Bearing Witness to History: April 25, 1999
(Clearwisdom.net) Editor's Note: To commemorate the ninth anniversary of the April 25 Appeal, Clearwisdom presents this as one of a series of republished articles from years past. The April 25th Appeal was notable not only for its size, but also because it was remarkably peaceful and orderly. Some 10,000 practitioners gathered in central Beijing that day, peacefully protesting for their civil rights. The CCP propaganda machine, however, in its quest to crush Falun Gong at the bidding of then Party Chairman Jiang Zemin, twisted the facts to serve its own motives. To this day, CCP propaganda accuses Falun Gong of "laying seige to the Zhongnanhai Central Government Compound" on April 25, 1999, falsely alleging that the 10,000 gathered posed a violent threat to the nation and its leaders. Nothing could be further from the truth, of course, as this series of articles documents from various angles.
Tens of thousands of Falun Dafa practitioners went to peacefully appeal to the State Council Appeals Office in Beijing. With this peaceful act, Falun Dafa disciples confirmed their steadfastness in "Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance," and demonstrated their trust in the Chinese government.
The rogue political regime controlled by Jiang Zemin and Luo Gan turned this peaceful appeal into something that it wasn't, claiming falsely that practitioners had "besieged" the central government's Zhongnanhai compound. And why? They wanted to twist the peaceful appeal to their own ends, using it as "justification" for the brutal persecution of Falun Dafa.
The Police Herded Falun Dafa Practitioners toward the State Council Appeals Office
On April 25, 1999, around 7 a.m., fellow Dafa practitioners and I took a bus to Fuyou Street. We noticed many policemen guarded the access to Fuyou Street, as well as nearby streets. The policemen then proceeded to block Fuyou Street to prevent Falun Dafa practitioners from going south on Fuyou Street. Consequently, Falun Dafa practitioners patiently waited on the sidewalk for the blockade to be over. Beyond that, the traffic was not impeded.
At around 8 a.m., the policemen steered Falun Dafa practitioners toward the south end of Fuyou Street. As I stood very near the blockade, I walked in the front of the crowd. Once we arrived in the middle of Fuyou Street, we halted and merged with another group of Falun Dafa practitioners who the police had directed from the south end of Fuyou Street. We waited again for our turn to appeal at the State Councils Appeal Office on both sidewalks of Fuyou Street. Other than that, the traffic on Fuyou Street was not impeded. The Number 14 bus drove along Fuyou Street as usual. The passersby walked on the sidewalks of Fuyou Street as usual [because we intentionally occupied only a small area of the sidewalk.]
After a while, the police directed Falun Dafa practitioners from the east to the west side of the sidewalk. Shortly afterwards the police re-directed all the Falun Dafa practitioners to move to the east side. In less than half an hour, the police asked everyone to move back to the west side, and we remained there until the appeal was over.
Soon after we arrived on the west side, the police blockaded the east side with different kinds of police cars. Later the police formed a line-up on the west side. They stood only a few steps from each other, facing the Falun Dafa practitioners on the east sidewalk. Consequently, the Number 14 bus had to make a detour. Except for that, people still walked or rode bicycles on Fuyou Street. All normal daily activities continued.
Now, come to think of it, it was the police that controlled the situation. They synchronized the timing, route, and the waiting area for the Falun Dafa practitioners who came to appeal at the State Council Appeals Office on April 25, 1999. Yet, the rogue political regime controlled by Jiang Zemin and Luo Gan informed the public that this peaceful appeal was a siege of Zhongnanhai." He proceeded to use this as his excuse to persecute Falun Dafa.
This cunning lie is hereby declared to be evidence that the Jiang and Luo-controlled government organized plotted and prearranged this evil plot to persecute Falun Gong.
I clearly remember that the police who arrested Falun Dafa practitioners in Tianjin told them, "If you cannot get this issue resolved in Tianjin, you can always go to the State Council Appeals Office in Beijing to resolve it." Isn't it logical that the Jiang and Luo-controlled government arrested Falun Dafa practitioners in Tianjin to set a trap? They lured Falun Dafa practitioners to Beijing to have the excuse for the unprecedented evil persecution against Falun Dafa and Falun Dafa practitioners.
Dafa Practitioners Were Patient, Peaceful, and Orderly during the Appeal
Falun Dafa practitioners taking part in the April 25 appeal were a diverse group, coming from different backgrounds. There were elderly people, seventy years or older, expectant mothers, teenage students, government employees, military officers, policemen, medical doctors, hi-tech professionals, laborers, farmers, retired government employees, etc.
