(Clearwisdom.net) Regarding the appeal on April 25, 1999, when over 10,000 Falun Gong practitioners peacefully appealed to the Chinese government in central Beijing, some say that if over ten thousand people surrounded the White House to demonstrate, the U.S. government would persecute the demonstrators.

It's understandable that some people make this comparison. But the comparison is not reasonable.

First, in Western counties, especially the U.S., the rights of free speech and public assembly are guaranteed. Most applications for demonstrations are approved, including demonstrations near the White House. Demonstrations are even allowed along the routes of the Presidential motorcade.

The Chinese Constitution guarantees freedom of speech and assembly. But applications for demonstrations are rarely approved except those for those demonstrations desired by the regime. In that situation, no permit for the demonstration is needed.

Second, even during the U.S. Presidential inauguration ceremony, there are protest activities. Protesters and the president each do their own things. The U.S. president cannot order the suppression of protesters. If he did, he would not be able to become president. During President Bush's first inauguration ceremony, there were twenty thousand people from about ten organizations protesting around the White House. During his second inauguration ceremony, the presidential fleet passed by demonstrators carrying coffins to protest the war in Iraq. These people are not being persecuted by the U.S. government, and President Bush did not take revenge on them later.

Third, the "April 25" event was not a demonstration. This event involved approximately 10,000 Falun Gong practitioners legally appealing at China's National Appeals Office. This should not need any permit, and the number of people allowed to appeal is not limited. Additionally, the locations where the practitioners stood were arranged by the police. Because the practitioners trusted the government, they came to appeal for justice for Falun Gong. After the Great Cultural Revolution, many national and local appeals offices were set up to handle the many miscarriages of justice and false accusations. Their job is to handle the people's letters and appeals. The "April 25" appeal was simply one of the largest appeals. One by which Falun Gong practitioners attempted to obtain an improved cultivation environment.

Fourth, the background of the "April 25" event is that some official branches of government had interfered with the Falun Gong practitioners' legal cultivation environment. Falun Gong books were forbidden to be published, and the news media defamed Falun Gong. The police had already started to arrest and beat Falun Gong practitioners. In China, how should these victims react to injustice? What normal people do is clarify the truth to higher government branches, hoping the problem can be solved rationally.

The "April 25" event involved Chinese citizens, who were treated unjustly, asking higher officials for help. The event was handled well that day. The Premier asked the Chief of the National Appeals Office to handle it, and to release the arrested practitioners. He also listened to the citizens who wanted permission to publish Dafa books and to practice Falun Gong without being molested by the authorities. The incident was resolved, and the practitioners departed peacefully.

If people go to the White House to protest, the U.S. government will not persecute the protesters. When ten thousand Falun Gong practitioners appealed at the National Appeals Office, the former Premier did not order the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners. He handled the situation rationally.

The person who truly wanted to persecute Falun Gong in order to increase his power and appease his jealousy of Falun Gong's teacher and Falun Gong's popularity is Jiang Zemin.

April 20, 2005