(Minghui.org) Over 10,000 Falun Gong practitioners held a peaceful demonstration in Beijing on April 25, 1999 to request the restoration of their right to practice their belief. The demonstration manifested practitioners' uncompromising courage in safeguarding justice and conscience. Ever since the historic 1999 event, Falun Gong practitioners across the world hold annual activities to commemorate this day.

Falun Gong practitioners in New Zealand and Australia held activities on April 25, 2014 to commemorate the April 25 quiet demonstration and call for an end to the 15-year persecution of Falun Gong in China. They held a candlelight vigil after dark to commemorate their fellow practitioners who have died due to the brutal persecution in China.

New Zealand Falun Gong Practitioners Hold Rally to Commemorate April 25 Peaceful Demonstration

Falun Gong practitioners held a rally in front of the Chinese Consulate-General in Auckland on April 25, 2014 to commemorate the April 25 peaceful demonstration.

Rally in front of the Chinese Consulate-General in Auckland, New Zealand on April 25, 2014 to commemorate the April 25 demonstration.

The April 25 Demonstration Safeguarded the Rights of All Chinese People

Practitioner He Sanpu was laid off and detained for four months for practicing Falun Gong in August 1999. He was later detained many times and suffered various forms of persecution over the following ten-plus years. Mr. He now lives in New Zealand. He shared, “The April 25 demonstration was a case of Falun Gong practitioners exercising their constitutional rights. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) tramples the constitution and persecutes Falun Gong. Since the persecution, China's judicial system has deteriorated and social morale degraded quickly.

“The practitioners' petition is not only to safeguard their rights, but also all Chinese people's rights. The CCP's persecution is actually a persecution of all Chinese people. For 15 years, I have remained steadfast in my belief in Falun Gong and in clarifying the facts to people because I believe that righteousness will prevail.”

Persecution Rooted in CCP's Nature of Violence and Fear

Mr. Jing Yu of the New Zealand Falun Dafa Association said at the rally, “The Party used the April 25 demonstration as a pretext to initiate the persecution. But without the demonstration, the CCP would have persecuted Falun Gong anyway because of the Party's nature of violence and fear.”

He continued, “Why does the Party fear peaceful Falun Gong practitioners and brutally persecute them? It is because the Party has committed countless crimes after it took power. It maintains that power with violence, fear and deceit. Nearly one hundred million Chinese people have died due to the Party's violent campaigns, including the Cultural Revolution and the June 4 Massacre. It fears losing power because of its countless crimes.”

Practitioners in Melbourne Commemorate April 25 Demonstration

Falun Gong practitioners held banners to form a “Wall of Courage” on Princes Bridge, a well-known site in Melbourne. The banners introduced Falun Gong and exposed the CCP's crimes in the 15-year persecution of the practice.

Falun Gong practitioners hold banners to form a “Wall of Courage” on Princes Bridge on April 25, 2014.

April 25 was a public holiday in Australia and there were crowds of tourists and local residents on the bridge. Many people paused to sign the petition calling on the Australian Government to pass legislation to help stop the CCP's forced organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners and other prisoners of conscience.

The practitioners later moved to City Square in Melbourne, where they held a candlelight vigil to commemorate the thousands of practitioners who have lost their lives to the persecution in China.

Falun Gong practitioners hold a candlelight vigil on City Square in Melbourne on April 25, 2014.

Spectators Commend Falun Gong Practitioners

A woman engaged in special education said emotionally, “The Wall of Courage looks magnificent. It is a public holiday today. Falun Gong practitioners hold this event here because they want everyone to know about the persecution in China. They must have steadfast belief! What can I do to help? I will give the informational materials to my friends.”

An Australian lawyer was shocked to learn about the persecution of Falun Gong for the first time. She said, “Falun Gong practitioners are courageous. They found the true meaning of life. The Chinese authorities are afraid of losing control of people and so conducted the persecution.” She mentioned that in order to stop the persecution, freedom of speech must be upheld so that everyone can hear the truth.

Practitioner Ms. MarieHelene Lambert, a language pathologist from Quebec, Canada, said, “If everyone knows what crimes the CCP has committed, the regime will collapse. Falun Gong practitioners follow the core principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. It is important for everyone to know about the peaceful demonstration of April 25, 1999. This day will be remembered in the future as an important day.”

Sydney Falun Gong Practitioners Call for an End to the Persecution in Front of Chinese Consulate

Falun Gong practitioners held events in front of the Chinese Consulate in Sydney on April 25, 2014 to commemorate the April 25 peaceful demonstration. Though it was raining, they held a rally to call for an end to the ongoing persecution in China.

Falun Gong practitioners hold a rally calling for an end to the persecution.

Group exercise practice in front of the Chinese Consulate.

Falun Gong practitioners have maintained a peaceful protest in front of the Chinese Consulate in Sydney since 1999. Many people have been moved by the practitioners' peaceful steadfastness. Passers-by frequently give the thumbs up and express admiration for the practitioners' efforts.

Ms. Yang, 76 years old, voluntarily comes to the Chinese Consulate five days a week to practice the exercises, peacefully protest the persecution and distribute informational materials. On weekends, she comes to Darling Harbor in Sydney to participate in group practice in the morning and goes to Chinatown to collect signatures in the afternoon.

Ms. Yang was a high school teacher in China and immigrated to Australia with her family in 1997 after retirement. She started practicing Falun Gong with her son. She reads two lectures of Zhuan Falun and practices the five sets of exercises every day. As a result, she is now free of her former chronic illnesses.

Ms. Yang said emotionally, “More and more people have come to know the facts about Falun Gong and the persecution. But the Chinese Consulate is afraid of our peaceful protest. The Consulate was in a busy area before 2004. Many people could see our demonstration and learn the truth. Later the Consulate moved to this quiet area. It fears our protest and has the building surrounded with barbed wire. It looks like a jail.

“The Consulate is afraid of more people learning the truth. A few years ago, the Consulate arranged to have a contractor handle visa applications. So now the visa applicants cannot see us. But there are still many people coming here for other business. Our protest has never stopped.”