(Minghui.org) Falun Dafa practitioners displayed banners on Princes Bridge in the centre of Melbourne on April 27, 2024 to mark the 25th anniversary of the April 25 appeal.

Princes Bridge is beside the central train station and is over 130 years old. It is one of the busiest sections of road in Melbourne, with tourists all year round. The practitioners’ banners with information about Falun Gong were eye-catching.

Many residents and tourists learned about the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) brutal persecution of Falun Dafa and signed the petition calling to end the atrocity.

Banner display on Princes Bridge to mark the April 25 appeal

On the evening of April 25, practitioners held a rally in the city centre and a candlelight vigil to commemorate those practitioners who died in the CCP’s persecution over the past 25 years.

Candlelight vigil in the Melbourne city centre on the evening of April 25


Victoria Legislator: Falun Dafa Practitioners’ Efforts to Protest the Persecution Are Admired

On the occasion of commemorating the 25th anniversary of the April 25 petition, David Limbrick, a member of the Victorian Legislative Council, said that Falun Gong practitioners’ persistence in fighting the persecution was impressive.

“As a person who strongly supports the defense of human rights, I support the rights of Falun Gong practitioners to strive for freedom of expression and assembly on April 25, 1999,” he said.

He indicated that it was regrettable that the CCP later adopted repressive measures against Falun Gong practitioners. Since then [July 20, 1999], they have continued to be persecuted in China. He said that freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and freedom of belief were vital. He wished that he would see those people who are persecuted for defending their beliefs regain their freedom.

Mr. Limbrick said for 25 years, Falun Gong practitioners have persevered in their belief and he called for the persecution to end.

He said that it was crucial for elected officials to learn about the persecution happening in other countries, especially given what we have recently witnessed as foreign powers [the CCP] infiltrate the West, even Australia. To fully understand why these incidents occur, one must have a deeper understanding of the persecution of people in other countries, and must speak out in support of those whose human rights are violated under authoritarian regimes.

David Limbrick, member of Victorian Legislative Council (Photo courtesy David Limbrick’s website)

Scott Welsh, Ph.D. teaches creative writing, sociology, and other subjects at the University of Melbourne and Victoria University. He said that he signed the petition because he resonated with the plight of Falun Gong practitioners in China. After learning about the background of that day’s activities, he was inspired by the spirit of the April 25 appeal.

“They have suffered the severe persecution over the past 25 years and I have great sympathy,” he said.

“The fact that they were able to express their demands without fear by gathering peacefully [25 years ago] was inspiring and I admire their courage so much because even in my society there are oppressive things, but I did not stand up to resist [peacefully], and the risks borne by Chinese Falun Gong practitioners far exceeded mine.”

Dr. Welsh said that the peaceful and rational spirit of the April 25 is inspiring to Chinese, Australians and others.

He also said that abiding by Falun Gong’s principles of Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance is an excellent way to live. He said, “I will try hard to practice it, but I may not always be able to do it. These are universal values. If people follow these principles, the world will be a better place.”

Dr. Welsh added, “As a teacher, [following these principles] is a good way to ensure cohesion and professionalism within the teaching group and to successfully transfer knowledge to students.”

Dr. Scott Welsh signs the petition.


Australian Government Should Help Stop the CCP’s Live Organ Harvesting

Lynne Ross, from Black Rock, a seaside suburb of Melbourne, is a customer service executive at an agency. After signing the petition against the persecution, she said, “I do not agree with any form of suppression or persecution of Falun Gong. These should stop absolutely.”

Lynne said she was also moved by the courage and selfless spirit displayed by Falun Gong practitioners during the April 25 petition in 1999. She said that over the past 25 years, this spirit inspired practitioners and the Chinese people, as well as people all over the world.

“I have visited China and I am inspired by how people are expressing their views in this way [through petition] and using the power of their beliefs to help themselves. I support them,” she said.

“I deeply believe in the power of the people and the right for people to peacefully live the life they want to live. I believe this firmly and I think everyone should have the right to pursue the lifestyle they want. Everyone should have freedom of belief, freedom of speech, and freedom of political opinion, and live freely without excessive surveillance, oppression, or persecution.”

She was shocked when she learned about the CCP’s forced organ harvesting from living Falun Dafa practitioners. “I oppose this kind of cruelty and murder. It is really terrible.”

She continued, “Our government should take measures to stop this. After I go online to find out more information, I will talk to my federal MP, an independent MP, about this issue and ask for his assistance.”

Lynne Ross signs the petition.


Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance Is Important for Humans

Katherine Watty lives in Melbourne’s Burnley district and was an oncology nurse before she retired. She said, “When I visited China in 2017 or 2018, I noted the oppression. Falun Gong practitioners have no freedom of belief and are forced to leave their hometowns due to persecution. This is very unfair.”

She said that Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is important for human beings and everyone should follow these values.

Katherine Watty, a retired nurse, signs the petition.