(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.

(Clearwisdom correspondent He Yu reports) More than 10,000 Falun Gong practitioners went to the Appeals Office of the State Council in Beijing to peacefully appeal on April 25, 1999.

They made three requests: Release 45 Falun Gong practitioners illegally arrested in Tianjin City, give Falun Gong practitioners an environment where they will not be harassed as stipulated by law, and lift the ban on the publication of Falun Gong books.

Premier Zhu Rongji, the official head of the State Council, arrived and personally met with practitioners. The situation was handled and a resolution was reached. The practitioners left later in the evening and the entire appeal was peaceful and orderly.

This was the April 25 Appeal, praised as the "largest, most rational, peaceful and satisfactory appeal in Chinese history." The world highly applauded Falun Gong practitioners for their peaceful, rational conduct and their determination in safeguarding a righteous belief and justice.

However, the Chinese Communist regime's Jiang Zemin and Luo Gan group launched a genocide-style persecution targeting Falun Gong practitioners on July 20, 1999. The Communist Party slanderously called the April 25 Appeal "besieging Zhongnanhai with political motives," and used it as the chief excuse to carry out the persecution.

Nine years later, let us join foreign scholars and commentators to reflect and discuss the facts surrounding the April 25 Appeal and its impact on Chinese society.

The April 25 Appeal is Absolutely Not the Reason to Cause the Communist Party to Persecute Falun Gong

To some people's surprise, the April 25 Appeal was not what sparked the Party to delve into such a full-fledged persecution. Mr. Zhu, a postdoctoral fellow from Concordia University in Canada says the Party's persecution of Falun Gong was premeditated and systematically orchestrated since the 1996 media attack on the Guangming Daily.

The persecution continuously escalated between 1996 and 1999, and progressed from an official ban on Falun Gong publications to Jiang Zemin and Luo Gan's clique withholding positive remarks on Falun Gong made by Qiao Shi, Chairman of the National People's Congress and by Premier Zhu Rongji. The Ministry of Public Security made an internal decision, to label Falun Gong in July 1998 as a "[slanderous word omitted]" and dispatched secret agents to collect "criminal evidence," which proved to be a fruitless effort. Later on, police officers dispersed Falun Gong practitioners doing their exercises in public, ransacked practitioners' homes and confiscated private possessions. Finally, the police beating and illegally arresting of Falun Gong practitioners in Tianjin City led to the peaceful appeal on April 25, 1999.

Due to the urgency of the Tianjin Incident, Falun Gong practitioners, according to the right of appeals stipulated in the constitution, went to the Appeals Office of the State Council on Fuyou Street, at the west wing of the Zhongnanhai Compound, to resolve the issue that could not be resolved in Tianjin City. More than 10,000 appellants did not parade or protest, did not shout slogans or hold banners, and did not obstruct traffic or adversely affect civil life. After they quietly dispersed of their own accord, they left not a piece of paper behind and had even picked up cigarette butts left by the police. One police officer said, "Now that's virtue!" Such a civilized and rational appeal is perhaps without comparison in the world. How is it a "siege" in any way?

The appeal was not only reasonable, but also conformed completely to law. The April 25 Appeal is absolutely not the reason to cause the Communist Party to persecute Falun Gong, it is rather an excuse that the Party used to start to publicly persecute Falun Gong.

Why does the Party persecute a group of harmless civilians who cultivate themselves according to Truth-Compassion-Tolerance?

Society would be a safer place if more people follow Truth-Compassion-Tolerance. In turn, more good people would naturally suppress crimes such as corruption, robbery, prostitution, and drug trafficking. In short, Truth-Compassion- Tolerance would bring numerous benefits but not an ounce of harm. The pursuit of these principles would be a godsend for any ruler of any free country.

The Chinese Communist Party's rule, however, is based on mind control and violence. As Falun Gong disseminates rapidly in China, more and more people are able to tell good from evil and choose to adhere to Truth-Compassion-Tolerance as a standard of conduct. As a result, the Party's mind control starts to lose power-- the inevitable that the Party dreads the most. Therefore, regardless of the April 25 Appeal having taken place, the Party would resort to genocidal methods to persecute those over 100 million Falun Gong practitioners as it is deemed by the Party's evil nature.

April 25 Appeal and "Getting Involved in Politics"

Some people claim Falun Gong was "getting involved in politics" by appealing to the central government, so the Party would of course persecute them.

Mr. Ye, a scholar residing in the U.S. pointed out the word "politics" is a neutral term in Western society, and people use it to describe public affairs of interest. Anything outside of the religious and commercial spectrum can be regarded as political activity.

Ancient China had a saying, "Every common man has a share of responsibility for the fate of his country." In a general sense, political participation is not the privilege of an elite few but every citizen's endowed right. The Party twisted the word "politics" to mean "life-and-

death struggle for political power."

In the Chinese fable "The Wolf and the Sheep" the wolf would always find an excuse before eating the sheep. Similarly, the Party always fabricated and forced multiple labels on its opponents during all of its political movements. Who would follow the Party in persecuting Falun Gong if the Party did not make up some fabricated charges against Falun Gong? During the April 25 Appeal, Falun Gong practitioners asked for their basic rights to health and to goodness, which has nothing to do with "struggle for power," as the Party had insinuated. Nevertheless, the Party proceeded to accuse Falun Gong of "getting involved in politics" out of the Party's own despicable political motives.

