A Dafa Practitioner from Wuhan Remembers July 20, 1999
(Clearwisdom.net) It has been seven years, yet what happened in July 1999 is still fresh in my mind. Local police from Wuhan illegally detained some Falun Gong practitioners around noon on July 20, 1999. At about 7:00 p.m., when I browsed the web at an Internet café, I found that all sites related to Falun Gong were blocked. Through the personal website of a fellow practitioner at Stanford University in the United States, I was able to connect to other websites. I was shocked to learn that in the early morning of July 20, 1999, all of the assistants at the assistance centers across China were arrested. Under such circumstances, on the afternoon of July 21, 1999, many practitioners went to the provincial government in small groups to clarify the truth.
When we arrived in front of the provincial government in groups of two and three, we lined up in orderly fashion along the edge of the sidewalk without anyones urging, so that pedestrians could pass through. Every place where practitioners stood was clean and tidy; no cigarette butts or pieces of paper were left. Everyone followed "Truth, Compassion, and Forbearance," as the Teacher taught, in everything they did.
At about 4:00 p.m., a large number of fully armed paramilitary police and anti-riot troops arrived. They wore helmets and held shields and batons. The street was blocked off at both ends of the block, and no vehicles could drive through. There were few pedestrians on the street. Only a van with a loudspeaker kept circling the block, ordering the practitioners to leave. Despite all this intimidation, all of the practitioners stayed, demonstrating Dafa practitioners honor and virtue as a whole body, as well as the greatness of "Truth, Compassion, and Forbearance."
Wuhan has a reputation for its hot summers. In spite of standing in the sun for several hours on a hot July afternoon, and faced with fully armed paramilitary police and soldiers, no practitioners backed down. Dozens of buses, which were obviously sent by the government, arrived at about 5:00 p.m. At this time, some practitioners were concerned about the elderly practitioners in their 60s and 70s who had not eaten or drunk any water for at least five hours. They bought several boxes of mineral water for the elderly practitioners, but nobody took any. Instead, they gave the water to the drivers of the buses, the paramilitary police, and the soldiers. Some soldiers were so touched that they had tears in their eyes. Some thanked us sincerely. In such a difficult condition, it was Dafa practitioners who cared most about them. The soldiers said, "You Falun Gong [people] are truly good!"
Dafa practitioners great compassion, tolerance, and selflessness moved everyone at the scene. Some soldiers did not want to harm these kind and unarmed civilians. Some paramilitary police left their posts and went into the building across the street. They looked at the practitioners with admiration through the windows. From the bottom of their hearts, they were touched by the beauty of Falun Gong. Even pedestrians walking by said, "Falun Gong is truly good!"
The van with the loudspeakers went around several times, but nobody left. Then many young troops were dispatched, forming a wall in front of the practitioners, hoping to separate the practitioners into small groups so they could arrest them. The practitioners saw through this plan and held hands to form one body. A practitioner suggested that we recite the Teachers articles and poems, such as Lunyu, "Mighty Virtue," "Nonexistence," and "Assisting Fa" (from Hong Yin). These young soldiers told us that they had just returned from the levee where they fought the flood. They had not slept for several days, but had to deal with us without any time to rest. We knew they had been deceived by the authorities, so we clarified the truth to them.
At this point, the Dafa practitioners line was gradually dispersed, and the practitioners were put in the buses parked by the side of the road. As soon as a bus was full, it was driven away. We were also shoved on the bus. Two policemen came and rode along. On the bus, we offered to buy tickets, but the police did not allow the driver to take our money. We collected the fare ourselves and put it besides the driver, while also clarifying the truth to the driver and the police. The bus arrived at a school. By then, it was already dark. Several buses were parked at different corners of the schoolyard. All of the headlights of the buses were turned on, facing the playground. A person said through a loudspeaker that everyone must register. We said that we did not do anything wrong, and should not have to register. We refused to register. Instead, we clarified the truth and asked them not to persecute Falun Gong. We did not create any chaos, and only asked for the detained Falun Gong practitioners to be released. They promised to forward our comments to their superiors. When we were leaving, the police kept waving at us to say goodbye. Some practitioners also showed the police the truth-clarification materials they brought. On the bus ride home, we again put our bus fare beside the driver.
That was my experience on July 20 and 21, 1999.