Remembering the Days of Petitioning on Tiananmen Square in 1999
(Clearwisdom.net) Eleven years ago, countless Falun Gong practitioners went to Beijing one after another to join together in a peaceful appeal for Falun Gong. There were a lot of inspiring and touching stories. I was among those people. Today when I look back after all those years, I still feel touched.
In December 1999, I went to Beijing with several fellow practitioners. Before we left, I received some contact information for practitioners in Beijing. I was told that if we encountered any difficulties, we could contact them for help. It was pretty late when we got off the train in Beijing. We followed the address instructions and went to a place in a Beijing suburb. We planned to temporarily stay in that fellow practitioner's home. However, we called the phone number we had and could not get through. We had no choice but to stay outside in freezing cold weather for a whole night. When some people walked by, they looked at us with a strange look and said, "How dare you wait here! The police arrested quite a few people here."
The next morning, we finally got in touch with that fellow practitioner. We followed the instructions, took a bus and went to another place. A man in his 30s-40s came to the bus station to pick us up. We saw him walk toward us with a smile, "Are you the ones who called? Come with me." We did not have any doubt about his identity because his face was filled with a pure, genuine and fearless look which only Dafa practitioners have. He told us that he picked up many other practitioners he had never met before and he never made any mistakes. From talking with him we found out that half an hour before we arrived at the place the preceding night, police had taken a sudden action and arrested many practitioners who were staying there. We escaped the danger which was only a half-step away.
We followed the practitioner to a temporary rental house. Many practitioners went to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong, and hotels were demanding IDs, which would very easily expose our identities as Dafa practitioners. So, practitioners who went to Beijing a little earlier helped us by renting some houses to provide convenient places to stay, an environment to exchange our cultivation experiences and strengthen our righteous thoughts.
When we arrived, over a dozen practitioners from different regions were already there. Although we did not know each other, we felt like long-lost relatives. A lady who saw that I had not many clothes lent me a pair of trousers. Later on, that pair of trousers accompanied me for a long time and to many places such as police stations, detention centers, and brainwash centers, etc.
That night, the water faucet in the yard suddenly broke. The water splashed directly to the door. We did not know what was the matter and asked someone to fix it. At night, I heard two fellow practitioners with an Northeastern accent whispering in exchanging their experiences. One said her pager received a strange signal. The other one said the police used that method to determine a location. At that time, I did not have any vigilance about safety and did not realize that danger had already come quietly. The next morning, a fellow practitioner came and told us that our place had been monitored by the police. He told us to leave and gave us some addresses and contact numbers, saying that we could go to those places if we could not find a place to stay. Some fellow practitioners suddenly remembered that the water faucet was broken last night and splashed directly on the door. Was that Master giving us some hint to have us leave? We grouped ourselves into several small groups and left. The whole process was quick and quiet. Later on, we were told that right after we left, the police came. We are thankful to the timely notification from that fellow practitioner who came to notify us even though he knew the danger was coming. We did not see any tension or fear in him; instead we only saw him with a competent and calm demeanor.
I then went to Tiananmen Square, but I did not know how to hand in my appeal letter to the government. I dialed the phone number that fellow practitioner gave me and went to a new place. An elderly practitioner asked me whether I had eaten anything, and he cooked some noodles for me. But he did not eat any. Dafa practitioners are indeed disciples taught by one Master.
A short while later, a female practitioner came. She was in her 30s, pretty and with good temperament. She walked into the door while eating a pancake. When she saw that I could not finish the noodles, she said, "If I knew that earlier, I would rather have eaten your leftovers and would not have bought this pancake." She took me to another place to stay at. A few more practitioners from other regions came. We did not know each other and neither did we ask about each other's personal information. We only shared our understanding of validating the Fa in Beijing. I did not remember whether I stayed there for one night or two nights. Then that place was not safe any more. Just as before, a fellow practitioner came before the danger arrived and told us to transfer to another place.
During the ten days I stayed in Beijing, this kind of situation occurred several times. I do not remember how many times I changed places. Those of us who went to Beijing to appeal during that time had to face such dangerous conditions. However, I did not feel any nervousness or fear, and the other practitioners I met were also very calm and peaceful.
In two different places I met a man who ran back and forth helping fellow practitioners, buying comforters and contacting rental houses. He insisted on giving me some money and told me that I could use it in case I lost contact with other fellow practitioners. I did not accept it. But the next time I saw him, he insisted on giving me money again. A fellow practitioner who was standing by told me that he was not a Dafa practitioner. He was a local resident in Beijing. At first he saw that so many Dafa practitioners went to Beijing to validate Dafa and there was no place to appeal. Many of them did not bring enough money and had a very hard time. They had to sleep on the street and lived by picking up some stuff and food from the garbage cans. He really wanted to help them out and voluntarily offered them money and materials. However, Dafa practitioners did not accept any of his offers. He had no other choice, so he decided to buy some steamed buns or prepare some at home and wrap them in plastic bags and then put them in garbage cans for Dafa practitioners to eat.
During the time when I was in Beijing, I was touched by fellow practitioners' stories all the time. One of the practitioners who helped me transfer to another place encountered a police chase. In that dangerous situation, he jumped off a fifth floor building and escaped. It was said that the police was shocked seeing that: It was unbelievable that jumping off such a tall building, he was not hurt and could still run away! Many fellow practitioners came to Beijing several times and were then arrested. But with righteous thoughts, they escaped. Some fellow practitioners saw Master used his own body to endure the hitting when police were beating them up.
I remember the place where I stayed the longest time. There were several dozen of us from various places in the country there. There was no furniture in the room; instead, the floor was covered with blankets. Fellow practitioners slept next to each other. We got up at 4 in the morning and did the exercises together. During the day time, we would study the Fa and exchange our understandings of the Fa. Each day we only had two meals, steamed buns, pickles, and cold water. A family of 3 from the south walked all the way in all kinds of difficult conditions. At night, they would sleep on the ground with a plastic bag underneath. The young dad memorized the book of Zhuan Falun. Their son was only 8 years old. Although they were in such a serious condition, once they walked into the room, he did not ask for something to drink or eat. Instead, the first thing he did was to find a corner and begin the sitting meditation. Each day there were people from different provinces who came. They shared how they had benefited from practicing Dafa and all kinds of miracles they had experienced. Each day, after sharing their cultivation experiences, some of them left magnanimously and went to Tiananmen Square and never returned. Those who left often left their money and materials for practitioners who came later to use because at that time renting in Beijing was very expensive.
When I left that place, I also left my bag there. I only took a fellow practitioner's pager number which I could use in case I was not arrested by the police and could then be able to contact a local fellow practitioner. When I was arrested at Tiananmen Square and the police took me to the police station, the first thing I did was to put that note in my mouth and chew it up while no one was paying attention to me. I saw other fellow practitioners put a small piece of paper into their mouths and swallow them. Everyone agreed that when we encountered danger ourselves, the first thing was to guarantee the safety of other fellow practitioners.
I still have clear memory of these events. Dafa brings hope to life. The realm of mercy that Dafa practitioners have is breaking through the confusion. History will witness all.