Social commentator Mr. Ouyang Fei says, "The Party is fickle and unpredictable." When one refuses to follow the Party to persecute innocent people, the Party accuses one of "politically indifference." When one exposes the Party's lies, the Party persecutes; when one clarifies the facts to dispel slanders spread by the Party, the Party persecutes; when one seeks justice, the Party claims one is "opposing the government." The Party would accuse anyone of "political involvement" whenever one is out of line with the Party's rule.

Resulting from the Party's totalitarian rule, the Chinese people have learned to adopt a strange philosophy: "I must thank the Party if it does not persecute me; if it does persecute me, I must patiently wait for the restoration of my reputation." At any time, the Chinese people tremble to beg for life, living under "Party politics." Since "Party politics" are always associated with deception, violence and killing, naturally invoking hatred and fear, "politics" has morphed into a filthy concept in the collective Chinese mind.

The Party has successfully created an evil political cycle. Many Chinese loathe politics, avoiding political affairs and acting with indifference. They not only lost their instinct to resist persecution, but have even developed a misplaced sense of justice. Whenever a group is accused of "political involvement," people immediately ignore how brutally the Party persecutes the innocent; instead of sympathizing with the downtrodden and condemning the culprits, they blame the victims and condemn their anti-persecution efforts, acting as if "political involvement" is more unforgivable than the Party's massacres. Some people even join the persecutors to protect themselves.

Falun Gong practitioners refused to bow to the evil during the past eight years of slander and cruel persecution. They persisted in their righteous belief of Truth-Compassion- Tolerance, by peacefully clarifying the truth to the world. If we must call it "political involvement," then more of this political activism would bring greater benefit to the people. Why should we therefore not openly "get involved in politics" in order to expose and end the persecution, disintegrate the evil and completely free ourselves from the persecution of the "Party politics"?

April 25 Appeal and Tolerance

Some may ask, "Doesn't Falun Gong talk about Tolerance? Why would they appeal instead of tolerating the suppression?" Others may say, "You knew how evil the Party was, and yet you insisted in appealing. You were going against something so much bigger than yourselves. Weren't you asking for persecution?"

Mr. Qu, a scholar living in the U.S. said, "Looked at from the perspective of a cultivator, Truth-Compassion-Tolerance is the true nature of a being; giving up one's true nature is not 'tolerance' but 'corruption.' Once a cup of clear, clean water gives up its characteristic of purity, it would be mixed with muddy filth and would no longer be itself--clean water."

The defamation of Truth-Compassion-Tolerance is a blatant attack on universally acknowledged moral standards, which means the Party is telling people that they are not allowed to be good people.

If the evil persecution of the belief in Truth-Compassion-Tolerance had succeeded, mankind would live in deception, violence and conflict, heading toward a total destruction. "Tolerance" is not ignoring crimes that are poisoning and destroying mankind, much less is it compromising with and condoning evil. "Tolerance" is expressed through cultivators who selflessly, compassionately and persistently safeguard the truth of the universe. Using "Tolerance" as an excuse to shun moral responsibility and allow the evil to run rampant is not the tolerance of great compassion of a cultivator of Falun Gong.

Mr. Ye pointed out that the essential way to solve conflicts between social groups is to clarify the facts and communicate rationally. Not a single cultivator started the practice to look for persecution. When confronted with grave injustices, slander and persecution, the practitioners did not return "an eye for an eye." They appealed through a legal channel with sincere intentions and they acted with a high degree of self-discipline and endurance.

Mr. Ye said, "If we ask people in a normal, relaxed environment, 'do we want a world where people treat each other with sincerity, compassion and tolerance? What do you think about the principles of Truth-Compassion- Tolerance? Should we put them into practice? Most people would probably provide positive answers. But when Truth-Compassion- Tolerance are slandered and suppressed, when one faces the possibility of losing everything, should we still persist and safeguard these principles? Different people would then probably give different answers.

"Some people regard courageous and selfless acts as 'stupid,' and sacrificing principles in exchange for practical interest as 'clever.' I cannot comment on these people's choices, especially since the Party has systematically destroyed orthodox traditional values with lies and violence. But I think there should be a bottom line. If one cannot selflessly sacrifice oneself for the sake of others, one should at least not oppose such magnanimous acts in their heart when witnessing it.

"Of course, there are people who side with the powerful and pick 'faults' with the powerless to resist the trial of conscience. I hope these people would at least consider one question: who deserves condemnation? The appellants or the persecutors? If a regime decides to take away the right to be good and forces people to choose between being good and mere livelihood, isn't such regime an evil regime? Should we help the evil to persecute the innocents, or stay on the side of people who resist the evil and uphold justice?"

"There are certain standards for people living in this world, heavenly principles judge everything. Do those who have abandoned even the most fundamental morals still deserve to exist here on earth? Falun Gong practitioners appealed for the right to be good, and also to create a good environment for everyone else. They relentlessly clarified the truth - not to win sympathy but out of compassion for all people, in hopes of awakening their conscience and help people get out of a dangerous place."

(To be continued)

Posting date: 4/25/2007
Original article date: 4/25/2007
Category: Open Forum