Paris: Practitioners Gather on Human Rights Plaza to Commemorate the April 25 Appeal (Photos)
(Clearwisdom.net) Falun Gong practitioners in France gathered on the Trocadéro Human Rights Plaza next to the Eiffel Tower on April 24, 2011, to commemorate the 12th anniversary of the April 25 appeal. They demonstrated Falun Gong exercises and held a poster display to introduce Falun Gong and raise awareness of the persecution to tourists.
Ms. Zhang moved to France from Tianjin, China. She recounted the April 25 appeal, “On April 1, 1999, He Zuoxiu, brother-in-law of CCP senior official Luo Gan, published an article in Tianjin Normal University’s Youth Reader magazine slandering Falun Gong. Starting from April 18, Falun Gong practitioners in Tianjin went to related entities trying to clarify the truth. On April 23 and 24, some security forces in Tianjin beat Falun Gong practitioners. Forty-five Falun Gong practitioners were detained. Other practitioners requested the release of the detained practitioners. They were told by the Tianjin police, 'Go to Beijing. That's where you can get the issue resolved.' Based on their trust in the government and their wish to clarify the facts, Falun Gong practitioners quietly assembled outside the Central Appeals Office in Beijing on April 25 to request the release of the detained Falun Gong practitioners. Falun Gong representatives met with then-premier Zhu Rongji and addressed three major issues: First, they hoped that Tianjin police would release the Falun Gong practitioners as soon as possible; second, to allow for the legal publishing of Zhuan Falun; third, to be allowed an unrestricted Falun Gong practice environment. Zhu agreed to release the Tianjin practitioners, and assured the representatives that the government would not oppose Falun Gong. All of the practitioners left quietly at around 9:00 p.m. However, Jiang Zemin launched an unprecedented persecution of Falun Gong on July 20, 1999. According an incomplete calculation, more than 3,400 Falun Gong practitioners died in the persecution. Hundreds of thousands have been detained, some thrown into prison. Tens of millions have been harassed or threatened.”
Facing the brutal persecution, Falun Gong practitioners refuse to give up their belief. Instead, they spread the true story of Falun Gong widely. Ms. Zhang said, “Falun Gong practitioners refuse to be deterred. To safeguard their right to pursue Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance they have worked against the persecution for the past twelve years. Their unyielding spirit is the virtue of the Chinese nation. If no one had stepped forward, the false, the wicked and the intolerant will run wild. There would be no hope for the nation.”
Falun Gong practitioner Ms. Liu came from Liaoning Province, located in northeast China. She remembered that the Chinese Communist Party started harassing Falun Gong practitioners long before the April 25 appeal, including attacking Falun Gong in the Guangming Newspaper and having police spray water or throwing dirt on Falun Gong practitioners while they were doing the exercises. The reason they went to Beijing was to request the release of detained practitioners in Tianjin, as well as to tell government officials in Beijing about the harassment of Falun Gong practitioners in Liaoning Province. “We just wanted to have a free practice environment.” Ms. Liu said. “Everyone of us had benefited from practicing Falun Gong. We follow Master Li's teaching of Truthfulness-Compassion- Forbearance in our work places, families and society. We look inside our own hearts when facing conflicts, peacefully resolve conflicts and are kind to others. The more people live like this, the better it is for a society. We wanted to let the government know about this and tell them the true story of Falun Gong.” Ms. Liu said the commemoration of the April 25 appeal aimed to let more people know the true story and expose the evil CCP. The CCP not only persecuted Falun Gong, but also the conscience of the whole society.
Chinese French Falun Gong practitioner Mr. Cheng said the persecution exposed the evilness of the CCP. “After the April 25 appeal, the newspaper in France reprinted the news in China on June 14, saying the Chinese government had never been against Falun Gong and that people had the freedom to practice. It sounded very good. However, the suppression and arrest of Falun Gong practitioners were openly launched on July 20. Many practitioners in China were arrested in the middle of the night on July 19. The Chinese constitution allows the freedom of appeal, but practitioners were persecuted. The CCP was just deceiving the people. This incident proved that the CCP doesn't keep its promise.” Mr. Cheng said the commemoration of the April 25 appeal has great significance. “ We would like to tell the people of the world that the CCP persecutes innocent people. It is clear who is righteous and who is evil. We must stop the CCP from persecuting our innocent fellow countrymen. We hope the people will see the true situation and take a stand.”
Many local residents and tourists stopped to watch the activity on Human Rights Plaza. After learning about the persecution, many signed a petition calling for an end to the persecution.