From July 9th - 14th, Falun Gong practitioners toured the cities of western and middle Slovakia to inform the public about the persecution of Falun Gong in China. They gathered signatures on a petition condemning the persecution of Falun Gong addressed to state officials, requesting they open up this issue during bilateral talks with China.
On July 9th, the practitioners visited Trencin, the following day Zilina, then Ruzomberok, Liptovsky Mikulas, Banska Bystrica and Zvolen. During the one week petition signing against the persecution we received about 1100 signatures. The local media in Trencin, Ruzomberok, Liptovsky Mikulas and Banska Bystrica showed interest in the tour and sought information about it. The mayors of Zilina, Ruzomberok and Liptovsky Mikulas listened attentively the story of Falun Gong’s persecution in China and wished the practitioners much success in their efforts. The mayor of Ruzomberok expressed his disapproval of the persecution by signing the petition.
Most of the people after seeing the banners came to the petition to sign it. The most often question posed was probably “Why is Falun Gong persecuted by the Chinese government?” It was difficult for the people to understand that this irrational persecution of good people was born of the jealousy and fear of Jiang Zemin the former leader of China using his power to utilise the whole apparatus of the communist party to persecute Falun Gong.
“Not Even during the Nazi regime in Germany was such a brutal thing happening” said one elderly lady with tears in her eyes. “I can’t see too well, but I will go sign your petition. Tell me where I should write what. I am very sad from what I see.”
Thousands of people took a flyer about the persecution and hundreds of people listened to the story of Falun Gong from the practitioners. The people thought about ways to help and were interested in how many signatures are needed for the petition to bring results.
Some people took additional flyers for their acquaintances or friends. Although some people had their memories about communism, the most of them condemned the crimes of the communist regime in China and the persecution of Falun Gong.
The children often stopped by the practitioners and imitated the exercises. Some helped the practitioners to distribute flyers. Many people took a paper lotus flower, the symbol of purity and beauty of Falun Gong.
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