(Clearwisdom.net) On the evening of April 25, 2008, practitioners held a candlelight vigil in front of Chinese Consulate in San Francisco to commemorate the peaceful appeal of April 25, 1999 in Beijing, as well as the thousands of practitioners who have since been tortured to death by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). They also reviewed the nine-year journey of peaceful protest full of hardship, and demanded that the CCP stop the persecution of Falun Gong.

Candlelight vigil in front of Chinese Consulate

Ms. Chen Jiaqi, one of 10,000 participants in the April 25, 1999 appeal in Beijing

Ms. Chen Jiaqi who participated in April 25 peaceful appeal in 1999 said that the appeal was a demonstration of the true demeanor of Falun Gong practitioners. Since practitioners practice 'Truth-Compassion-Tolerance' and trusted the government, they went to explain the facts and elaborate the grace of Falun Gong. Party mandarins intent on crushing Falun Gong twisted the facts of the event in relentless propaganda, falsely claiming that Falun Gong had laid "seige of the Zhongnanhai Central Government Compound."

Ms. Chen said, "I wish that all staff working in the Chinese Consulate to see that Falun Dafa practitioners outside China are the same as those in China. They all practice 'Truth-Compassion-Tolerance'. It has been nine years since the start of the persecution. I demand that the CCP stops the persecution. It cannot continue."

Allen Zeng, a practitioner in San Francisco Bay Area, said, "April 25 appeal is very meaningful. It was the first time for such a large group of Chinese people to express a request peacefully. But the price for such a precedent is huge. The CCP initiated the persecution in the same year. In the past nine years, many practitioners were tortured to death. We hope that people in Chinese Consulate can see that Falun Gong practitioners will never compromise in following the truth. We wish the Chinese Consulate does not further assist the evil CCP in the persecution."

Falun Gong spokesperson Sherry Zhang said she read books in school and practiced quietly. Since the arrest of Falun Gong practitioners in Tianjin before April 25, 1999, all has changed. News of the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners is all over the Internet. She felt she should speak out.

Ms. Zhang said, "Today, we come to the Chinese Consulate to commemorate the peaceful appeal of more than ten thousand Falun Gong practitioners in Beijing. ... We demand that CCP stops the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners."

Nine years ago, on April 25, 1999, more than ten thousand Falun Gong practitioners had a peaceful appeal in Beijing and requested the government to release forty-five practitioners who were arrested in Tianjin, safeguard legal practice environment, and permit publication of Falun Gong books. The then Prime Minister met with representatives of Falun Gong practitioners and the issue was solved on the same day. However, a few months later, on July 20, CCP's Jiang and Luo faction suddenly initiated the persecution of Falun Gong and mobilized all propaganda tools to slander Falun Gong, making China and the whole world be full of lies. Since then, Falun Gong practitioners suffer the unprecedented brutal persecution in human history, which continues today in China.