United Kingdom: Introducing Falun Dafa at the Edinburgh International Arts Festival

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British Falun Gong practitioners were on hand at the Edinburgh International Art Festival August 8 to 9, 2009, to inform the public about Falun Gong. This renowned art festival held in August every year hosts plenty of shows in both theatres and in the street and draws many tourists, both domestic and international, to the Scottish capital.

Apart from preparing for the parade, practitioners also went to the streets to explain the facts. After hearing about the popularity of Falun Dafa worldwide and the CCP's brutal persecution in China, many people expressed their support for Falun Gong.

Tourists examine the poster boards carefully in St. James Square
Tourists sign in support of Falun Gong
Outside the Scottish Parliament, people learn about Falun Gong

The local practitioners chose three places where there were larger number of passersby – St. James Square on Princes Street, the Scottish Parliament, and High Street next to the famous Edinburgh Castle – to hold their activities. The festival parade was routed to end at the Scottish Parliament.

With banners and poster boards behind them, several practitioners demonstrated the Falun Gong exercises, while others distributed flyers and explained the facts in more detail and encouraged people to sign the petition.

On Saturday morning, as soon as the practitioners started to practise the exercises they drew the attention of passersby. Some of them signed the petition immediately after reading the flyer about the persecution of Falun Gong.

Lots of people on Princes Street stopped at the poster boards exposing the CCP's persecution of Falun Gong and read carefully. Then they signed the petition forms.

The Scottish Parliament is opposite the Scottish Palace, a big draw for many international tourists. Two young people were particularly astonished after reading the poster boards. They asked for more information and said to the practitioners when they left, "You are doing very well, and we wish you success."

Several Chinese tourists from China passed by. Some of them were moved by the practitioners' compassion and accepted the informational materials such as the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party. Others went over to talk to the practitioners.

After the big parade on Sunday afternoon, crowds passed by the Falun Gong information site outside the Scottish Parliament. Having just seen the peaceful Falun Dafa contingent in the parade, many of them pointed at the practitioners, saying, "Look! Falun Dafa!" They were all the more willing to accept the informational materials.

When they came over to sign the petition, they usually asked why the CCP wanted to persecute such a peaceful exercise. Practitioners explained that was out of the CCP's evil nature that it persecutes Falun Gong. Some of them were well aware of the evil nature of the CCP and condemned its cruelty.

Peter said, "It is very basic to ensure people's freedom of belief"

Peter, an older Scottish gentleman, signed the petition. Afterwards he said to the correspondent that he had seen Falun Gong in the Edinburgh Festival Parade several times. He said, "The persecution has lasted for so long. The CCP is really hard to believe. It is very basic to ensure people's freedom of belief"

Two Scottish ladies that were with Peter both signed the petition. One of them commented, "The Communist Party means dictatorship and struggle. I would like to remind people that communist China could possibly become a threat to world freedom."

Jenica said, "People should have freedom of belief"

Just as the Falun Gong practitioners were about to wrap up their activities in front of the Scottish Parliament, a lady came straight to the spot. Her name was Jenica and she lives in Edinburgh. She saw Falun Dafa in the parade that afternoon. She said to the correspondent, "Why should such a peaceful exercise be persecuted? They (the CCP) are really afraid of people having their own thoughts and beliefs. People should have freedom of belief."

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