An Unusually Peaceful Appeal
(Clearwisdom.net) Ten years has gone by since the Falun Gong practitioners' peaceful appeal on April 25 in 1999. I will never forget that day. It's so vivid in my memory, like it happened yesterday.
On April 24, 1999, I received a phone call from a fellow practitioner. He told me that practitioners in Tianjin were arrested, and some practitioners from Tianjin wanted to appeal at the State Council Appeals Office the next day. They needed support from other practitioners. He asked me whether I could go. I was on break on April 25, so I said, "Yes. I will go."
At around 6:40 a.m. on April 25, I took the subway and arrived at the South End of Fuyou Street in Beijing. Hundreds practitioners were gathering there already. The police had blocked the road, forbidding us to get on the street. We were hanging around, not knowing what to do. Suddenly I heard the Falun Gong exercise music, and saw dozens of people doing the Falun Gong exercises. It could be that some practitioners had come directly from a practice site, so they had a tape recorder with them.
I joined them and started to do the exercises. Later, a practitioner who I knew told me that I could get to Fuyou Street from the side streets. All the side streets to Fuyou Streets were full of Falun Gong practitioners. Although the streets were narrow and crowded, no one said anything. All you heard were our quick footsteps.
After arriving at Fuyou Street, practitioners were lining up along the sidewalk on the west side of the street. Police were lining up at the edge of the street from south to north. People were standing, sitting, meditating or studying the Fa quietly. It was rush hour. Motor vehicles and bicycles were traveling along the street, and everyone was surprised to see the peaceful and quiet crowd. There were no slogans, no signs, no shouting, no anger. They could not understand what these people were doing there.
I found other practitioners that I knew. They made space for me to sit down. Because there were so many people, and not enough space, we took turns sitting down to rest. I had a copy of Zhuan Falun with me and read while we waited.
At noon, a practitioner brought stuffed buns from a nearby restaurant to share with others. He said there were many people buying food at the restaurant, but every one just quietly lined up, all being very considerate. When the food was sold out, everyone quietly waited for next batch. The restaurant owner was very happy, and said he had never seen so many people and such nice people coming to appeal. He said that Falun Gong is really good!
I was neither hungry nor thirsty the whole day. I felt very relaxed, happy and had no desire for food, and did not even need to go to the restroom. The weather forecast said there would be light rain. But the sun came out. The temperature was just right.
Some practitioners were clarifying the truth of Falun Gong to the nearby police. Police expressed their understanding. There were no arguments, and no conflicts. Some practitioners collected the garbage along the road, and put it in the trash receptacles.
The police vehicles passed by slowly. We could see video recorders inside the vehicles. Every practitioner stood up straight to let it record. Every one conducted themselves in a dignified and upright manner and had no fear!
Later Jiang Zemin claimed that Falun Gong practitioners besieged Zhongnanhai on April 25, 1999. [Zhongnanhai is the central government compound, which is adjacent to the State Council Appeals Office]. I was shocked after hearing this. What a lie!
Falun Gong practitioners' peaceful appeal on April 25 is an unprecedented occasion in Chinese history. It is the only such occurrence in China's long history, which spans back through five thousand years. It was truly a historic, magnificent feat.