(Clearwisdom.net) On April 25, 1999, over ten thousand Falun Gong practitioners went to the State Council Appeals Office in Beijing on Fuyou Street near Zhongnanhai (the central government compound) to appeal for a lifting of recent restrictions on the practice of Falun Gong and to call for the release of a number of practitioners who had been unjustly arrested. The peaceful appeal created quite a stir at the time. The appeal was the constitutional right of Falun Gong practitioners under the suppressive regime of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Looking back at the “April 25” appeal 12 years later, we can see even more clearly the kindness and perseverance that the practitioners exhibited, and which continues to inspire even over the span of more than a decade.

On April 25, 1999, ten thousand Falun Gong practitioners gathered in Beijing to appeal at the State Council Appeals Office.

The CCP has always maintained its control with violence and lies. As a result of the CCP’s intimidation and confusing ideology, the understanding of many Chinese citizens has been distorted. Some say that it was the April 25 appeal that caused the subsequent persecution of Falun Gong by the CCP. In fact, even prior to April 25, 1999, Jiang Zemin and his followers had already begun a campaign of intimidation and suppression of Falun Gong. The incident that led up to the April 25 appeal, in which the police arrested practitioners in Tianjin, was itself initiated by the CCP. The CCP was already suppressing practitioners before April 25; were that not the case, practitioners would not have had to go to Beijing to request the release of arrested practitioners, nor would they have had to demand being once again allowed to publish Falun Gong books, or to practice Falun Gong in an unrestricted environment. As early as 1996, the CCP’s Police Division began an investigation into Falun Gong in order to find a cause to suppress the practice. But since Falun Gong is a righteous, peaceful practice that only benefits society, the CCP could not find evidence of any illegal activity or of any wrongdoing. The timeline of events leading up to the persecution shows that it was not the April 25 incident that led to the persecution. Rather, the persecution was already being planned by Jiang Zemin and other high-ranking CCP officials.

Some believe that too many people went to appeal, which led to the persecution. However, the right to appeal is every Chinese citizen’s right, granted by the Constitution. To appeal is legal, no matter how many people take part. Furthermore, all of the practitioners who went to Beijing were calm and peaceful. The CCP's persecution of Falun Gong has affected tens of millions practitioners, yet the percentage of people who went to appeal on Fuyou Street was less than 0.1% of all practitioners. How can this number be regarded as too many? In the United States, tens of thousands of people demonstrated at the president’s inauguration ceremony, but no demonstrator was ever persecuted. The persecution of Falun Gong did not happen because too many people appealed. Rather, it happened because the CCP will not allow its people to express their opinions, and does not want its people to better themselves through the practice of Falun Gong.

Some say: “You guys can have your belief, but you should not try to overthrow the government or engage in politics.” The practitioners' appeal was a most peaceful way to express their opinion. Falun Gong practitioners have never had an interest in political power, let alone overthrowing the government. As far as engaging in politics, all that the practitioners did was to expose the injustice of the CCP and of the Jiang Zemin regime. If such an action is considered “engaging in politics,” so be it. It is the right of all citizens. Furthermore, in most modern societies it is not considered inherently “wrong” to have a religious belief or to engage in the political process. Practitioners’ “involvement in politics” is not for political power. Falun Gong practitioners’ activities in Taiwan and in western countries are clearly not tied to any political organization and practitioners are not involved with any political party.

The April 25 appeal by Falun Gong practitioners was simply a bid to openly maintain their belief, and to uphold their constitutional right to improve themselves through the practice of Falun Gong. They stood strong in upholding their righteous belief. The persecution of Falun Gong practitioners revealed the evil nature of the CCP, which uses “politics” as a weapon to attack people. If one do not participate in the CCP's political activities, one will be accused of being politically unsupportive. On the other hand, if one expresses a true opinion, one will be accused of “meddling with politics.”

Fearful and confused by the CCP’s intimidation and deceptions, some people think that their interests will be impacted if the CCP collapses. As a matter of fact, the CCP has never existed in Chinese history before, but China did have a glorious culture and a prosperous economy in the past. Taiwan has the same culture as China, but no CCP, and its people live prosperously. Many people in China hope to immigrate to western countries to escape the CCP's tyranny. In the past 60 years of Chinese Communist Party rule, “anti-right,” “the Great Leap Forward,” “the Great Cultural Revolution,” the June 4 Massacre, and the persecution of Falun Gong have brought untold disaster to the Chinese people. The CCP is corrupt and suppressive, causing the society’s moral fabric to degrade and dragging down the whole country. With all the crimes it has committed the CCP will soon be terminated in the course of history. Recognizing the nature of the CCP and quitting it and its associated organizations is the Chinese people’s way of saving themselves as well as their country. The Chinese will have a good future only if China is rid of the CCP.

Falun Gong practitioners will continue to maintain the same kindness and perseverance that they exhibited on April 25, 1999 and they will continue to explain the facts to people and help them clear away the myths that the CCP has fabricated.