April 25, Toronto -- At around 6 p.m. this evening, about 150 Falun Gong practitioners gathered in front of the Toronto Chinese Consulate and held a candlelight vigil in the rain to honor the 10,000-people appeal in Beijing three years ago today and to commemorate all those who have lost their lives or have been imprisoned in the Jiang regime's persecution of Falun Gong practitioners.
It was on this day that a historic event, unprecedented in Chinese history, unfolded in the center of Beijing, China -- over 10,000 citizens from different areas gathered in front of the State Council Appeals Office near the central government leadership compound Zhongnanhai to peacefully appeal for the right to practice their belief in Falun Gong.
Toronto practitioner Zhang, a former Beijing senior environmental engineer, witnessed the April 25, 1999 event with her husband Lizhi He. Lizhi, a former senior structure engineer in Beijing, is now serving a three and half year prison term in Tianjin Chadianzhan Qianjin Prison near Tianjin City. He was arrested for sending letters to colleagues with articles about Falun Gong.
Several reporters were present at the event. Zhang shared her experience on April 25, 1999 with the media.
"We went to the Beijing appeals office near Zhongnanhai, appealing to the government to stop the unfair treatment of Falun Gong. To this day we continue to peacefully appeal and hope the government will realize its mistake and stop the persecution," said Zhang.
When the practitioners started sending forth righteous thoughts, it began raining and continued for over two hours. Some practitioners were soaked. All the practitioners sat quietly in the rain and sent forth righteous thoughts every half hour. Several cars passed by, honking and showing support. Near the end of the vigil, the rain stopped, the skies cleared up and a full moon appeared in the sky.
Our 24-hour around-the-clock appeal in front of the Chinese Consulate has lasted for over 8 months. More and more people in the neighborhood know about Falun Gong and the brutal persecution in China.