(Minghui.org) On April 25, 1999, over 10,000 Falun Gong practitioners went to the State Council Appeals Office, which is adjacent to Zhongnanhai, the central government compound, to appeal for justice for Falun Gong. The whole process was peaceful and orderly. Practitioners were exercising their lawful rights as citizens and their constitutional right to appeal. Nonetheless, Jiang Zemin and his followers twisted the event through deceptive propaganda and used this as an excuse to launch a brutal persecution of Falun Gong. However, their lies did not deceive people overseas. In fact, the propaganda had the opposite effect; many more people learned about Falun Gong through the April 25 Appeal and began practicing.

The April 25 Appeal

The April 25 Appeal was a response to He Zuoxiu’s article in Science and Technology for Youth (a magazine published by Tianjin Education College). In the article, He Zuoxiu fabricated stories and slandered Falun Gong. In response, several practitioners from Tianjin used the government-approved approach of appeals and went to the authorities to clarify the truth about Falun Gong at the magazine's headquarters in Tianjin. However, Tianjin Police Department officials sent out riot police to severely beat practitioners, and they arrested 45 of them. They also told the practitioners to take their appeal to Beijing, to the State Appeals Office adjacent to the Zhongnanhai central government compound. Practitioners did exactly this. On April 25, 1999, over 10,000 practitioners quietly and in an orderly manner gathered outside the State Appeals Office in Beijing to appeal for justice. Around noon, Prime Minister Zhu Rongji met with the practitioners’ representatives. After discussing the issues with the practitioners, he ordered the Tianjin Police Department to release the innocent practitioners and reaffirmed the policy that the State would not interfere with practitioners’ cultivation practice of Falun Gong.

As soon as they learned that the issue had been settled, the practitioners who had gone to Beijing quietly dispersed. The entire process was very peaceful. Practitioners did not linger on the streets, they did not chant slogans or wave signs. They cleaned up their surroundings and even picked up the cigarette butts dropped by the police who were monitoring them. The international media had high praise for this peaceful appeal.

Jiang Zemin’s Group's Slandering Falun Gong Cannot Block More People around the World from Knowing the Truth

However, in order to persecute Falun Gong, Jiang Zemin and his followers labeled the peaceful April 25 Appeal as a “seige of the Central Government Compound (Zhongnanhai).” They used the state-run media as their propaganda machine to twist the facts and denounce the incident, temporarily deceiving not only people in China, but around the world as well. However, their propaganda did not ultimately prevent more people overseas from learning the truth about Falun Gong.

Take Taiwan as an example. When Falun Gong was introduced to Taiwan in 1995, there were fewer than 10,000 practitioners. After the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) launched its deceptive campaign of propaganda in 1999, more and more Taiwanese began practicing Falun Gong. There are now 600,000 to 700,000 practitioners in Taiwan, which is hundreds of thousands more than before 1999. In addition, the number continues to increase since more people are starting to practice all the time.

Ms. Liu Wenge works for Chunghwa Telecom in Taiwan. She recalled how she began practicing Falun Gong. She said, “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 it 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 very interested and eager to learn more about the practice. As soon as she read Zhuan Falun she immediately understood. She then began practicing.

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 to her taking up the practice later.

Ms. Zhu, a lawyer, recalled, “I learned about the April 25 Appeal from the 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.”

Following the April 25 Appeal, in 1999 all the media in Taiwan reported on Falun Gong and told about the practice. As a result, Falun Gong introductory seminars throughout Taiwan were filled to capacity, and the number of practitioners in Taiwan increased tremendously. According to Ms. Huang, who organizes a Nine-Day Lecture Series at her home to introduce Falun Gong, before the April 25 Appeal there were usually a dozen new practitioners after each Nine-Day Lecture Series. However, after the April 25 Appeal, there were always more than 40 new practitioners overflowing her home.

Ms. Cai works at Xinsheng Elementary School. There is a practice site at this school. She recalled that after the April 25 Appeal, reporters from Taiwan went to the exercise site to interview practitioners. They also broadcast the video of Master Li teaching the exercises on their program, which widely spread the practice in Taiwan. As a result, more than 20 people came to the site to learn Falun Gong. Attendance at the Nine-Day Lecture Series increased to 50, and sometimes more than 100 people came.

There are numerous similar examples in Taiwan, as well as the rest of the world, of the impact of the April 25 Peaceful Appeal. Over the past 12 years, Falun Gong has spread to more than 100 countries and regions, and is welcomed by people of all races and social classes. The main book of Falun Gong, Zhuan Falun has been translated into more than 30 languages and is published all over the world. It is self-evident that the CCP’s slander and persecution cannot stop Falun Gong from being widely embraced the world over.