(Mingui.org) Ms. Kong Haiyan is an outstanding oil painter who participated in Falun Gong practitioners' peaceful demonstration on April 25, 1999. When she heard 45 practitioners had been illegally arrested and that the Tianjin government suggested that practitioners quietly demonstrate in Beijing, Ms. Kong felt obligated to go to the State Council Appeals Office to explain the facts about Falun Gong.

Ms. Kong Haiyan participated in the peaceful demonstration in front of Zhongnanhai on April 25, 1999.

The Demonstration Site Was So Peaceful That Police Officers Relaxed and Chatted

Tens of thousands of practitioners went to the State Council Appeals Office close to Zhongnanhai to appeal on April 25, 1999. The police told practitioners to stand within assigned areas. Most of the practitioners quietly read Zhuan Falun . Despite the fact that thousands of practitioners were there, the sidewalks were clear and traffic ran smoothly on the streets.

When Ms. Kong reached the demonstration site just after 9:00 a.m. on April 25, 1999, she saw practitioners lining the lengths of Fuyou Street, Wenjin Street and Xianmen Great Street. Most of them were quietly reading Zhuan Falun. The atmosphere was serene and peaceful. Acquaintances just nodded and smiled at each other, even when they needed to speak, they spoke in low voices, trying not to disturb others.

In the beginning, the police watched the practitioners and stood in confrontational stances. The officers stood about three feet apart. After a while when they saw how peaceful the practitioners were, they relaxed and began to chat with each other.

Ms. Kong and the coordinator from her practice site stood west of the Beihai South Gate. Her boyfriend in Hong Kong called her when it was nearly 10 a.m., and urged her to leave because he saw she had been videotaped and the recording was repeatedly being played on Hong Kong Cable TV. But Ms. Kong said she was determined to wait until the authorities released the arrested Tianjin practitioners.

The practitioners had three requests: That the practitioners arrested in Tianjin be released, that their legal right to practice be recognized, and that the ban on publishing Falun Gong materials be lifted. All 10,000 practitioners left peacefully later that day, after the Chinese Premier met with Falun Gong representatives and positively responded to their requests.

The Persecution Plan Was Already in Place

As the practitioners were leaving, they received another notification: Those who lived far away could take the bus provided by the government. Since Ms. Kong lived in Beijing, she took the trolleybus and went home that evening. Several days later, a young male practitioner who was at the April 25 event from the Yanqing District came to Ms. Kong's practice site. He said the authorities did not return them home that day, instead, they were driven to the local police department. The scene was intimidating, with searchlights illuminating the street and armed police officers lining both sides of the police station corridors. The police carried machine guns. The practitioner also said the officers treated them like criminals and registered their home addresses, and telephone and ID numbers.

Those who did not take the government bus also had to show their ID numbers and they were registered by the police after April 25. It was later proven that all this was in preparation for the escalated persecution of Falun Gong.

Ms. Kong said, "Even if we hadn't demonstrated on April 25th, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) would have found another excuse to persecute Falun Gong. Spies began coming to our practice site as early as 1996, and they monitored practitioners' telephones, and some of them even publicly admitted they were spies."

The Escalated Persecution

Ms. Kong said, "The CCP launched the all out inhuman persecution against Falun Gong on July 20, 1999. A female practitioner at our practice site went to Tiananmen Square to appeal four or five times. She was arrested and tortured, and her hair was pulled out. Another practitioner named Xiao Song who worked for Beijing National Trading Bureau was also arrested and detained in the Masanjia Forced Labor Camp in Liaoning Province. After she was released, she became homeless and was forced to wander around. I met her once before I relocated to Hong Kong. After I got married in Hong Kong, I read the news of her death on the Minghui website. She left behind her son, a small boy. I don't know his whereabouts, and I'm really worried about him."

"Another practitioner Xiao Shi escaped Beijing to avoid further persecution and her two children left in Beijing were very young, and were supported by fellow practitioners' meager donations for schooling. Two weeks ago another practitioner whom I know, was arrested again. Although the CCP announced they've ended the forced labor camps, the persecution is still going on, with no significant changes."

Clarifying the Truth at Tourist Attractions in Hong Kong

Ms. Kong married her boyfriend seven years ago in Hong Kong where she can practice cultivation in a freer environment. She has visited many famous artists and has had exhibitions of her paintings. She now teaches art in Hong Kong and her students come from many countries. During the last seven years she has gone to the Huangdaxian tourist attraction to clarify the truth every day. She has now helped over 16,000 people withdraw from the CCP and its affiliated organizations.

She said, "This year, I feel things are changing. The whole international community's attitude is changing positively. Ninety percent of the tourists we speak to praise us, many say, 'Falun Dafa is good!' Especially when I mention the live organ transplanting of Falun Gong practitioners, and they all strongly condemn it. Ms. Haiyan urges those who are still participating in the persecution, "The essence of the CCP is evil, all those who follow them in persecuting will have a bad end. We hope you stop your evildoing and quit the CCP as soon as possible, otherwise it will be too late for regret."

Attracted by Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance

In 1994, when Ms. Kong had just graduated from the China Central Academy of Fine Arts, she saw people exercising in the park. Their peaceful movements attracted her and she read the introduction to the practice. She was deeply touched by the words of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. She said, "I always believed one should have a criterion in all his or her behavior, and I felt those three words were the best criterion. I then began my cultivation practice. "

Soon after she began practicing, she unexpectedly experienced amazing changes both physically and mentally: Her stomach pain, pulmonary infarction, dysmenorrhea, thrombus, and all the other illnesses she suffered for years disappeared, and her introverted and timid character became magnanimous and brave. She said, "I also had a great leap in my artistic creation, because I became very calm and peaceful after I practiced Falun Gong. My wisdom has increased by studying the Fa and cultivating solidly."