(Minghui.org) The first time I hung up a “Falun Dafa Is Good” banner was on December 31, 1999. Countless practitioners have been risking their lives to seek justice and clarify the truth about the persecution ever since the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) started its brutal persecution of Falun Gong (also known as Falun Dafa) on July 20, 1999.
I received a “Falun Dafa Is Good” banner from a practitioner in December of 1999. This practitioner was made homeless, like one of many who had to leave their homes to avoid being arrested. So this banner meant a lot to me, and I had to put it in the most eye-catching spot – the gate of the local police department seemed like a good place for it.
I left home at dawn that day. It was snowing and very cold. My heart was racing as I hung the banner on the police department’s front gate. To avoid being traced by my footprints in the snow, I took a different route home.
In those days, Falun Gong practitioners in our area wanted to do something for Dafa but didn't know how. As a first step, we put up some simple posters in our own neighborhood for people to see.
A few practitioners and I were planning to paint “Falun Dafa Is Good” on the walls in our village on July 20, 2000. As we were getting ready to leave at three o’clock that morning, we heard footsteps pacing up and down outside the main gate.
We waited for about half an hour until all was clear. We arrived at our location safely and accomplished our mission. I wrote “Falun Dafa Is Good” in red paint on a wall. My writing was later painted over, but the red paint could still be seen through the white paint, and is still visible to this day.
I was arrested for practicing my belief in 2007 and held in the Shenyang Detention Center. I refused to follow the detention center rules because I was not a criminal. The detainees there were required to squat with their hands behind their head during roll call. They also had to walk with their hands behind their heads, but I refused to comply.
Once, I overheard two guards talking. “Why doesn’t she hold her head?” one asked.
“She is Falun Gong,” replied the other.
My stomach was in knots when I heard this, as I thought about how many practitioners had been persecuted here before me so that I could have this allowance from the guards?
I was sentenced to eight years and taken to the Liaoning Women’s Prison. I still refused to follow the prison rules.
I was given one month to memorize the prison regulations. My response was: “I am a Falun Dafa practitioner, and only follow Dafa’s principles.”
The prison authorities did not press me on this matter again. They did, however, attempt to manipulate me into admitting that I had broken the law. They did not succeed.
In the beginning, I still had some fear in me, so I participated in the mandatory labor work. While working, I saw some guards beating up a Falun Gong practitioner. To protest, I put down the work I was doing and refused to continue.
The guard said to me: “She's getting beaten because she disobeys. Are you trying to disobey us too?”
“She was not like that before,” I said. “She must have her reasons.” I stopped participating in the mandatory labor work from then on.
A few days later, the guard threatened an elderly prisoner in my team: “If she (referring to me) still sits there each day without doing any work, we will take away your points.”
The point system is directly related with a shortened prison term. The more points a prisoner accumulates, the more days could be removed from their sentence.
The elderly prisoner cried.
I said to the guard: “Not working is my choice. Why do you want to punish an elderly woman instead of me?”
This threat never worked, and I don't believe it affected the elderly woman either.
My fear resurfaced when there was a change of personnel in our ward. I thought: This new section chief doesn’t know me, would I be in trouble for not doing any work?
My righteous thoughts quickly put me straight: I didn't commit a crime. These guards should be the ones feeling guilty for keeping me in prison.
I was no longer afraid and never participated in the mandatory labor work.
Home was not the same after my release in 2015. My husband had passed away due to illness. We lost our entire savings and our apartment to pay for his medical bills. My daughter got married and now had a child. She found a place for me to live, and I immediately rejoined our group of local practitioners.
We went from door to door telling people about Falun Gong in December 2015 to encourage people to quit the CCP and its affiliated organizations.
A young girl was joyfully tearful when we handed her a lucky keepsake: “This is great! I have Dafa’s protection. I won't be scared anymore.”
An elderly woman cried as she held a Falun Gong pamphlet: “Why didn’t I recognize this before?” Other villagers asked her about us. The woman replied: “They are telling us the secret to staying safe.”
We were very moved when we heard that.
Practitioners were often harassed and arrested in our area, but such harrowing news never stopped us from going out to talk to people.
We went to a village to hand out Falun Gong pamphlets. A practitioner had been arrested the day before in that village, but we were not deterred.
We split into two groups. One group covered the east side of the village while the other group covered the west side. We saw police car paroling the area, but we remained calm and finished the last dozen houses before leaving the village.
Thinking back, if we had left in haste, these last twelve households would have missed their chance to learn about Falun Gong.
Sometimes we distributed pamphlets on the street. If people we talked to decided to quit the CCP, I would hand them a pamphlet, and say: “I haven't been able to tell you everything about Dafa. Please read this, there's more in there.”
If they refused to listen to us, I would say: “I'm sorry, I didn't explain myself clearly – please make up your mind after you read this and don’t miss out on this opportunity.” I would them hand them the pamphlet.
I started making Dafa informational pamphlets in our area in 2017. I almost always worked on my own, but I never felt lonely because I recited the Fa while I worked.
Sometimes, I spent the entire day making pamphlets, and would only break to have a simple meal, like noodles.
My heart is filled with happiness because I know that I am a Falun Gong practitioner, and that I am a being forged by the Fa.