The sound of music from a Frankfurt street attracted the attention of people in a roadside café. Many of them stood up and applauded. When standing up, not only did they see the band, they also saw a few people wearing beautiful traditional Chinese clothes on a slow-moving flower vehicle, demonstrating a gentle and peaceful exercise. “Heavenly ladies” performing graceful traditional Chinese dances followed the vehicle. At the end of the parade were display boards with words “Chinese Communist regime’s Forced Labour Camp”, showing the brutal torture methods that are alarming to the German people.
When the Divine Land Marching Band passed through, some people applauded and danced with the music, some listened attentively while others read the leaflets that were distributed about the Divine Land Marching Band and Falun Gong. Many people also photographed the grand Divine Land Marching Band and heavenly ladies. When the last part of the formation, a reenaction of a forced labour camp, appeared, people were puzzled why such tragic scenes appearing in the parade. However after listening to the explanation by Falun Gong practitioners or reading the leaflets, they all expressed their support for Falun Gong.
Ant and his son came to see the parade for the first time: “This Marching Band is very large; I have never seen such a large Marching Band. It is unbelievable. The band members are very international. It looks like a very beautiful picture, a harmonious performance by people from the East and West.” After reading a leaflet about Falun Gong, he said: “I thing persecuting Falun Gong is a sad chapter. I think it is very good that Falun Gong groups take this opportunity to show people the persecution. It gives people courage.”
Arim and his wife Gabi said: “The performance by the Marching Band is very pleasant to hear. It is quite novel and good. I like this music.” They said they learned from the Newspaper reports before that Falun Gong is being brutally persecuted in China, even deaths have occurred. According to the current situation in China, it simply should not hold the Olympics at all. “It is very good that Falun Gong can attend this parade. There are no human rights at all in China. As long as the human rights are not respected there, we would not go to China.”
Ms Beatlang and her companions liked the Falun Gong group in the Parade very much: “I heard about the persecution of Falun Gong in China before. Wherever it is, it is wrong to persecute people. Everyone should be able to live freely.”
A Philippine lady said she knew Falun Gong before, but it is the first time in Frankfurt because she lives quite far from Frankfurt. She said: “The parade is very attractive. I like all the things. The colour is very rich, wonderful.” Her friend is from Portugal. He thought that it is very good to let the world know what’s happening in China and to learn the Chinese culture.
Some people saw the Falun Gong parade group last year. They said the Falun Gong group is becoming more magnificent. There were also many Chinese onlookers. After hearing from Falun Gong practitioners about the Chinese Communist regime’s brutal persecution of Falun Gong and about 39 million withdrawals from the Chinese Communist Party and its affiliated organisations, some of them also expressed their desire to withdraw from these organisations. Ms Yang and Ms Liu met four such Chinese people; they thanked Falun Gong practitioners for such opportunity.
The members of the Divine Land Marching Band are from different regions of Europe. Some drove to Frankfurt from Belgium and Holland with their whole family. Some of them are from Ireland, Spain, Finland and Sweden. The youngest are only just in their teens, while some are almost seventy. Some members brought their young Children to the performance.
Ms Wang from Germany brought her four years old daughter with her to join the parade. When she performed in the parade, other Falun Gong practitioners looked after her daughter. She said: “Other parents would perhaps take their children to amusement parks, swimming or a dancing school because parents think that would be beneficial to their children and the children also like it. To me this kind of performance can demonstrate the beauty of Falun Gong, and such opportunity is very precious. Thus I bring my child with me every time. My daughter also likes to attend such activities with me very much.”
Twelve years old Yu Xia is from Sweden. She uses her summer vacation to join the performance of the Divine Land Marching band with her father. When asked if she was tired of playing over three hours of clarinet, she said frankly that when she saw other children eating ice creams under the shade, she was a bit envious. But she came to Germany to let more people know about the persecution of Falun Gong in China, so she didn’t feel tired.
Ms Manu, who works for a Swiss Insurance Company, had played trumpet in an Orchestra for fifteen years. The establishment of the Divine Land Marching Band gave her opportunity to play trumpet again. She felt that it is very important to join the Frankfurt performance: “Many people like music. I hope people can learn the truth about Falun Gong through music. Because many people come to see this parade, including many media and also many Chinese people, I hope through this parade many more people would learn the truth about the persecution of Falun Gong in China and help to stop this persecution.”
Ms Gudrun Ranftl, one of the organisers of the Festival disclosed: “This time the Chinese Consulate in Frankfurt only phoned to ask if Falun Gong is to join the parade. Last year they wrote a letter saying bad things about Falun Gong and wanted us to cancel Falun Gong’s participation. Germany is a free democratic society; we don’t have the right to cancel Falun Gong’s participation in the parade at all.”
She also said: “Falun Gong participate the parade every year, they have many people. If they want to attend the parade next year, there will also be no problem.”
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