Representing the Falun Gong Human Rights Working Group at the Fourth Social Forum in Athens, Greece

A Practitioner from Greece

PureInsight | May 18, 2006

[] Three weeks
ago I received an e-mail from Amnesty International. They were looking
for volunteers to participate with them at the Fourth European Social
Forum, which would take place from May 4 through May 7 in Athens. The
social forum was considered a big event. They were expecting more than
500 organizations from all over the world and more than 30,000
activists. "What a great opportunity to clarify the truth," I thought,
"if you consider how many leftists and communists were going to be
there." I immediately contacted the Falun Gong Human Rights Working
Group (FGHRWG) and I asked them if it would be OK to represent them at
the Forum. A couple of days later after study we were discussing how we
were going to organize this.

One thing to decide was whether we were going to have copies of the
"Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party" on our table or not. To our
question, a practitioner from the FGHRWG answered that "to talk about
human rights and freedom is always something easy for people to
understand in a forum like this; it's a perfect situation to use the
Falun Gong Human Rights Working Group. However, we might need to be
cautious about promote the Nine Commentaries because, oftentimes,
people think we are in favour of changing the governmental structure in
China if we open our conversation with the Nine Commentaries. In
particular, the Nine Commentaries are very important to the Chinese
people. As for western society, it is not as same as for the Chinese.
The [most recent] Los Angeles lecture has some questions on that issue.
To let world people know about the persecution and we need them to
stand up to help stop this persecution is a way to save them. They will
also see the CCP through the persecution at the same time."

After my experience at the Forum I find this understanding right. At
the forum we had the opportunity to clarify the truth to a lot of
communists and leftists. Many of them accepted our flyers, heard what
we were saying about the persecution and signed our petition. The goal
of clarifying the truth and saving them was accomplished. In my
clarifying the truth I was talking about the persecution by the Chinese
government. I was very careful about the use of the word ‘'communism."
If I had started talking about the Nine Commentaries from the very
beginning or if we had used a "Quit the CCP slogan," people would
become suspicious that we were doing anti-communist propaganda and it
could have had the opposite effect. People might not have been willing
to listen anymore.

In Greece we have many people who are poisoned by communist ideology.
These people are not bad; it is just that they have been deceived by
the communist ideology. Many were idealists who thought that by
following this ideology they could improve the world. They tend to
think that communism is good and all other political movements are bad.
So they often turn a blind eye to the crimes committed in the name of
Communism in the former Soviet Union and in China. Master has said in
Lectures that we should clarify the truth to people by being aware of
their attachments. So, it is important to wake them up by talking to
them about the violation of basic human rights, such as the freedom of
belief, instead of trying to persuade them that the communism is a bad

I was glad to see that the most of the communists I had the opportunity
to clarify the truth to, were not as fanatical as they once were. A
thought I had on this was that since the evil specter is dying, it
doesn't dominate people's minds so much anymore. Those people are
better able to listen now and understand. I remember a whole family
signing our petition. Then the man came to me and said, "You know, for
many years we used to be communists. Once I wanted to go over to fight
for Nicaragua. Now I know." I was glad to hear that. We had some
discussion. "No ideology is higher than the human life" I said to him
implying the communist ideology, which advocates the violent
revolution. He agreed.

Many people didn't even know what Falun Gong is and they hadn't heard
anything about the persecution in China. They were shocked to hear
about the removal of organs from living Falun Gong practitioners.

"But why," a young woman asked me.

I answered: "Just imagine a society full of dirt. If my mind is full of
dirt as well and I look around me I won't see any dirt. However, if I
get rid of the dirt in my mind by following the principles of
Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance and I look again around me, won't
I see the dirt? And if more and more people see the dirt won't this be
dangerous for a government based on lies and propaganda which tries to
cover the dirt?"

"Now I understand," she said and then she immediately signed the petition.

Another reason I was giving for the persecution when I was asked, was
that Falun Gong was bringing Chinese people back to their traditional
values. "And this could be dangerous for a government that took people
away from their traditional values and culture in order to be able to
control them better."

When we were thanking the people for signing the petition and listening
to us many were saying, "WE THANK YOU," as if they had understood how
important what they had just heard was. And I felt this "THANK YOU" was
from the bottom of their hearts. A woman even signed the petition for
her nephew who was only two years old.

Another guy came to me and said, "What you are doing is very important
because many people here are poisoned from the communist ideology. It's
good that you inform them about the situation in China," he said.

Building more contacts with Amnesty International Greece at the Forum
was also important. The girl from Amnesty International who had sent me
the e-mail said to me at the Forum: "You know, we all participate, in a
way, in this persecution"

"What do you mean?" I asked.

"We all buy products from companies which invest in China and make a lot of money there," she said.

I wondered if she was right.

On Saturday night we kept on clarifying the truth until two o' clock in
the morning to the people who were going to the concerts, even though
the Forum had already finished. No matter the time, the people were
still willing to hear.

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