Switzerland: Raising Awareness about Falun Gong in Zurich

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On June 28th, 2008, Falun Gong practitioners’ information stand again appeared on Bahnhofstrasse Avenue close to Zurich train station in Switzerland. As usual, pictures of Falun Gong practitioners being persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) were hung around the tent. The little table displayed leaflets and petition forms in various languages. On the lawn next to the tent, a handful of practitioners demonstrated Falun Gong’s five gentle exercises accompanied by beautiful music. A few practitioners distributed leaflets along the road.

During the past few years, these information stands have been seen on this famous shopping street in Zurich almost every month. Some passers-by knew it as Falun Gong’s information stand and introduced it to others. Many, however, heard about Falun Gong and the CCP’s persecution for the first time.

“More should learn the truth”

Ms. Kunz was an anti-violence, anti-discrimination volunteer. This was the first time that she heard about Falun Gong. She was very interested and talked with practitioners for a long time. She said that she especially visited the information stand after seeing contents related to the Olympics. In her opinion, without human rights China should not hold the Olympics. She had always known about the lack of human rights in China so she does not purchase cheap goods from China. According to her, the reason why she signed to call upon stopping the persecution of Falun Gong was, “In my opinion it is critically important for people in China to enjoy human rights. I especially hope that this could become a reality before the Olympics is held.”

It was her hope that international institutions could apply more pressure on the CCP to improve human rights in China. For the first time, she learned that the atrocious crime of live organ harvesting is happening in China. She felt certain things need to be controlled. Meanwhile she said, “It is critical to publicise this. More people should know about this and apply pressure.”

Finally she said that she knew some Chinese people and talked with them about issues in China. She would share the truth she learned today with family and friends.

An interior designer from Hamburg, Michael, has been living in Switzerland for fifteen years. He also heard about Falun Gong for the first time. The banner “Eyewitness: In CCP concentration camps, Falun Gong practitioners are subjected to live organ harvesting” moved him. After signing, he said, “I’m very happy to support Falun Gong practitioners. Especially the concentration camps, I feel terrible about them as a German and am fiercely against them.” He promised he would look up more information on the internet. Of course he would also tell others that he knew about what is happening in China.

Although he had never heard of Falun Gong before, he believed everything to be true based on the hard work practitioners had put into preparing for the information day. On the CCP crimes of live organ harvesting, he said, “It is simply horrific.”

Ms. Zimmerman once read some Falun Gong truth material so was not a stranger to the practice. She felt the persecution against a group of innocent people who believe in “Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance” is terrible. “Everybody should be entitled to freedom of belief.”

“We want to learn Falun Gong”

Many passers-by have heard of Falun Gong before so they hoped to learn the practice.

Ms. Stutz took her daughter straight to the information stand to sign and show support for practitioners. Having taken a leaflet before, she felt, “Falun Gong is fantastic, an excellent practice. I have always wanted to learn such a practice. If I had more time I would learn. I think it’s great!”

When talking about the CCP’s persecution of Falun Gong practitioners, her eyes were wet, “The persecution is a calamity. How could humans be so cruel? Organ harvesting is horrific. Terrible. Terrible.” In the end, she thanked practitioners once and again for what they were doing and wished them all good luck.

A Mr. Lino from India who lives in Switzerland said happily, “I saw reports about Falun Gong on Swiss TV and felt it was such a peaceful practice. At the time I thought, I wanted to learn it.” During a walk on Saturday, he run into Falun Gong’s information stand by chance. Practitioner Manu agreed to show him the five exercises, so he started learning the practice.

Later, he said, “Great, very relaxing. I think I will come to the weekly practice in Zurich to continue with it.” He also signed to show his support for Falun Gong practitioners.

During the day’s activities, there were high school students who having seen the pictures, signed immediately to support Falun Gong. There was an old lady who had learned the truth about Falun Gong practitioners being persecuted, and wanted to know this time how to help stop the persecution. There was also an elderly gentleman who worked in China and promised to urge his colleagues in China to seek the truth. There were also youngsters who were concerned about human rights in China due to Tibet and thought the persecution was incredible. Through talks with practitioners and material given, including the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party, more and more people learned the truth.

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