On Sunday 2nd April, as part of the anti-torture exhibition that is touring the country to help people learn more about the persecution against Falun Gong, a group of Italian practitioners went to Aosta city. This city is the provincial capital of the Valle d’Aosta self-governing district in northern Italy. Valle d’Aosta is bordered by the Alps and France. It has Europe’s highest peak Mont Blanc and is famous for its tourism and skiing resorts.
On the streets in the town centre, under the remains of Roman gate Porta Pretoria, we set up our display boards and held an anti-torture exhibition. Local people taking a walk at the weekend and tourists all stopped to watch the re-enactments of the torture methods employed by the Chinese Communist Party in attempts to force Falun Gong practitioners to renounce their beliefs. Many people, after reading the display boards, signed the petition calling for an end to the persecution to show their sympathy and support. A middle-aged man said, “I thought China was more open and developed now, but I didn’t assume that these things are happening. Could they possibly have lied to us?”
A father took his son for a walk and passed our torture-exhibition, so they stopped and held a long conversation with practitioners. Afterwards, both father and son signed the petition. Because the son was not yet an adult, he asked beforehand if he was allowed to sign. We told this righteous young man that his signature will be just as effective as an adult’s because it was his heart that expressed his support for compassionate people. There was an old couple with a pushchair. When the wife signed, she gave the petition to her husband to sign. Then they took the leaflet which a practitioner handed to them and left, after thanking us. Another middle-aged person spoke with an admiring tone after talking to a practitioner: “You are as peaceful and steadfast as Ghandi. I wish you good luck!”
This three-hour activity passed very quickly, just like it does every time. Looking at the endless flow of people who had lined up waiting to sign the petition or had come to read our displays, we really didn’t want to leave.
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