A Personal Account of the April 25, 1999 Appeal At Tiananmen Square
This article was first published in January 2001.
(Minghui.org) I obtained Dafa in October 1995. I felt that this Dafa (Great Law; Universal Principle) was a reward to the bitterness in my life. I thought that human beings would find it hard to find such a great opportunity like this. Based on my wish that more people benefit from this Dafa, I participated in the foreign language translation tasks for Dafa.
In China and across the world there are more and more people obtaining Dafa. However, there are those who oppose such a great Fa (Truth, Compassion, Forbearance) such as Ding Guangen, who is in charge of state propaganda at the Central Political Bureau. Ding uses the power in his position to participate in conspiratorial activities in suppressing Dafa in a league comprised of other malicious beings such as Luo Gan, He XX, Yu XX, etc. Through the Central Propaganda Bureau, they banned publishing Dafa books. They used the method of spreading slanderous rumors similar to that of the Cultural Revolution. They used every opportunity to recklessly attack Falun Dafa in the newspapers and other forms of state controlled media. Their perverse acts are totally against the country's policy of "Three Nos" towards Qigong [Note: It is a state policy regarding Qigong, which says that the state will not "advocate, promote or intervene" in Qigong activities]. When XX [Note: the vicious person's name omitted] collaborated with some individual journalists and working staff on Beijing TV station to slander Falun Dafa in a TV program, Dafa practitioners voluntarily gathered together to make a peaceful protest. They went to the Beijing TV station to clarify the truth. I got to know that later and went to the TV station in the afternoon on the last day. There were several hundred practitioners there at that time. By clarifying the truth, the TV station made a reasonable apology.
On another note, let's talk about a new attack towards Falun Gong (a.k.a. Falun Dafa) generated by He XX in Tianjin. I got to know this from one of my fellow practitioner's phone calls. She told me that He XX went to Tianjin and slandered Falun Gong in a magazine article. When Tianjin practitioners went to put forward the facts, on that day, a great number of policemen went there to beat and arrest Dafa practitioners. This particular practitioner said that she would go to the State Council Appealing Office the next day to report this event. Early next day (April 25, 1999), I rode my bicycle to the Appealing Office and arrived at Xisi Street at 9am. I noticed that there were lots of bicycles parking on both sides of the street. I also left my bicycle there.
Walking on Fuyou Road where the Appealing Office sits, there were already a large number of Dafa practitioners gathered there. Under the guidance of the police, they were standing on both sides of Fuyou Road. I joined the ranks on the west side of the road and my position was about ten meters from the Appealing Office. There were police vehicles passing by back and forth to direct the traffic. The atmosphere was a little bit intense. Some time later, as directed by the police, all practitioners, who were standing on the east side of the road, which is located on the other side of the red wall of Zhongnanhai, the State Council, moved to the west side of the road. The rearrangement of such a large group of people was done within 10 minutes. It became apparently crowded on the West Side of the road. Vertically positioned to the road were rows of people, each row consisting of about 10 people, row after row, the crowd was numerous. We were almost unable to turn around. Along Fuyou Road, the practitioners' contingent was more than one kilometer long. Only those on Fuyou Road were numbering over ten thousand people. Towards the north, there were practitioners standing on the east-to-west street from Xisi all the way to Beihai Park. The length of the lines was surely several miles long. On my left were more than 10 Dafa practitioners from Tianjin. On my right were several practitioners who were flown over from Urumqi City, Xinjiang Province. Everyone was very calm and stood there quietly. One by one, people passed down what was happening up front. Shortly after 10am, as a Premier Minister should do, Zhu Rongji walked out of the Appealing Office from Zhongnanhai and talked to those practitioners who stood in the front. Zhu Rongji asked us to select a few representatives. One of the practitioners said, "We follow the 'Great Dao without formality.' We do not have any organizations and we cannot dispatch a representative." I took a look and I knew this practitioner. At this time, Premier Zhu said, "I cannot talk with so many people at the same time." Therefore, he appointed seven practitioners as representatives who stood in the front and went in to talk with him. Two hours later, another group of representatives took their turn and went in. There were in total three groups. Later, Premier Zhu went out to handle something else and later continued the talk with practitioners' representatives after he came back in the evening. At first, Premier Zhu said "I already wrote a comment on your report letter. Have you seen it yet?" Everyone replied "No." Premier Zhu was very surprised. On that day, Dafa practitioners' representatives mainly gave an introduction about Dafa and talked about their personal experiences. They asked to release Tianjin practitioners and restore the legal right of publishing Dafa books.
Throughout the day of April 25, Dafa practitioners stood outside of the State Council Appealing Office - a location appointed by the police. Everyone was very quiet and calm. Some practitioners used some large plastic bags to collect small amounts of food wrappers. They even picked up the cigarette butts on the street left by the policemen. As a means to not block the traffic, practitioners not only made way to the road, but also made way to narrow lanes. Later on, the police drove jeeps with wide diameter camcorder and took repeated pictures of the practitioners. Until evening, the government agreed to release arrested practitioners in Tianjin. Through the phone contacts it was confirmed that the arrested practitioners in Tianjin had been released; this request was successfully settled.
At that time, the police came out of the Appealing Office and distributed fliers saying "Be on your guard against a few bad persons spreading rumors and confusing people", "We have never arrested any practitioners", etc.
As for restoring the legal publishing of Dafa books, Primer Zhu agreed in principle. Detailed book lists were planned to be made on April 26. Therefore, Dafa practitioners dispersed at 11pm on April 25. The next day, no one went to the appeal office again.
Later, newspapers and TV stations played the "Notice from the two offices" which again emphasized the "Three No's" policy toward Qigong and also stated that there had never been any restrictions to any Qigong schools. Everyone has the right to either believe or not believe.
A few days later, there was a meeting for Party member leaderships in my work unit. The Party Secretary said, "There are two issues for today's meeting. The first one is about Falun Gong. The second one is about the bonus. Let's first talk about the bonus." At the end, he said, "There is not much time left. It is time to have lunch soon, so Let's talk about President Jiang's speech. I need to give the paper back once I finish reading his speech. I will choose several paragraphs to read." I remember at the beginning of the speech President Jiang said, "Falun Gong came with no form and left with no trace. It surrounded Zhongnaihai at one night." "It is stipulated that none of the XX Party members are allowed to practice Falun Gong." "I do not believe that atheism cannot win over theism. That communism cannot defeat Falun Gong." At the end, the Party Secretary at our work unit said, "In my view, practicing Qigong has physical benefits. You all can practice at home . Please do not go to some crucial places."
Later on at one of our group Fa studies, I said, "It didn't solve the essential problem on that day when we appealed. The decision within the Party was 'Party members are not allowed to practice Falun Gong.'" One of the female practitioners might not have heard about the internal notice. So, responding to my comment, she said, "The Notice from the Two Offices states clearly the policy of the country towards Qigong (Note: the "Three Nos" policy / translator), the newspapers also published the policy and the TV stations also played it, will that not be counted?" I thought what she said was correct and we needed to be aware that there might be somebody who would try to sabotage our practice of Falun Dafa. However, later on there were more and more policies passed down within the Party, which conflicted with those from Premier Zhu and the Party's policy. Finally, in the middle of July, a full-blown suppression of Falun Gong began.
A veteran practitioner January 2001