Some of them were Beijing residents, while others came from outside Beijing. They were of different ages, professions, and academic backgrounds. The majority had not met before, yet, they shared a common bond: They cultivated in Falun Dafa and came to visit the State Council Appeals Office. Their hearts were pure and kind. They only wanted to explain to the Chinese Central Government the truth about Falun Dafa. They wanted to tell their personal experiences and how they benefited from cultivating Falun Dafa. It was a display of the trust and hope they had in their government.
Every Falun Dafa practitioner waited quietly on the sidewalk for his turn to appeal for Falun Dafa. There were no slogans or display of banners throughout the entire event. There was no offensive behavior. As there was limited space on the sidewalk, the Falun Dafa practitioners stood close to each other. They wanted to leave enough space for the passersby to walk unimpeded on the sidewalk. Falun Dafa practitioners suffered the over-crowded conditions, and waited all day long on the sidewalk. Although there is a lawn next to the sidewalk, no one stepped on it or sat down on it.
Despite this terrible turn-around in the Chinese government's attitude toward Falun Dafa, Falun Dafa practitioners remained calm and collected. They showed in their behavior the magnificence of Falun Dafa. For example, Dafa practitioners brought trash bags to assure that the streets were kept clean during the entire time of the appeal. They voluntarily kept the street clean. All day long they cleaned up after the policemen who threw cigarettes and trash on the street. While, on the other hand, Falun Dafa practitioners did not litter, and everyone cleaned up after him/herself during the entire time of the appeal.
Even though no one knew the other, all acted as one body. Young male Falun Dafa practitioners' took turns standing on the perimeter of the crowd, so women, children, and elderly folks would be protected. In fact, many of these practitioners remained on the perimeter for the entire day.
During the entire time, all Falun Dafa practitioners displayed patience, peaceful demeanors, and orderly behavior. Although this many Falun Dafa practitioners were present, one heard no unpleasant noise, no chitchat or loud talking. Many Falun Dafa practitioners took the opportunity to study the Fa or recite Falun Dafa books quietly. To reduce unnecessary traffic in and out of the crowd, Falun Dafa practitioners [to avoid any misunderstanding by the police due to any sudden move] stood calmly in one place, without food intake, throughout the day. Many Falun Dafa practitioners used this opportunity to clarify the truth about Falun Dafa to the policemen. Some practitioners even shared their water with the policemen, who were moved by this action and thanked them repeatedly.
At around 4 to 5 p.m. the police distributed flyers asking everyone to leave. Everyone remained firmly in place and kept a pure heart. "One righteous mind can subdue one hundred evils." (From "Practicing Evil Cultivation" in Lecture Five of Zhuan Falun.) Our innocent and kind demeanor slowly softened the policemen's stern attitude. In fact, many policemen started to chat with Falun Dafa practitioners. At first policeman stood only a few steps apart. As the day progressed, the policeman stood only every 20 some meters. The atmosphere on Fuyou Street had increasingly harmonized. At around 9 p.m., the representatives of Falun Dafa practitioners returned from the State Council Appeals Office, and every practitioner left promptly and orderly. After this appeal, all those innocent Falun Dafa practitioners, who were wrongly arrested in Tianjin, were released. The Tianjin incident was thus resolved peacefully.
Jiang Zemin's Sinister Plot
On April 25, 1999, police TV trucks, staff from elite agencies, and military police drove by Fuyou Street frequently. They photographed and videotaped Falun Dafa practitioners throughout the day. Also many policemen in civilian clothes mingled with the Falun Dafa practitioners. Falun Dafa practitioners appealed at the State Council Appeals Office in this tightly controlled atmosphere in a righteous and honorable manner.
I later became aware of a sinister plot. A neighbor of ours who is a physician at a hospital in Beijing told us that the military police advised her hospital on April 25 to prepare for an unrevealed emergency. They were told to vacate all hospital wards and prepare a large medical supply for external injuries suffered during an emergency mission. She said that some of her classmates from college who worked in hospitals around Beijing received similar orders. Until the late afternoon of April 25, the Commando car teams of the military police kept Fuyou Street under continued surveillance. Apparently Jiang's rogue regime had planned to suppress our peaceful appeal with guns and violence. Yet, Falun Dafa and Falun Dafa practitioners' turned the tide due to their righteous and compassionate behavior and peacefully changed a potential bloody and violent encounter.