The April 25 Appeal: CCP's Twisted Lies Cannot Stop Wide Acceptance of Falun Gong Overseas
(Minghui.org) On April 25, 1999, over 10,000 people went to the State Council Appeals Office in Beijing to appeal for the right to freely practice Falun Gong. They were exercising their constitutional rights as citizens. Their gathering was peaceful and orderly.
Nonetheless, then Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leader Jiang Zemin and his followers twisted the facts through deceptive propaganda, using these lies as a basis for persecuting Falun Gong. However, they could not deceive the people of the free world. In fact, the regime's slanderous propaganda had just the opposite effect: Many more people around the globe learned about Falun Gong and took up the practice.
The April 25 Appeal
Shortly before April 25, 1999, Science and Technology for Youth magazine of the Tianjin Education College published an article that slandered Falun Gong. The article's author, He Zuoxiu, had fabricated stories to mislead the public. In response, several practitioners from Tianjin went to the magazine's headquarters in Tianjin to clarify the facts about the spiritual practice.
Even though practitioners did not break any laws and conducted themselves in a peaceful and civil manner, Tianjin Police Department deployed riot police to severely beat the practitioners; 45 local practitioners were arrested. Police officials told practitioners to take their appeal to the State Appeals Office in Beijing.
On April 25, 1999, over 10,000 practitioners quietly gathered outside the State Appeals Office in Beijing, adjacent to the Zhongnanhai central government compound, to appeal for the right to practice Falun Gong freely and without unwarranted harassment by the authorities.
Prime Minister Zhu Rongji met with the practitioners’ representatives around noon. After discussing the issues, he ordered the Tianjin Police Department to release the innocent practitioners and reaffirmed the policy that the State would not interfere with people's practice of Falun Gong.
As soon as they learned that the issue had been settled, all of the gathered practitioners quietly dispersed. The entire process was peaceful and orderly. Practitioners did not linger on the streets, chant slogans or wave signs. They simply cleaned up their surroundings, even picking up cigarette butts dropped by the monitoring police, and quietly left.
Regime's Slander of Falun Gong Cannot Block the Truth
In order to persecute Falun Gong, Jiang Zemin and his followers labeled the peaceful April 25 Appeal as a “siege of the Zhongnanhai central government compound.” They used state-run media as their propaganda machine to twist the facts and denounce the incident. However, their propaganda could not prevent people overseas from learning the truth about Falun Gong.
Take Taiwan as an example. When Falun Gong was first introduced on the island in 1995, there were fewer than 10,000 practitioners there. Following the April 25 Appeal, all Taiwanese media reported on Falun Gong. As a result, Falun Gong introductory seminars throughout Taiwan were filled to capacity, and the number of practitioners on the island increased rapidly.
There are now 600,000 to 700,000 practitioners in Taiwan, and more and more people continue to come to learn the practice.
According to Ms. Huang, who organizes seminars to introduce Falun Gong and show the video of Master Li's Nine-Day Lecture Series at her home, before the April 25 Appeal about a dozen people attended each seminar. After the April 25 Appeal, however, more than 40 people typically showed up.
People in Taiwan and Around the World Embrace Falun Gong
Ms. Liu Wenge works for Chunghwa Telecom in Taiwan. She recalled how she began practicing Falun Gong: “When I saw the CCP’s propaganda in 1999, I became very curious about Falun Gong. I wondered what this cultivation practice was that the CCP spent so much effort spreading negative propaganda about worldwide.”
She further explained: “The CCP is notorious all over the world for its terrible record of human rights violations. They have never stopped persecuting Chinese people. How can such an evil party denounce a cultivation group? At that time, I felt that whatever the CCP classified as bad must be good. So I knew that Falun Gong must be very good.”
A month later, a friend of Ms. Liu’s introduced Falun Gong to her. She was eager to learn more about the practice. As soon as she read Zhuan Falun, she took up the practice.
Ms. Pan Lizhao from Taichung also said that she hadn’t heard of Falun Gong before 1999. However, at the end of April 1999, while watching the news and hearing that the CCP had slandered Falun Gong, the words "Falun Gong" were firmly planted in her mind. She feels that hearing the report about the April 25 Appeal led her to take up the practice later.
Ms. Zhu, a lawyer, recalled: “I learned about the April 25 Appeal from a newspaper. I was very impressed that over 10,000 practitioners went to Zhongnanhai and then left without even leaving so much as a scrap of paper behind. I thought that if Falun Gong could develop such civic values in Chinese people, it must be an extraordinary practice. It prompted me to call a local practice site, and I began learning Falun Gong.”
Ms. Cai works at Xinsheng Elementary School in Taiwan. She recalled that after the April 25 Appeal, local TV reporters came to the Falun Gong practice site at the school to interview practitioners. In addition to the interviews, they also broadcast the video of Master Li teaching the exercises on their program, which widely spread information about the practice. As a result, more than 20 people came to the school's practice site to learn Falun Gong. When practitioners showed the video of Master Li's Nine-Day Lecture Series, attendance also increased; sometimes more than 100 people came.
There are numerous similar examples in Taiwan, as well as the rest of the world.
Over the past 14 years, Falun Gong has spread to more than 100 countries and regions, welcomed by people of all races and social classes. The main text of Falun Gong, Zhuan Falun, has been translated into more than 30 languages and published all over the world. The CCP’s slander and persecution cannot stop Falun Gong from being widely embraced the world over.
Category: Peaceful Appeal of April 25, 1999