On Saturday May 16 2009, a parade took place on the streets of Bratislava to help raise awareness about human rights abuses in China. At the head of the parade was the European Divine Land Marching Band. The parade started at Rybne Square in the city centre and led the procession through the old town up to the Chinese Embassy. The parade lasted around 2 hours.
The European Divine Land Marching Band was founded at the end of 2006, after similar bands in Canada and the US were formed. It has about 80 members. Its members are all Falun Dafa practitioners who have a common vision to play melodies with a pure heart.
At about 7 p.m., after a short speech at Rybne Square about the purpose of the event, the parade with more than 100 people started. The marching drums accompanied the melodies of the trumpets, flutes, and clarinets, with the low passages played resoundingly by the tubas. The sound of the drums had a particular effect on the passers-by, many of whom stopped and watched what was going on. One man explained on his mobile phone, "There is a Falun Dafa parade going on, come quickly to take a look!" The by-standers also accepted information that was spread by the practitioners.
People walked out of restaurants and shops, and leaned out of windows to watch what was happening. Some showed supportive gestures to the passing parade.
The parade passed the old city, then the castle, and as it was on its way to the top of the hill, behind it appeared a beautiful rainbow. It was encouragement on a tiring way up the hill, which finished next to the Chinese Embassy, where the band played a few more melodies.
In the meantime it got dark, and the practitioners lit candles in remembrance of the thousands of victims who lost their lives to persecution by the Chinese Communist regime. After a short speech and reading of a statement asking the Chinese regime to stop the persecution of Falun Dafa and asking Chinese people to quit the CCP, the practitioners continued their appeal with a short meditation.
The parade in Bratislava was performed after a similar activity in Vienna on the same day in the morning, in which most of its participants also took part.
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