Witnessing the Spread of Falun Dafa in Changchun and the Early Days of the Persecution
(Clearwisdom.net) I learned Falun Gong in 1998 when I was only 15, studying at a junior high school. I always went to group Fa study with my mother.
At that time a lot of people went to group Fa study. Every day there would be 20 to 30 people in each group. Sometimes the number would exceed 100. It was a common practice that we studied the Fa for 2 hours, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. every day. We read through Zhuan Falun and then shared our experiences, rain or shine. In the morning we went to the practice site to do the five exercises together. The assistant would bring a tape recorder in the morning and those who went there earlier would clean up the site. Then we did the exercises and the veteran practitioners would correct the movements of the newcomers. At that time, all kinds of people came to the practice site, men and women, old and young. In our group there were four primary school pupils.
On New Year's Day in 1999, the Changchun Falun Dafa General Assistance Center organized the morning exercises at the Geology Palace Square (now the Cultural Square) and over ten thousand people participated. At that time of the year it was extremely cold in northeast China. The practitioners were all lined up and the square was full. Even along both sides of Jiefang Road to the southern side of the square was filled with people.
I still remember one Changchun TV station that covered the event marking how widely Falun Dafa had spread in Changchun. Some practitioners talked to the reporter about the upgrading of their xinxing as a result of practicing Falun Gong. The reporter was clearly impressed by the serene, peaceful and kind expressions of the practitioners. The interviewees included a soldier, a professor, a PhD student, and many other practitioners who were beneficiaries of Falun Dafa.
Even now, I still cherish the memory of our group Fa study and the spreading of the Fa at that time. Those unforgettable days are rooted deeply in my heart. They not only helped me through the difficult days that followed but also left me with the most cherished memories of my life.
Going to the Provincial Party Committee in Changchun to Appeal on July 20, 1999
After April 25, 1999 the situation intensified with each passing day. In the morning on July 21, 1999 we learned that the Provincial Party believed the untrue reports slandering Dafa, so we prepared to go to the Provincial Party Committee to clarify the truth. Several practitioners traveled to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) building by bus. When we got there we found that there were already a lot of practitioners there, men and women, old and young. People were even lined up on the sides of the CCP building. We stood at the left side of the road and learned that some practitioners had already gone inside the building to clarify the facts about Falun Dafa.
At that time our petition was very simple. We only wanted to clarify the facts and ask the government not to believe the untrue reports about Falun Gong, and we hoped that we could have a relaxed environment in which to study the Fa. No one could have expected that Jiang Zemin had already put into practice his plot to suppress Falun Gong. We waited outside the government building for a long time, but there was no news about the practitioners who went inside. Later on, we saw a lot of buses pull up and large groups of plainclothes police officers who pushed or dragged the practitioners onto the buses. Their attitude was rude and unreasonable, and they kicked the practitioners. Many practitioners were dragged into the bus. The practitioners who were standing along the sides of the CCP provincial headquarters were taken by bus to very faraway places.
Many other practitioners and I were taken to a police academy on the outskirts of Changchun. When I got off the bus, there were already many practitioners there sitting in rows in the courtyard. There were probably hundreds of them, maybe more. After getting off the bus, the practitioners would all sit in rows. July in Changchun was very hot, and everyone felt the burning heat. However, the practitioners sitting on the ground all remained calm and relaxed. They were reciting Zhuan Falun together. Some practitioners went to clarify the facts to the leaders of those who were guarding us. They did not return for a long time. Then the heavily armed police were called in to guard us. There were also plainclothes officers outside the courtyard.
Some of the practitioners had left home early so had not had anything to eat all day. In the evening, some practitioners went to the surrounding shops to buy drinking water and bread to distribute among the practitioners. Though some practitioners were hungry, they still passed the food to others since there was not enough for everyone. We stayed there until 10 p.m. and thought we should not just wait passively. Therefore, those who knew the way back to the city led us on a walk back to the city in the dark. Normally after sitting on the ground under the scorching sun all day, and many of us not having anything to eat, we should be very tired and unable to walk back home. In recalling that night, the practitioners remembered that they all felt high spirited and relaxed. We did not feel tired but were actually comfortable in the evening breeze.
We walked for more than two hours in the dark to get back to Changchun, and when we reached the provincial CCP headquarters it was already midnight. The practitioners who went with me decided to go back, and after a rest, we went back there the following day. Many more practitioners stayed in front of the CCP headquarters until the next morning.
The next morning, which was July 22, we arrived at the provincial CCP headquarters before daybreak. Two young practitioners who went with us were primary school pupils. When we got there, we saw a lot of practitioners had come from other parts of the county. We decided to wait outside the government building. Practitioners kept coming. By daytime there was a sea of people around the provincial Party Committee. Many practitioners kept coming from other parts of the county. We were all standing on the sidewalks, but left room for the pedestrians, and we did not block the traffic either. Then the police and the armed police set up a picket line. That day, there were a lot more police than on any normal day. The plainclothes police were walking to and fro in the streets and used walkie-talkies to give orders. The atmosphere was very tense. About 8 to 9 a.m. The police began to drive us into the buses. However, given the previous day's experience, we refused to get in the buses. We stood firmly, hand in hand. When the police found that we would not move, they dragged and kicked us in an attempt to force us into the bus.
We were taken to Nanling Sport's Stadium. There, I saw that the whole stadium, which is the largest in Changchun, was full of people sitting on the ground. I did not exactly know how many practitioners there were. Just like the previous day, the practitioners were calmly sitting on the ground, no arguments, no yelling or shouting. I saw a lot of practitioners that I had met the day before.
In the afternoon the police took us to a primary school near the People's Square. In a classroom, a middle-aged man who looked like a leader received us. He asked us a few questions to hypocritically appease our feelings. He left even before the practitioners finished their answers. Then the practitioners went back to the drill ground, and it began to drizzle.
After July 20, 1999, the environment in China changed completely. The CCP started to brutally persecute practitioners, burned Falun Dafa books, and detained tens of thousands of us. Some of them died as a result of torture, and some even had their organs harvested while they were still alive
However, none of the inhuman torture has been able to keep practitioners from having a strong faith in Dafa or to prevent them from introducing Falun Dafa to the whole world. At this moment, Falun Dafa is flourishing in 114 countries and regions. Falun Gong and its founder have received many awards from countries around the world. This shameless persecution of righteous belief will certainly be ended shortly. When history has turned a new page, the world's people will see the greatness of Dafa and forever remember the great moment when the Fa was spread in this world.