April 25, 1999--A Memorable and Historic Date
(Minghui.org) Thirteen years ago on April 25, 1999, 10,000 Falun Gong practitioners peacefully petitioned outside the National Appeals Office located at Zhongnanhai in Beijing. They assembled to appeal for the release of 45 practitioners who were arrested by police in nearby Tianjin City. The practitioners clarified the truth to the authorities and raised three legitimate demands: 1) Release the Falun Gong practitioners who had been illegally arrested. 2) Allow the publication of Falun Gong books. 3) Allow Falun Gong practitioners to practice without harassment by authorities. After receiving a reasonable answer to their demands, the 10,000 practitioners peacefully dispersed.
This day will always be remembered and is now part of history. It has been recorded that 10,000 Falun Gong practitioners, with great compassion and courage, highlighted the greatness of practicing Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance in a most authoritarian environment. They were rational and disciplined and set an example of peacefully appealing to stop the persecution. In the subsequent 13 years, Falun Gong practitioners inside and outside of China have walked the path of peacefully, rationally, and clearly clarifying the truth.
Year After Year of Truth Clarification for People's Rights
A friend of mine wrote online:
"One day a good friend asked me, 'Why do you hate Falun Gong?' I was taken aback. I thought for a bit, then frankly confessed, 'Right. I hate Falun Gong, even though I don't show it.'"
"When my friend asked why, I thought some more. Wasn't that easy to answer? I said, 'Because... (lies that were broadcast on TV).' My friend asked again, 'Those are CCTV fabrications for why one should hate Falun Gong, but what I'm asking is why do you hate Falun Gong?'"
“For a moment I couldn't answer. My friend asked if I had ever read any Falun Gong books. This time I was really shocked. Not only had I never read any Falun Gong books, but I had only heard the name of one book called Zhuan Falun, which had been banned. I had only seen the front cover of this book, but I had never flipped it open.
"What was Falun Gong?" I suddenly felt chilly. I had unconsciously fostered hatred toward Falun Gong for many years. Actually, I was not at all clear about what it was, but I still hated it. Why? This time I asked myself.
“Once I discovered that I had been indoctrinated into hating Falun Gong for all these years, I felt extremely disturbed.” He said that he had always been instilled with a hatred of Falun Gong. Actually, it amounted to him serving as an accomplice of the persecution.
Regardless of how the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has carried out the persecution by using the media to distort facts about the April 25th appeal, discrediting Falun Gong, Falun Gong practitioners have embarked on a comprehensive, peaceful, and rational course of clarifying the truth. They do so magnanimously and fearlessly, with compassion, and despite the brutal persecution. During the past 13 years, Falun Gong practitioners have paid with their own blood and many have lost their lives. They've given everything so that the world's people can learn of the true situation, and they are not turning back. With these efforts, Falun Gong practitioners are revealing all of the CCP's lies and distortion of facts, such as the true situation of April 25, the true situation of the so-called 1,400 death cases, the truth of the Tiananmen Square 'Self Immolation' hoax, etc. As people gain the opportunity to learn the truth, they can genuinely understand Falun Gong, thus clearing out all of the lies that the CCP has brainwashed them with, which caused hatred. They are then able to make an informed decision for themselves. From this perspective, Falun Gong practitioners oppose the persecution not only for their own individual right to have faith and cultivate, but for everyone's right, creating for all lives a historic opportunity.
The Persecution was Doomed to Fail from the Beginning
As early as September 2000, on the anniversary of the CCP's rise to power, the propaganda mouthpiece of the CCP, The People's Daily newspaper, claimed that the CCP had a “decisive victory” in the persecution of Falun Gong. Also in that year, CCP Political and Judiciary Committee leader, Luo Gan, admitted that it would take two years to completely eradicate Falun Gong. Former CCP leader Jiang Zemin told his party that by March (of 2000), “If you cannot completely eradicate Falun Gong, then the day you lose your heads will arrive. But you will not know why.”
In fact, at that point in time, Jiang's regime was having difficulty sustaining the persecution. In places of detention, no matter how the police abused them, Falun Gong practitioners were very self-disciplined and calm, and would often say, “We don't hate you, because you don't understand us.” “We don't see you as our enemies.” Such nobility and great forbearance touched even the most hardhearted police officers. In the prisons, no police officers dared to debate with them, because the practitioners would often turn the illegal interrogation into truth clarification. Many police officers became sympathetic toward Falun Gong.
Despite the Chinese Communist regime considering Falun Gong a threat, the police have not found any similarities with any dangerous criminal groups or political dissidents. They don't know why the regime ordered them to arrest people whom they consider to be good people. Some police officers who try to understand Falun Gong raise questions questions during interrogations. This is a typical question:
Exactly what kind of people are Falun Gong practitioners?
Falun Gong practitioners are people who conduct themselves according to the requirements of Falun Dafa, specifically, according to the universal characteristics of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance in cultivating themselves. A person on earth is like a bottle filled with dirty things that has sunk to the bottom of a river. Only when the dirty things in the bottle have completely been poured out is the bottle able to float up. Practitioners try to eliminate the bad things in their minds, which are like the dirty things in the bottle, for example things such as desire for money and power and selfishness. They said, “We want to become noble people.”
The average person considers the purpose of life to be about having money, power, and reputation, and that one should seize the day during one's short lifespan. But Falun Gong practitioners, in the face of their faith being challenged, are able to abandon all. What force on earth is able to change practitioners' awareness of the truth of the universe? There is none. The founder of Falun Dafa, Mr. Li Hongzhi, as early as 1999 stated,
“The understanding of the Truth of the cosmos by students of Dafa cultivation is an elevation that results from rational understanding and experience. It’s futile for human beings to refute—regardless of what their stance is—the Fa-principles of the cosmos, which transcend all theories in the human society.” (“Further Comments on Superstition” from Essentials for Further Advancement II)
In “Will Beijing's Crackdown on Falun Gong Be Successful?” an independent journalist wrote, “John Pomfret, a columnist for The Washington Post wrote in an article as follows: 'Beijing cannot tolerate uncontrolled faith... The Communists have no faith anymore. The thing they fear most is people who believe.' There are many precedents for Beijing's success in cracking down on people who believe. But this time, if the suppressed Falun Gong believers are enlightened beings, the failure of Beijing is doomed, sooner or later.”
Since April 25, 1999, when those 10,000 people collectively started a petition, Falun Gong practitioners have been comprehensively opposing the persecution and clarifying the truth as they have walked through the storm of the past 13 years. Today, this historic drama is nearing completion. 13 years ago, people asked, “Will the CCP be successful with this suppression?” Today, history can answer, “By persecuting Falun Gong, the CCP has buried itself in its own grave. After being washed in the storm, belief in Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is even brighter. Since ancient times, good has always prevailed over evil. The CCP has no way to eliminate the root of the traditional Chinese spirit, thus it can never eliminate Falun Gong. The CCP can only bury itself.”