In recent years, Falun Gong practitioners in Sydney have visited the annual City To Surf Fun Run to introduce the ancient Chinese self-improvement practice to the 80,000 attendees from all over the world.
The practitioners set up a booth on the route and demonstrated the Falun Gong exercises, passed out materials introducing the practice, and collected petition signatures that call upon the Australian government to take action to help stop China’s state-sanctioned killing of practitioners for their organs.
This year, the run was held on Sunday, August 13. Practitioners set up banners on Rose Bay, a main street in Sydney, and demonstrated the exercises.
Many runners talked to the practitioners, and some of them learned the exercises. In three hours, more than 100 runners signed a petition that urges Australian lawmakers to ban overseas organ tourism and calls upon the Australian government to investigate forced organ harvesting crimes in China.
Joen from Artarmon was attracted to the gentle movements of the Falun Gong exercises. He left the running group and sat down with practitioners with his legs crossed in the meditation position. A practitioner came over and taught him all five sets of exercises.
Joen expressed great interest in continuing the practice and was happy to hear that there was a group exercise site in his area.
Elly Givliani from Fresh Water also found the exercises appealing. She asked practitioners to take a picture of her in front of the exercise group. Practitioners told her that, while the practice uplifts one’s body and mind, it has been violently suppressed by the communist regime in China. Elly condemned the persecution and signed the petition.
Souja from Rose Bay has heard about the persecution in China and has signed many petitions in support of practitioners in the past. Today, she came over as soon as she saw the practitioners. She wanted to join the local exercise site at Coogee beach.
Anna from Cabramatta, Sydney led a group in the run. When she saw the practitioners, she brought the whole team over and encouraged all of them to sign the petition. She told practitioners that she was from Vietnam, another country under communist rule. She thus supported the practitioners’ effort to end the persecution.
Edward, a college student from Vaucluse, is learning Chinese. He was shocked after learning of forced organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners. After signing the petition, he said he would tell his professors about the atrociites.