A Western Practitioner Recalls Group Protest on Tiananmen Square a Decade Ago (Photos)

By Dexiang, Clearwisdom correspondent

(Clearwisdom.net) Nina from Hamburg, Germany began practicing Falun Gong in 1998. In 1999, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) started the brutal persecution of Falun Gong. On November 20, 2001, Nina and thirty-five other Western practitioners from a number of different countries staged a peaceful protest of the persecution on Tiananmen Square in Beijing, carrying a large banner bearing the words “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.” The presence of the Western practitioners allowed people in China and around the world to see Falun Gong’s wide popularity across the globe. The peaceful protest caused a big stir in the West, drawing worldwide attention to the persecution of Falun Gong in China.

Thirty-six Western Falun Gong practitioners protest the CCP’s persecution of Falun Gong on Tiananmen Square. Nina (the fifth from right) sits in the front row.

Practitioners protest the CCP's persecution of Falun Gong in front of the Chinese Consulate (Nina is the second from left)

Nina sits on top of a float and demonstrates the Falun Gong exercises.

For the last ten years, like many practitioners around the world, Nina has not stopped participating in various activities to expose and protest the persecution. She hopes that the persecution will end as soon as possible, and that more Chinese people will learn the truth and get rid of the CCP's control.

The persecution of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is the persecution of the entire human race

In discussing the motives for the peaceful protest in Beijing, Nina said, "I learned that countless Falun Gong practitioners were being persecuted in China, subjected to unfair treatment. There was a Chinese practitioner in Hamburg who was detained for petitioning in China. I felt I should do something."

As a Western practitioner, why did she campaign for practitioners in China? Nina said, "Falun Gong’s principle of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is important for everyone. When Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is persecuted, regardless of where it happens in the world, it is the persecution of the entire human race. Therefore it is important to protest the persecution. Without Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, there would be no life."

The thirty-six Western practitioners had several wishes when they went to Tiananmen Square. Nina explained, "We wanted to show the CCP that many Westerners practiced Falun Gong. Not only did the CCP stage a smear campaign against Falun Gong in China, it also spread its lies all around the world, misleading people across the globe. We wanted to tell the Chinese regime that there are Falun Gong practitioners in dozens of countries around the world.” Nina continued, “We also wanted to let the Chinese people know that Falun Gong is embraced all around the world, because we knew that the CCP used all state propaganda machines to frame and slander Falun Gong. We also hoped that this action would encourage practitioners in China. They cannot go to practice sites or do the Falun Gong exercises at home. Their lives are even in danger. They have no freedom of practice."

Nina recalled that about twenty seconds after they sat down and unfurled the banner on Tiananmen Square, they were surrounded by police, the China National Security agents and plainclothes police. "The police told us to get into the police cars, which we did not obey. They began to use violence. Some practitioners were injured. One practitioner’s fingers were fractured. We were locked up."

"In the past I only knew that many practitioners in Beijing were detained, and did not expect to have it happen to me. Of course, the situation is completely different for Western practitioners. We had informed the German media beforehand, as well as practitioners in Germany. We notified a lot of German officials, which was one of the things that we wanted to achieve, to expose the persecution of Falun Gong in China. At the time, there was not much reported about Falun Gong in the Western media. Whatever little bit there was, it was quoted from the CCP, further spreading the lies that the CCP fabricated against Falun Gong. So it was very important for Western practitioners to do peaceful appeals in Beijing.”

Nina and other practitioners were held together in one large room, and interrogated one by one. "In the beginning we did the Falun Gong exercises, and I meditated. Later, a policeman came in and laughed in a weird manner, which even made me shake. Having seen this, he laughed more loudly. Then he poked me with his hands. The more he did that, the more I calmed down. My attachment of fear was completely gone. I realized that I should finish the meditation. Later he pushed me harder and harder, until I fell to the ground."

A new life after practicing Falun Gong

Nina had learned about the unfair treatment ofFalun Gong practitioners in China. In the labor camps, practitioners are not allowed to sleep. They are forced to watch TV programs that slander Falun Gong, which causes confusion in their minds. Some practitioners were forced to give up their beliefs. If one does not give up Falun Gong, he could be beaten to death, brainwashed, and so on. "To be honest, although I believe in Falun Gong, the news of the persecution scared me. I was worried whether I could go through with it. I did not know what I would encounter in China, but I did not hesitate. All I thought about was to validate Dafa on Tiananmen Square."

So what gave Nina the courage to take part in the peaceful appeal on Tiananmen Square? Nina said that since practicing Falun Gong she felt she found the meaning of life. She was full of gratitude for Dafa. "Not only did I learn the exercises, but I also gained a new life,” she explained. “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance indeed changed my life. Looking back at my life before joining the practice, I felt it was boring and hopeless. My physical health was poor as well. Often I did not know what my future would be. After practicing Falun Gong, I realized that living by the principle of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance will change one's life drastically. Life is full of vitality."

Nina was willing to devote herself wholeheartedly. "Without Falun Gong, I would feel that my life has no meaning. From this point, when I was asked if I was willing to go to Tiananmen Square, I agreed without hesitation. I wished to validate Dafa. "

The greatness of practitioners in China: upholding their belief under brutal persecution

Through the CCP’s detention that time, Nina understood further the plight of practitioners in China. "For practitioners in China, no media would report about them factually. Few people support them openly. Many practitioners are locked up in prison. Some just disappeared. None of these tragedies drew the attention of foreign media. The CCP fabricates false charges at will. The greatness of practitioners in China is that, despite the brutal persecution, they still uphold their belief and continue the practice.”

A decade of spare time spent on stopping the persecution

Ever since Nina returned to Germany from Beijing ten years ago, she has not stopped campaigning for practitioners in China. She has participated in a numerous Falun Gong activities in Germany, Europe and the United States.

"I spend all my spare time on stopping the CCP's continued persecution of Falun Gong, campaigning for mainland practitioners."

For example, she regularly participates in the protests in front of the CCP’s Consulate in Hamburg. She and her fellow practitioners talk to the Chinese people who come to the Consulate about the persecution, and they have told the German police on duty about Falun Gong. Due to their year-round activities in front of the Consulate, they have become quite familiar with the police on duty and have established friendship and mutual trust between them.

This year Nina also joined the European Divine Land Marching Band and took part in events throughout Europe. Through these activities, she hopes that more people throughout the world will know about the persecution of Falun Gong.

Her wish is that the CCP will immediately stop the persecution of Falun Gong, that the mainland public will have an opportunity to get to know Falun Gong, and that they will read the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party and no longer be deceived by the CCP. She hopes that more Chinese people will quit the CCP and its affiliated organizations.

Posting date: 11/28/2011
Category: Community Events
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