On July 21, 2017 Gold Coast community leaders joined in remembering the persecution that Falun Dafa practitioners have endured in China for the past 18 years.
In order to draw attention to the persecution, Australian Falun Dafa practitioners set up an information booth, displayed banners, and collected petition signatures at Cavill Mall in Surfers Paradise, a popular tourist destination.
Many people were quite moved by a banner with the image of a young man peacefully meditating by the beach, with the words, “Imprisoned, tortured and killed just for doing this.”
Rowan Holzberger, an Australian Labor Party candidate for Queensland, was pleased to join the activity. He acknowledged Falun Dafa’s service to the community as a holistic practice of mind, body, and spirit that is provided free of charge.
Mr. Holzberger said, “Certainly from what I see, meditation is a very healthy thing. Meditation and mindfulness are things that I am fascinated by. There is something to be said for that quiet introspection. I think there are a lot of things, which we in modern Western society miss because we are going so fast, and perhaps if we just slowed down a little bit and just took time to be quiet in our thoughts and be mindful of our actions and what we are doing, we could gain a lot more. It is very easy to let those negative thoughts give us energy, but it is actually those positive thoughts that give us that really good energy that keeps us going.”
Mr. Holzberger expressed concern about the ongoing persecution and forced organ harvesting atrocities in China, and extended his support for more open debate about human rights issues in China.
He said, “International trade of pillaged human organs is disgusting. While we have a vitally important relationship with the Chinese Government, we never miss a chance to talk about human rights. Anyone who is afraid of bringing up human rights issues must be afraid because they think it will affect their business, or their relationship with China. We have a fantastic relationship with China that has only grown over the years despite the fact that we have continued to talk in private and in public about human rights.”
Michael Kaff, who last year ran as an independent candidate for the Australian Senate, and will run again in 2019, felt obliged to attend the activity because he feels strongly about Falun Dafa. He commended the practice for bringing much-needed serenity and balance to the community.
Mr. Kaff said, “With the stress and strain that people go through in their daily, professional, and family lives, anything that helps them be at one with themselves, relaxed, and balanced is very welcome. Falun Dafa is very much needed in society; it can only do good and help people.
“How can the Chinese Communist Party possibly persecute loving practitioners like Falun Dafa? All they want and stand for is peace, harmony, and bringing balance to the planet, and God knows we need that. So we must support them, we must protect them, and we must protest on their behalf and speak out for the voices that are not being heard, and ensure that the governments around the world – that are not doing anything about it – stand up and stop this disgraceful oppression and victimization once and for all.”
Mr. Kaff said that the persecution had continued for too long and called for greater international intervention.
“Eighteen years is 18 years too long. I think we need to take a stronger stand and look at people over profits. If we do take a stand and make a difference, hopefully others will also stand up and feel empowered to make a statement. That will help make the world a better place, and we will live in more harmony and with greater tolerance, acceptance, and respect,” Mr. Kaff stated.
He further encouraged all to learn more about Falun Dafa by visiting the official website, writing letters to local Members of Parliament to express their outrage regarding the ongoing persecution in China, and asking the government to take swift and tough action to help stop the persecution.
Mr. Kaff has published his views on many issues, including the persecution of Falun Dafa, on his Facebook page.