(Clearwisdom.net) On April 25, 1999, ten thousand Falun Gong practitioners peacefully appealed in Beijing to request the release of forty-five Falun Gong practitioners arrested in Tianjin. They also petitioned for a legal environment in which to do the exercises and for the publication of Falun Gong books to be allowed. The then Prime Minister talked with representatives of Falun Gong practitioners and it appeared as though the issues were resolved. This is the well-known peaceful "April 25 Appeal." The world was struck by the peacefulness, rationality, and self-discipline of Falun Gong. However, on July 20, Jiang Zemin's regime launched a brutal persecution of Falun Gong. The peaceful April 25 appeal was labeled by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) as a "siege of Zhongnanhai" (Zhongnanhai is the central government compound in Beijing) and was used as an excuse for Jiang's brutal persecution of Falun Gong, which has continued for the past nine years.

Commemorating the "April 25 Appeal"

A Falun Gong representative calls for a stop to the persecution

Ms. Cui, who was present at the April 25 Appeal

More than three thousand Falun Gong practitioners have died from the persecution. Since the beginning of the persecution, Falun Gong practitioners around the world have exposed the lies and slander of the CCP, helping people to learn the true story of Falun Gong and campaigning for an end to the persecution. Falun Gong's peaceful resistance over the past nine years has further spread the principles of Falun Gong - Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance - to more than eighty countries throughout the world. The publication of the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party has helped more and more people see the evil nature of the CCP, break away from it and choose a bright future for themselves. The CCP is headed for its doom for its persecution of Buddha Law.

On April 24, 2008, Falun Gong practitioners in the Chicago area gathered in front of the Chinese Consulate in the rain and held an activity to commemorate the peaceful April 25 appeal. They strongly condemned the CCP for continuing the persecution, this time under the excuse of the Olympic Games, and commemorated the victims of the persecution. They further called on society to help safeguard justice and stop the persecution.

Ms. Cui, who participated in the original April 25 appeal nine years ago, told of her experience at the rally. Afterwards, she told a reporter, "After the appeal, many people wondered whether we had 'become political.' I don't think so. Every practitioner had benefitted from Dafa. We were only expressing ourselves."

At the rally, practitioners held huge banners worded, "Protest against the CCP's Crimes of Genocide against Falun Gong Practitioners under Cover of Olympic Games" and, "The World Needs Truth, Compassion, Tolerance." A practitioner gave a speech calling for an immediate stop to the persecution and the immediate release of imprisoned Falun Gong practitioners. He stated that the Olympic Games and crimes against humanity cannot coexist.