April 26, 2016 | Falun Gong practitioners held event on Brisbane Square, in Queensland, Australia on April 23, 2016 to commemorate the 17th anniversary of the April 25th peaceful protest in Beijing. They held banners, distributed flyers, talked about Falun Gong and the persecution in China, and collected signatures opposing the persecution. Some practitioners also demonstrated the exercises. A candlelight vigil was held in the evening.
Brisbane Square is located in downtown Queensland. The event was held on Friday, as crowds of people, including many local people and tourists passed by. Many paused to read the posters, listen to practitioners explain the issues, and signed the petition opposing the persecution.
Photographer: “The persecution is too cruel. It must stop!”
Zoe, a photographer from Iran, was shocked and indignant after learning about the persecution. She said, “The persecution is too cruel and horrible. It must stop!” She signed the petition asking that Jiang be brought to justice, and expressed her wish that the persecution would end soon. She was touched at the peace and rationality of practitioners in their efforts to oppose the persecution. She wished to create theme photographs on the issue. She took many photographs of group practice after obtaining permission.
Shopkeeper: “People Across the Whole World Should Stand out to Stop the Persecution!”
Vivi, from Columbia, runs a coffee shop. She talked with a practitioner for over an hour, took informational materials, and signed the petition. She said, “All people across the world should know about the issue (live organ harvesting). The CCP’s crimes must be exposed across the world. People in the whole world should stand out to stop the persecution!”
She was pleased to accept a folded paper lotus flower, and pose for a photo with the practitioner before leaving.
New Immigrant from China: “Thank you. I quit the Party.”
A new immigrant in his sixties from Shanghai had resistance initially to the Falun Gong information in the booth, due to having been mislead by the CCP’s propaganda defaming the practice. He was a little upset, and said, “China is developed a lot. So many people travel abroad. How can you still say China is not good?” A practitioner patiently explained to him about the persecution of Falun Gong in China, and explained to him that the Party does not equal China. He did not listen or want any informational materials.
Practitioner David Yu narrated his own experience of being in prison for four years, incarcerated for two years in a forced labor camp, and tortured, for practicing Falun Gong. The new immigrant was a bit touched, but still said, “I get my pension from the Communist Party. I cannot withdraw my membership from the Party.”
Practitioner Annie said to him, “The pension is not given to you freely by the Party. It is a result of your contribution to the country. The Party doesn’t work on farms or factories. How does it make money? It exploits people. Without the Party, you might get more.”
She continued, “Withdrawing from the Party and its affiliated organizations is done from the heart. It is fine to announce the withdrawal using an alias name. You don’t need to go to your previous working unit to renounce it. So your pension won’t be affected.”
The man was finally touched by the practitioners’ sincerity and kindness. He said again and again, “Thank you. I quit it!”
The practitioners held a candlelight vigil under the beautiful Brisbane street lights in the evening, to commemorate the 17th anniversary of the April 25th peaceful protest, and mourn those fellow practitioners who died in the persecution. It was a reminder for people that the persecution is ongoing, and a call for bringing Jiang Zemin to justice and stopping the persecution.
On April 25, 1999, over 10,000 Falun Gong practitioners went to Beijing State Appeals Office to request the release of 45 practitioners arrested in Tianjin, a city about 60 miles east of Beijing. The peaceful protest ended on the same day when the then Prime Minister agreed to the practitioners’ requests. The 45 practitioners were released. Falun Gong practitioners around the world conduct activities every year when April 25 approaches to commemorate the peaceful event.
On July 20, 1999, Jiang Zemin, as head of the Chinese Communist Party, overrode other Politburo standing committee members and launched the violent suppression of Falun Gong.
The persecution has led to the deaths of many Falun Gong practitioners in the past 17 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 organ, 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.