.
“I know Falun Gong, as I often saw the practitioners in Chinatown,” he said.
Jim admired Falun Gong practitioners as he knew that they have continued to protest in front of the Chinese Embassy in London 24 hours a day and 365 days a year since June 2002. He said he firmly believed that the persecution would eventually end.
Event at Trafalgar Square
Dozens of Falun Gong practitioners joined the activity at Trafalgar Square on August 29, 2019. They raised awareness of the persecution in China with banners and posters, and set up tables on both sides of practitioners who were practicing the exercises so that members of the public could sign their petition.
The petition calls on the UK government to pass legislation banning organ transplant tourism to China and urge the CCP to stop the persecution.
Chinese people also came over to learn more about Falun Gong from the posters and fliers. Some of them talked with practitioners for a long time. They included students, middle-aged Chinese who had been working in the UK for many years, and senior citizens who were visiting relatives in the UK.
Philippe Wilson, who teaches philosophy at a university, signed the petition and said that he first heard about the persecution 15 years ago when he was a member of Amnesty International. He was appalled that the persecution was still going on.
Wilson said that Falun Gong practitioners should have the freedom to practice.
“What happens to Falun Gong practitioners in China is a violation of human rights,” he said. “These human rights are clearly described in the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Forced live organ harvesting is a crime against humanity.”
“I support the Falun Gong event on Trafalgar Square,” he said. “I admire the people participating in the event today. Such events can help more people know [about the persecution]. It is very good.”
Event Across from 10 Downing Street
“I am very interested in this [Falun Gong],” said Ciene Virdee, who works at the Ministry of Defense. She said that Falun Gong made her feel “peace and tranquility.”
When she learned that Falun Gong practitioners believe in Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance and use these principles to guide their daily lives, she said: “This is very good! I absolutely agree with you!”
She was upset that practitioners face severe persecution in China. “This is very sad. This should not happen at all,” she said.
“I signed the petition and hope more people will join. I think this is a very important matter,” she said.
Event at Leicester Square
Alix Williams was passing by the square when he saw a banner calling for help to stop the persecution and the forced live organ harvesting in China. “I signed the petition because it is morally wrong to forcibly take organs from others. This is a very serious violation of human rights,” he said.
“No matter where one lives in the world, if we see good, we should support it, if we see evil, we should stand up and oppose it,” he said, “The forced organ harvesting is undoubtedly extremely evil. It is disgusting. Everyone must stand up. We must stop it immediately.”
Event in front of the British Museum
Two female tourists stopped to watch the Falun Gong exercise demonstration. A Spanish Falun Gong practitioner went over to give them a leaflet and learned that the two tourists were from Spain.
One of the women said that this was their first time to come across Falun Gong and that the peaceful energy had immediately aroused their interest. The practitioner gave them a flyer in Spanish and told them they could visit the website on the flier to learn more about Falun Gong and the CCP’s persecution. One of the women immediately asked, “What can we do to help you?”
The practitioner brought over a petition form. The two women immediately signed it to express their support for practitioners. Both women said the principles of Falun Gong, Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, strongly resonated with them.
About a decade ago, Salvador, a man from Italy, saw a Falun Gong parade in Milan. He did not expect the CCP’s persecution of Falun Gong would have continued to this day.
He listened to a practitioner explain the persecution and how the CCP desires to oppress humanity and destroy people’s beliefs. The practitioner also told Salvador that people all over the world need to unite to prevent the CCP from endangering the world and destroying humanity. Salvador said, “I am with you.”
Related article in Chinese:Group practice in well-known scenery sites in London.