France: Promoting Falun Gong in Lyon, the Second Largest City in France

French Falun Dafa practitioners ran a stall in the Lyon “Spring Call” Exhibition last weekend, from February the 20th to the 22nd. Lyon is the second largest city in France. Practitioners had the opportunity to demonstrate the Falun Gong exercises and explain the ongoing persecution in China to approximately forty thousand people who visited the exhibition.

The graceful movements and peaceful music attracted many passers-by to stop and watch. People asked for Dafa materials and the location of local practice sites. A lot of them were so interested that they started learning the exercises right away. Some of them stayed at the booth to discuss the specific details of Falun Gong and cultivation.

Practitioners’ compassion, peacefulness and the wisdom and courage developed through cultivation of Falun Gong gave many people a sense of trust and respect when they left the exhibition booth. They sincerely wished us success in stopping the persecution in China. A freelance writer indicated to practitioners that he would help Dafa practitioners because he could not stay indifferent to such an unjustifiable persecution. Almost all of the people said that they could not understand why such a good cultivation practice should be persecuted so violently. After they learned that Falun Gong was not allowed to participate in the Chinese New Year parade in Paris and that several practitioners had been arrested by the police on the streets of Paris for no reason, they were all concerned about France’s attitude of sacrificing human rights in exchange for economic benefits. They signed their names on the petition signature collection form.

During the Exhibition, a college student who is currently working towards a degree in Politics at Strasbourg told us happily that the university she enrolled in has a group of Falun Gong practitioners. She said she is contemplating a dissertation on Falun Gong. On behalf of her classmates, she invited us to pay a visit to Strasbourg to introduce them to Falun Gong. Both sides exchanged contact information for future arrangements.

A group of practitioners also went to Lyon city centre so that they could introduce Falun Gong and explain the facts of the persecution to the citizens of Lyon. Practitioners performed the exercises, distributed leaflets and explained the persecution in China patiently to the constant stream of people who walked on the bustling streets. A passer-by told us this persecution is very unreasonable and commented that the French Government shouldn’t have forgot the fact that people are being persecuted and tortured in China, or forget about human rights for the sake of economic benefits.

On the second day of the exhibition, practitioners took advantage of the opportunity provided by the exhibition to hold a press conference. Many groups and organisations that participated in the exhibition attended the conference. They expressed their sympathy and willingness to offer support.

Right before the Exhibition ended, the correspondents associated with Channel Three TV station arrived at our booth, and interviewed us for more than one hour. In the evening TV news, they broadcast a report about Falun Gong in an objective manner. The report said Falun Gong held public displays in the Lyon Exhibition and mentioned that the Falun Gong Association has sued former Chinese President, Jiang Zemin, for committing genocide. It also mentioned that Falun Gong has obtained support from many French Parliamentarians.

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