On the Day of April 25 -- To Commemorate Our Fa-Study Group
(Clearwisdom.net Dispatch on April 25)
Almost four years have flown by since "4.25," the day when so many unforgettable things happened. Among them, the most unforgettable was my Fa-study group. I was still in China at that time.
Our Fa-study group had eight people. We heard about what had happened in Tianjin at Auntie Cao's the night before April 25. We decided unanimously that we would go to appeal at the Appeals Office [A governmental agency guaranteed by the Chinese constitution, which is supposed to allow citizens to legally voice their grievances or report if their cases have been handled improperly by local officials] the next morning.
When I arrived at Auntie Cao's home shortly after five o'clock the next morning, I only found six of us there. Dr. Qu had been locked in her home by her husband. Xiao Hu couldn't make it for some reason. Auntie Chen's husband said, "One of us can go. In case something happens, the other one can still take care of our grandson." Auntie Chen's voice was not loud, but very firm, "No one can substitute for another in cultivation. You can stay if you want to." Eventually, the six of us managed to get to Fuyou Street before seven o'clock. We stood about 500 meters away from the west gate of the Zhongnanhai Compound, where we saw many fellow practitioners from our practice group. I found many fellow practitioners beside me sitting on the ground and resting a little with their heads on their knees. Auntie Cao told me in low voice, "I heard they are fellow practitioners from Hebei Province. They got here around two o'clock this morning, so they are very tired." As more and more people gathered around, those sitting began to stand up. The pavement was filled with the practitioners who went to appeal, some reading Zhuan Falun and some standing quietly. The big crowd was neatly aligned and in good order.
Close to noon, a voice came suddenly from ahead of us, "Please pass the message on. The Prime Minister is going to receive some practitioners. If there is anyone specializing in law, please tell them to hurry to the west gate." The practitioners passed it on one by one.
What happened on that afternoon remains fresh in my memory. To make the whole group look neat, the young people stood in the front row. Those from out of town and the elderly took turns sitting in the back to rest. The Cao couple was in their 60's, but they stayed in the front row. Some video-recording cars moved back and forth continuously to record the scene throughout the day. When one of them passed us slowly, the photographer pointed his camera at us. Auntie Cao rearranged her clothes and said, "Don't be afraid. Let him record. I am sure he won't be able to record anything." At that time, we didn't know what righteous thoughts were. However, the strong and righteous thoughts that Auntie Cao showed at that time were indeed based on her solid cultivation.
A red flier was passed on in the crowd around three o'clock, saying something to the effect that all the practitioners should leave right away, the government will settle the issue. Those who don't leave will be responsible for all the consequences. We didn't change our mind and continued to stand quietly. Shortly after, a group of fully-armed policemen jumped out of a violence prevention truck. They stood in a row with two meters between each other, facing the practitioners. (I am not sure about the situation in other places). The atmosphere suddenly got tense. I heard a voice, "It looks like we should all stand up." Following the voice, I saw Auntie Chen stand up slowly. Her face looked unusually firm and quiet. Looking around, I saw all the people from my Fa-study group standing closely together. We communicated with our eyes, but said no words. After a short while, these policemen left for no reason, as if they had received some command. Everything calmed down again. The practitioners' calm and peaceful manner was indeed like what Teacher said, "Just by having your heart unaffected you will be able to handle all situations"("Eliminate Your Last Attachment(s)").
To keep good order, young practitioners grabbed each other's hands to form a line when it was close to evening. The policemen on duty, however, looked casual and began to smoke. Some of them even chatted with practitioners. Auntie Chen's daughter found us at this time. She began to cry as soon as she saw her parents, "Hurry back home. I heard they will clear out the streets tonight." Auntie Chen tried to comfort her, "Don't worry about it. You can go back first. We will go back as soon as the issue is resolved."
Good news was passed along shortly after nine. "Please pass on the message. The issue has been resolved perfectly. Please leave immediately." All the people in my Fa-study group smiled. We gathered our belongings and left one after another.
How memorable, "4.25"! How memorable, my fellow practitioners in China!