Trummisen i Bowies band, Sterling Campbell, är en av de Falun Gong-utövare som reste till Himmelska fridens torg i Peking för att vädja om ett stopp på förföljelsen av Falun Gong. Parallellt med Europa-turnén avsätter Sterling Campbell en del tid för att berätta om det folkmord som pågår i Kina.
Möjlighet till intervju
Sterling Campbell kommer att vara i Helsingfors under tre dagar och är tillgänglig för intervju under torsdagen den 9/10 och lördagen den 11/10.
För att avtala tid för intervju vänligen kontakta:
Mikko Mattila tel: +358 40 50 44 838
Här nedan finner du ett utdrag från den intervju som gjordes med honom efter hemkomsten från Kina.
Musician Sterling Campbell, USA, in an SOS rescue walk in 2001
In February 2002, Friends of Falun Gong interviewed Sterling Campbell, a drummer from New York, about his experiences as part of a peaceful appeal in Tiananmen Square.
Q: How did you originally decide to go to China?
A: It started as maybe 20 people. I brought it up to a couple of people. I knew I wanted to go but I was still vague about what I wanted to do when I got there. How could I tell the truth to people who didn't speak English?
Q: Did you have any preconceived notions about what it would be like there?
A: I heard a lot of perceptions about how bad it is, but I wanted to approach it from the perception of doing what I had to do from my own experience. People say, "That's my understanding", but that's their understanding, not necessarily yours. It's your path -- you can't really make comparisons to other people's experiences. I've been inspired by others, but this practice is a self-discipline. Coming to that understanding was a defining moment for me. The sense of fear just kind of went out the window -- this set a tone for me, for the trip.
Q: What happened in the police station?
A: We went into a corridor and were searched. Eventually they found little pamphlets we had made up the night before, with some sayings in Chinese. We were going to throw them in the air when we made it to the center of the square. Some of us did manage to toss a few of them before being put into the van, and we saw people pick them up.
We were brought individually into different rooms. Anyone who resisted was met with brutal force. I saw people dragged by their hair, arms, clothes; they were punched, kicked, slapped -- even when they had been knocked to the ground they were still kicked, slapped in the face. People were screaming.
A group of us confronted the police, saying what they were doing was wrong. "Why are you doing this? You know Falun Dafa is good." The police could not look us in the eye. They would say "shut up!" and push away. We continued and did not stop.
They meanwhile tied to interrogate us, asking about our identities and for our passports. I refused to tell them where my passport was.
They asked me to sit. At that point, I did not feel like cooperating with them anymore. I said, "I don't feel like sitting." They started to kick my legs, slap me, and threw me on the ground. I got into lotus position and sat there for a few minutes. Then I got up, grabbed a chair, and sat down of my own accord.
At that point, I was not angry, had no fear, no hatred. I just wanted them to know that what they were doing was wrong and they had to change.
While abusing us, they also laughed at us and taunted us, again, like out of a movie, like "Deer Hunter". I had never felt that before. I felt shielded -- they couldn't hurt me. At the same time it was sickening and ironically funny and dark. I couldn't believe it was happening to me.
Eventually, they forced about 10 people into a bus, and drove us to what looked like a hotel, about an hour away. Some resisted more than others -- the more resistance, the more brutality.
Goose-stepping soldiers, in formation, came into the bus to keep us away from the windows, so we couldn't open them and yell out. They were kids! They looked so young -- some of them were only about 17 or 20 years old.