(Clearwisdom.net) In the last half century in China, through political movements, persecutions, and endless lies, the wicked Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has planted terror deep in people's hearts. Despite the long-standing terror, on April 25, 1999, over 10,000 Falun Gong practitioners went to Beijing to peacefully appeal. This day shocked the world and the political gang led by Jiang Zemin. It proclaimed to the world a fact that defied 50 years of Communist rule: Falun Dafa practitioners who follow truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance choose to live with dignity and uphold the truth.
The peacefulness and rationality displayed during this large-scale, spontaneous appeal was not something people had experienced in China before. Chinese people were familiar with suppressing oneself amidst terror and living in humiliation to save oneself. The "civil" movements were either instigated fanatical behavior or political shows carefully planned by the CCP. True citizen movements to express dissent and seek human rights, including the Tiananmen Square democratic movement, were often labeled "anti-government" and "to achieve reactionary political motives," and were brutally suppressed. After going through many such suppressions, many people lost the courage to uphold the truth.
To people's surprise, Falun Gong practitioners broke through the terror imposed by the CCP during the past fifty years, and upheld their own rights with dignity. In the face of the wicked group that dares to commit all kinds of evil in front of the world, they were able to bravely, peacefully, and rationally express their wishes to follow truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance, and to oppose the persecution. This won the admiration of many Chinese people who thought, "So many people dared to come to Beijing to appeal, aren't they afraid of death?"
In democratic societies, peaceful actions do not harm or threaten anyone. Appeals, therefore, should not be associated with death. But from the perspective of the CCP, no matter how peaceful the expression of dissent, it would be considered anti-communist, and would surely be crushed. The only way for the populace to avoid trouble is to passively follow the CCP. To speak the truth and seek justice and fairness would require the courage to take mortal danger lightly.
There are several ways of taking this danger lightly. Some people are careless about both their own lives and those of others. Some devote their lives to protecting others' rights. Some are not afraid of death because of their faith. These include Christians and Buddhists who have been persecuted throughout China's history.
Those who are careless about their lives are often looked down upon, while those who die for others are respected. For cultivators who are fearless because of their faith and understanding of truth, they have transcended worldly interests, family, country, nationality, politics, economics, and cultures. They are highly accomplished spiritual cultivators, so they are the most respected among the people. Those in history who have lost their lives because of faith have left the human race with precious spiritual assets that are cherished and taken as inspiration by mankind.
To uphold the noble faith in truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance, Falun Gong practitioners have suffered through the attempted genocide initiated by the wicked CCP and the Jiang Zemin group. What makes them different from other persecuted cultivators in history is that Falun Gong practitioners, while persisting in their faith in truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance, did not passively wait for the end of the persecution. They used their legal rights to actively oppose the persecution and clarify the facts to the people.
When Falun Gong practitioners appealed to the government on April 25, 1999, although the CCP had not officially started persecuting Falun Gong, the situation was already delicate. Within the government, the public security system had already labeled Falun Gong a [slanderous term omitted] and started collecting evidence. The media began to portray Falun Gong as "superstitious," and said that they were similar to the Boxers, who tried to overthrow the government in the late 1800s. The direct reason that led to the April 25 appeal was that police in Tianjin City illegally arrested and beat Falun Gong practitioners, and claimed that the case "involves the Public Security Ministry and can only be resolved in Beijing." Under these circumstances, anyone familiar with the CCP pattern knew that it was only a matter of time and finding the right excuse before the government launched its official persecution of Falun Gong.
The Falun Gong practitioners who stepped forward to appeal did not show their firm belief only after being arrested. Before the evil completely showed its face, in order to prevent malicious actions, they came to the central government to explain the goodness of Falun Gong. They hoped the government would learn the truth and give Falun Gong practitioners a free cultivation environment and the legal right to practice. What Falun Gong practitioners did on April 25, 1999 was to tell the public "Falun Dafa is great" and to oppose the authorities malicious actions. It was a large-scale, legal appeal based on firm beliefs, and a display of outstanding peacefulness and rationality.
Such non-violent efforts of a large number of common people to expose lies and oppose persecution before the evildoers started a sweeping campaign of attack, were unprecedented in the decades of CCP rule.
Through the last six years of the persecution, we saw that the appeal on April 25, 1999 was the prelude of Falun Gong practitioners' opposition to the persecution. It was the first step in the six-year anti-persecution effort, and a classic case in the history of mankind of living with dignity and firmly upholding the truth.