Denmark: April 25, a Date Impossible to Forget
(Clearwisdom.net) On April 25 nine years ago, an event occurred in Beijing that amazed the world. Over ten thousand Falun Gong practitioners, according to the rights bestowed by the Chinese Constitution charter, came to the State Council Appeals Office located near Zhongnanhai, the central government compound. At that time nineteen-year-old Ms. Chen experienced the entire process. Although nearly nine years have passed, it still remains fresh in her memory.
Ms. Chen's parents both practice Falun Gong, and she herself started to read "Zhuan Falun" in 1996, when she was still in middle school. She thought that it was very good that Falun Gong follows Truth-Compassion-Tolerance. Moreover, when she saw how kind the Falun Gong practitioners at the local practice site were, and how they would always consider others first under all circumstances, she also began to practice Falun Gong. After twelve years, Ms. Chen has now finished her undergraduate and graduate studies, and stayed on to work in Denmark.
At the ninth anniversary of the April 25 Appeal, Ms. Chen recalled the experience of appealing to the government on April 25, 1999.
(The content of the article below is based on a recording of the interview)
1. "With just one thought, I went to Zhongnanhai"
On the evening of the day before the April 25, 1999, we heard of the news that many Falun Gong practitioners had been beaten up and arrested in Tianjin. We thought that there must be a misunderstanding on the part of the government since those people followed Truth-Compassion-Tolerance and were good people. Everyone was worried and wanted to help secure the release those innocent practitioners who had been arrested unfairly. Furthermore, the Tianjin City authorities said that orders from higher level officials were needed to release the practitioners. In this situation, appealing to State Council Appeals Office was the only way to resolve this issue.
On the second day at dawn, as usual, I went to the flower garden near my home to practice the exercises. After finishing the sitting meditation, seven or eight fellow practitioners who decided to go to the appeals office left one after another. Everyone wanted to go to resolve the situation as soon as possible.
I did not go home after the exercise. We went to the appeals office by bicycle. Among the group were my father, a doctor, and a white collar worker in a company, and another student like me. At that time I felt concerned, as if my own relatives had been arrested and beaten up. We wholeheartedly hoped that the fellow practitioners would be released and that no such a thing would happen again. With just this one thought, I went to Beijing. Whether someone went or not was all voluntary, no one organized us, and no one forced us to go. It was completely different from the rumours that the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) spread.
We didn't know the exact location of the appeals office. We just knew that it was near Zhongnanhai. When we got to Zhongnanhai a policeman came over and asked us if we were Falun Gong practitioners. At that time I still thought that police wouldn't just drive us away. He led us to outside the wall of the Zhongnanhai compound.
There were already many practitioners assembled there, and we stood by their side, all the way until the afternoon. We received news that the situation had been resolved, and that the practitioners who had been arrested were released. Everybody was very pleased. Although I had stood for a whole day and had nothing to eat, I did not feel hungry and did not feel tired.
2. The people who appealed to the government were considerate
For the whole day everyone was quietly waiting, there were no posters and no slogans and no noise. When we started, everyone stood in rows on the sidewalks. Afterwards, to not block pedestrians, everyone stood closely together, leaving a small road open for pedestrians to pass by. Nobody ate much, since we were afraid of disturbing others when going to restroom. Several old ladies stood next to me all the time without rest. Only until the afternoon did they sit down a little while at the back. When they took a rest, they took some turnips out of their bags and divided them among themselves. Later I learned that they lived very far away from Beijing, and that they were poor. But as soon as they knew about what was happening in Tianjin, they hurried there. They had walked for almost an entire night and did not even sleep much, but they did not complain at all. I was very moved, and felt that only Dafa practitioners could do things in this way with such a pure mind.
I was standing amongst all these practitioners and suddenly felt deep amazement. For many times the sky became very bright, and many practitioners saw many Falun. Some police stared at the sky and the trees, and had perplexed expressions on their faces.
In the evening when everybody left, it was all done very quietly. On the way, practitioners picked up all waste papers and cigarette butts left by the police. Everybody did this so naturally, and felt that that's the way it was supposed to be.
Many people in my neighborhood also knew about Falun Gong, but did not have a very deep understanding of the practice. The April 25 appeal led many people to ponder, and many of my fellow students started to read Zhuan Falun.
3. A friend who persisted in his belief was persecuted to mental disorder
The peace and rationality of Falun Gong practitioners gained high praise from the international community. After April 25, some good friends of my parents thought that the CCP would retaliate later. At that time I thought that wouldn't happen since the incident was already resolved. On July 20, the CCP regime and the Jiang and Luo faction started the brutal persecution of Falun Gong. The peaceful appeal of April 25 were distorted as "an attack on Zhongnanhai", and became the main excuse for the suppression.
A friend of mine called Lin Chentao (a fellow practitioner) was a research scientist at Xiehe Medical Sciences University. I often asked him for advice about computers. Because of his persistence in his belief, the CCP imposed cruel torture and brainwashing upon him. He was tortured until he suffered a mental collapse.
The CCP made up a lot of rumours about Falun Gong, saying that Falun Gong practitioners pay no attention to their studies or that they don't look after their family members. However Master Li teaches us to be good people whether we are at work, school or at home. On the contrary, it is the CCP's persecution of Falun Gong that has broken up Falun Gong practitioners' families, and persecuted them by having them fired from their jobs.
In that year, when Falun Gong appealed on April 25, it was to clarify the truth about Falun Gong to the leaders and the public, to request the release of the fellow practitioners who had been arrested, and to strive for an open cultivation environment. Today Falun Gong practitioners hand out truth-clarification literature and hold peaceful marches and rallies. All these efforts are to clarify the truth to the world's people and stop this inhuman and cruel persecution in China. As I clarify the truth about the persecution of Falun Gong to my fellow Chinese students in Denmark and to my friends, quite a few of them have come to know the facts.