On July 20 of 1999, an unprecedented brutal persecution of Falun Gong practitioners was initiated in China. Since then, hundreds of thousands of practitioners have stepped forward on the journey to expose the facts of the persecution and to introduce the gracefulness of Falun Dafa to the world's people. It has been five years since the persecution started. Though Jiang's faction [reffering to the ex-dictator of China] is still brutally persecuting Falun Gong practitioners, more and more of the world's people have learned of the brutality and evilness of the persecution and have stepped forward to support Dafa.
On July 20, 2004, practitioners in Melbourne, Australia gathered downtown in City Square to expose the five-year persecution and details of Jiang's group's atrocities. The practitioners set up poster boards, banners, an exhibition of torture methods, collected signatures, distributed flyers, demonstrated the exercises and gave speeches. Passers-by slowed down to take a look and many people enquired and signed the petition to support Falun Dafa.
Five practitioners who were tortured in China re-enacted several of the torture methods, including the "Tiger Bench,"1 being confined in a small cage, having sharp bamboo sticks rammed under the fingernails and been injected with nerve-damaging drugs. A female practitioner taking part in the exhibition said to the spectators, "These torture methods exhibited today were those that we and other imprisoned practitioners suffered three years ago in labour camps in China. The current situation is worse and the prison guards use more cruel torture methods. Over 1,000 Falun Gong practitioners have been tortured to death." An indigenous couple had tears in their eyes while watching the exhibition and said again and again, "Too inhumane, too unimaginable. What can we do to help you?" Practitioners led the couple to the table where they could sign the petition.
On the other side of the square, passers-by stood around a table folding paper lotus flowers to express their best wishes to Dafa. A senior citizen said, "I'll fold more and give them to my grandsons and granddaughters. I'll teach them to say, 'Wonderful Falun Dafa'." A practitioner explained to two young teenager boys, "The signature collection is to appeal to the Australian Government to pay attention to the recent terrorist act in which a Falun Gong practitioner from Australia was shot by a gunman in South Africa. We also want to have more Australian people understand the persecution in China and its extension overseas." The teens left after hearing the explanation. In a short while, they came back with over a dozen of their friends, all of their age. Each of them signed his name to the petition.
Focusing on the Shooting Incident in South Africa
Between the anti-torture exhibition and the signature collection table, a rally was conducted. Practitioner Ms. Kati gave an overview of the day's activity, introducing the worldwide spread of Falun Dafa and the brutal persecution of Falun Gong practitioners during the last five years in China. Mr. Lu Yi and Mr. Yuan Jie, representing the China Democracy Movement, gave speeches and expressed their support for Falun Gong. Mr. Yuan said, "I support Falun Gong because practitioners still follow the principles of Truth, Compassion, and Tolerance when facing the most cruel torture. These principles are yearned for and pursued by all races and countries." They also condemned the Jiang faction for hiring thugs in South Africa to shoot Falun Gong practitioners. They called on kind-hearted people to oppose the Jiang faction's exportation of state terrorism overseas.
Mr. David Liang who was shot in South Africa came to the rally from Sydney with another practitioner. He was in a wheelchair. He narrated the shooting incident that he experienced in South Africa and analysed the Jiang faction's plot in hiring thugs to kill people. His speech won applause. After his speech, many audience members grouped around him and expressed their greetings and respect. Two university students took photos of the touching scene. They said, "Jiang's group commits genocide and it is even more serious that they extend the terrorism to other countries. Apparently, Australia is a victim of this terrorism." They said that they would show the photos to their classmates and have them know about this incident which has shocked the world.
Truth clarification poster boards were displayed, explaining the facts of the persecution. At the same time, practitioners distributed flyers and talked with passers-by. After the activity, a practitioner said, "Many passers-by asked for the truth-clarification literature." A Western practitioner said, "Chinese people here would like to learn about the facts more than before. They do not shun the issue, but ask on their own accord."
1. Tiger Bench - Falun Gong practitioners are forced to sit on a small iron bench that is approximately 20 cm (6inches) tall. Practitioners' knees are tightly tied on the small bench -- "Tiger Bench." He has to sit straight up with his eyes looking straight ahead. His hands are tied on the back or sometimes placed on his knees. He is not allowed to turn his head, close his eyes, talk to anyone, raise his hand, or call out for the attention of the guards. Many inmates are assigned to watch the practitioner. If he turns his head, they would force the practitioner to hold his hands in the air indefinitely. If he speaks, they would force his mouth to remain open indefinitely. Usually some hard objects are inserted underneath the practitioner's lower legs or ankles to make it harder for them to tolerate this abuse.
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