Personal Experiences from April 25, 1999
(Clearwisdom.net) At dusk on April 24, 1999, my husband and I went to a fellow practitioner's house as usual for Fa study. Other practitioners had already arrived once we got there, and all had sober expressions on their faces. We were then told that dozens of Falun Gong practitioners in Tianjin were unconstitutionally arrested, and the publication of Falun Gong books had also been banned. Several practitioners said they would like to go to the Office of Letters and Appeals to report what had happened so that the state leaders would know the circumstances - that people should not be prevented from practicing such good exercises, and good people should not be wronged this way. I was a bit nervous but I decided to go with everyone, nevertheless.
We arrived near Zhongnanhai (the central government compound) the morning of April 25, the location of the Appeals Office. Many other people joined us as my husband and I walked along the streets. Then police ran over and started to keep order. They pointed to the ground and said to us, "This path is for blind people. You must keep this path clear." All of us moved aside and stood behind the path for blind people. Road traffic ran smoothly as usual, and the police also chatted in a relaxed mood.
Some practitioners got tired standing for so long and sat down. Someone said, "We came here to report the circumstances. We must not give people the wrong impression, as if we were staging a sit-down protest." Following a discussion, we decided that people in the front rows should stand and those at the back could sit, to take a rest. If those in the front got tired, they could come to the back to take a rest. Young people around me offered to stand in the front so that old people and children could sit in the back. People were studying the Fa; some were doing the exercises. I noticed police vehicles slowly driving past; a few people stood in a vehicle, video-taping practitioners.
Around lunchtime then Premier Zhu Rongji came through the gate of the compound. He came over and happened to stand near my husband and me. Mr. Zhu asked people what they wanted. All of us replied that we simply wanted to practice Falun Gong; we would like to have a legal cultivation environment and be able to publish Falun Gong books. Premier Zhu commented, "So, you want to practice Falun Gong? Yes, you can." He also asked who would represent us, so that they could go inside with him and discuss this. A few people in the crowd offered to go. The young girl standing next to me was from our practice site and said to my husband, "You are a graduate from Beijing University. You should go." I said, "He is rather awkward when speaking in public; He is not good enough to do this."
After July 20, 1999, the article from the Guangming Daily openly lied by saying that no state leader came out to meet Falun Gong practitioners. I wonder what the Premier thought when he read this article.
Around dusk we heard that Tianjin officials had released a practitioner. At around 9:00 p.m., representatives who had gone to speak with Premier Zhu emerged. We began dispersing when we heard the issues were resolved. It rained lightly. While my husband and I were walking home, many practitioners we did not know asked us if we were from Beijing or elsewhere and said if we did not have anywhere to go we could stay in their homes. We were touched. We were all strangers and yet, people were so warm and willing to invite those they did not know to stay in their homes.
There was neither a slogan nor a poster throughout the whole process. I heard that the international community spoke highly of the peaceful and rational appeal, as well as the way the issues were handled. Overseas media outlets also reported that Falun Gong practitioners did not leave any litter behind, not even a scrap of paper. When I met Chinese people later on and mentioned this they would not believe me, commenting, "It's impossible that no one threw any rubbish as there were so many of them." For us practitioners it is something quite automatic: Master has taught us to be good people in any circumstances. So, when everyone behaves this ethical way, of course this is what would happen.
The Chinese Communist Party regime media eventually spread rumours, saying that Falun Gong practitioners besieged Zhongnanhai. I would like to ask: would police in any country be so relaxed and chat away in the face of "crowds besieging them?" I wonder if the Premier of any country would dare to walk into "violent crowds" besieging him, and if such crowds would pick up all litter, including the cigarette butts the police had thrown on the ground? History is history after all, and lies cannot survive reason.