Unforgettable April 25, 1999
(Clearwisdom.net) It's been ten years since April 25, 1999. Many events have been forgotten but the 10,000-people-appeal in Beijing and my special experience remains vivid in my mind. I will share my experience in memory of the ten-year anniversary and hope people can learn the facts of the persecution of Falun Gong from my story.
On the afternoon of April 24, 1999, a fellow practitioner told me that the pseudo-scientist He Zuoxiu published an article that slandered Falun Dafa in a journal in Tianjin. Practitioners in Tianjin went to the journal's office to clarify the facts. Three hundred police suddenly appeared, and beat and arrested dozens of practitioners. This and other signs had shown that our practice environment was threatened and we decided to go to Beijing to appeal.
The next day, April 25, we went to Beijing and took the first bus to the State Bureau for Letters and Calls. We came across some practitioners from Beijing exercising together. We joined them. After the exercise, Ms. Z from Tianjin told me that she saw something with her third eye. She saw a bucket full of water. As the water level went down, a jade appeared at the bottom of the bucket. She also saw an iron rod.
I enlightened that the first sign meant the truth would emerge eventually. Ms. Z thought the second sign meant that Falun Gong practitioners had a will as tough as a diamond that could not be bent or broken. Because of the signs, I felt that tough times were ahead and the situation before us would be a test showing me that I could remain a steadfast practitioner through any trouble that I faced.
After the exercises, I saw small groups of practitioners from Beijing and out of town walking toward the Bureau. There were already police waiting alongside the roads and intersections. They stopped us from moving forward. We made our way to the north of the west gate of Zhongnanhai through small alleyways.
As the sun came out, more and more practitioners gathered. We didn't know each other but were peaceful. We formed three rows. In the front row were young practitioners who were standing. Practitioners in the second and third rows were sitting, reading Zhuan Falun, or meditating. We cleared a path for the blind and half of the sidewalk so pedestrians could pass.
During the morning rush hour, buses and cars were moving on the street as usual. Our appeal was clear and simple: "Release the arrested practitioners, return practitioners' practice environment and allow the publication of Falun Dafa books.
Later, because of the police actions, the number of vehicles and pedestrians became less. Many police officers patrolled the street. A huge armored vehicle went back and forth on the street. There was a camera in the vehicle recording the scenes of the appeal. No one shied away, as we felt upright. Later we learned the recordings were for various workplaces to check whether their employees were in the crowd.
All practitioners stayed there all day waiting for the results of the negotiations between Falun Dafa representatives and the then Premier Zhu Rongji. As we were waiting, several scenes I saw touched me deeply.
1. At an intersection of a small lane, a woman and her young child were resting by the side of the lane. A middle-aged man, probably a plainclothes policeman, asked her, "Who told you to come?" She answered, "My heart." I immediately shed tears when I heard her sincere and wise answer.
2. Though there were tens of thousands of practitioners, we were very disciplined. The police officers walked on the street, relaxed. Some of them threw their food packages, water bottles and cigarette ends on the ground. Practitioners nearby would pick up the garbage and throw it in waste cans. The streets and sidewalks were clean because of the practitioners.
3. In the afternoon, officials from the surrounding counties were ordered to come to the scene. A person who claimed he was the head of Yanqing County asked a woman farmer. "What are you doing here leaving your farms unattended?" She replied, "After I practiced Falun Gong I regained my health and my crops grew. I want to tell that to the officials in the central government." She was simple and sincere and impressed me.
At around 9 p.m., we learned that our appeal was granted. We cleaned the streets of garbage and left the scene peacefully and quickly. However, practitioners from out of town left in cars sent by their local authorities. This was a sneaky way to note their participation in the event. The practitioner never thought that in less than three months, a brutal persecution would begin that would not be ended even ten years later. Later my supervisor talked to me about it and I learned that in a government confidential file, the number of practitioners who went to appeal was far more than ten thousand. The number will one day be known as the truth finally emerges.