UK: Anti-Torture Exhibition Tour Successfully held in Scotland

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From the 24th to the 27th of September 2004, UK Falun Gong practitioners organised an Anti-Torture exhibition tour in three major cities in Scotland: Glasgow, Aberdeen and Dundee. The exhibitions attracted many local people. Streams of people came to sign our “Bring Jiang to Justice” petition. Jiang Zemin, the former head of the Chinese Communist Party, initiated the persecution of Falun Gong in July 1999, which has led to over a thousand Falun Gong practitioners being persecuted to death and tens of thousands of innocent people being illegally detained. Local newspapers and radio stations reported on the anti-torture exhibition.

Preparatory Work

Before the exhibition tour began, practitioners prepared an information package including an invitation letter, posters and an introductory leaflet about Falun Gong and sent them to all major local media, UK Parliament members, Scottish Parliament members, European Parliament members, social workers, university lecturers and NGOs. The purpose was to take this opportunity to further inform them about the ongoing brutal persecution of Falun Gong in China.

A few western practitioners helped to call the newspaper publishers to inform them directly about the events in the three major cities. As a result, the main newspapers and radio stations reported the news of the anti-torture exhibition in advance and informed their readers that this would be a good opportunity for them to learn the truth about this brutal persecution in China.

September 24th and 25th in Glasgow

Even during the set up of the banners and tables in Glasgow’s main busy pedestrian street, people started to come to ask for the starting time and wanted to sign our petition. We then decided to prepare the signature table first while doing other preparatory work so that passers-by could sign their names on the petition.

An official from an organisation which has very good relations with China received our invitation letter and came to see our exhibition. After learning the truth about Falun Gong and the ongoing persecution in China, he wished us success and signed the “Bring Jiang to Justice” petition.

Many people asked practitioners a lot of questions and some of the questions were quite searching. Once they got satisfactory answers, not only did they sign the petition to support bringing Jiang to justice, they also wholeheartedly said: “We wish you luck”.

There were many school students coming to see the exhibition. They carefully read posters and took Video-CDs and leaflets and then queued to sign the petition. They pointed at Jiang’s picture and said he was a bad guy. They also told practitioners that their schoolteacher informed them about the ongoing persecution of Falun Gong in China. The children were not frightened by the torture enactment. In fact not only were these children unafraid, they wanted to sign their names to support Falun Gong.

There were streams of people coming to sign the petition. These included students, professional people, housewives and refugees. A westerner said: “I understand you. You are the bravest people. I will write an article about you and leave it on my personal web page.” There was a refugee from Iraq. He pointed at Jiang’s picture and said he was like Saddam and would have the same fate as Saddam. He then signed on the petition.

When the day’s activity finished and we were busy packing up, there were still people coming to sign our petition.

September 26th in Dundee

After the two-day exhibition in Glasgow, practitioners came to the Central Square in Dundee city centre to hold another Anti-Torture Exhibition. The local newspaper had reported on exhibition earlier on the 23rd September. That day a journalist from this newspaper came to the exhibition and conducted a further interview.

A schoolteacher told practitioners that his students were all aware of the persecution of Falun Gong in China and therefore specifically came here to learn more. He also intended to invite Falun Gong practitioners to teach Falun Gong at his school.

As in Glasgow, many school students came to see the exhibition and asked questions. They all signed the petition in support of bringing Jiang to justice.

September 27th in Aberdeen

On the final day of the Anti-Torture exhibition tour, practitioners went to one of the most northern city of Scotland Aberdeen. In order to inform the local newspaper about the exhibition in person, a practitioner bought a copy of the local newspaper and was surprised to find that the newspaper already reported the news of our exhibition that day. Practitioners then decided to contact them and hoped that they would send their journalist to come to cover our activity.

As usual, practitioners gave out leaflets, talked to people about Falun Gong and the persecution, and asked people to sign our petition. Many passers-by stopped to take a look at our exhibition, read posters and sign the petition. A journalist from the local newspaper came in the afternoon to take photos.

Five western teenage girls came to talk with practitioners. When they learned the truth, they asked practitioners if they could help to collect signatures. When practitioners said yes, every one of them took a petition board and started to collect signatures from passers-by. Almost nobody refused their request. They only returned the petition board when our activity was about to finish. Practitioners found that not only did they sign the petition themselves, they also collected more than fifty signatures.

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