(Minghui.org) Falun Dafa practitioners in San Francisco held activities on April 24, 2021, to mark the 22nd anniversary of a historic appeal by practitioners in China on April 25, 1999. Practitioners in San Francisco did the exercises on Ferry Plaza early in the morning and held a rally in the afternoon. Many people signed a petition calling for an end to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), which has brutally persecuted Falun Dafa practitioners since 1999.

Practitioners perform the Falun Dafa exercises at Ferry Plaza on April 24, 2021.

The Tian Guo Marching Band performs at the rally.

Passersby stop to watch the Tian Guo Marching Band perform.

Practitioners hold a rally to mark the 22nd anniversary of the April 25 appeal in Beijing, China.

People sign a petition calling for an end to the CCP.

Practitioners introduce the Falun Dafa spiritual discipline to passersby.

Dean, a Falun Dafa practitioner, speaks at the rally.

Abraham, a Falun Dafa practitioner speaks at the rally.

Practitioners performed the Falun Dafa exercises at 9:10 a.m. Passersby were drawn in by the peaceful scene and stopped to watch. Some of them said the exercises were tranquil and they admired the principles taught by the practice–Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance.

After the exercises, the Tian Guo Marching Band performed several pieces. Passersby gathered around to listen, and some commented that the band’s music calmed the fear in their hearts caused by the pandemic.

Andy Ellsmore, a geologist, spoke at the rally.

Several practitioners spoke at the rally. They introduced the Falun Dafa spiritual discipline and talked about their own experiences. Andy Ellsmore, a geologist who has been practicing for more than two decades, said he had many bad habits prior to taking up Falun Dafa, including addictions to drugs and alcohol. After he started to practice Dafa, he observed that his body became lighter and more relaxed. He credits Falun Dafa for his positive changes and helping him to get rid of his vices.

Andy said he learned about the brutal persecution of Falun Dafa by the Communist Party in China soon after he began practicing. He decided to do something to help stop the atrocities. Together with other Western practitioners, he went to Tiananmen Square in Beijing to appeal to the Chinese government and tell the Chinese people, “Falun Dafa is good.”

As a result, Andy was arrested in China. “Falun Gong practitioners in China face the same danger every day,” he said. “They can be arrested anytime and tortured. Worse still, they might even be killed for their organs. The CCP’s persecution of Falun Gong has demonstrated to people how evil it is. Everyone should stand up and stop the regime from carrying out these human rights violations.”

Falun Dafa practitioner Chris Kitze speaks at the rally.

According to practitioner Chris Kitze, practitioners in China went to Beijing to appeal 22 years ago because they wanted a peaceful environment in which to practice their faith.

He said the April 25 appeal has become a moral example for humanity. Many people including himself were inspired by the appeal to practice Falun Dafa.

He called practitioners heroes “because they are going against the tide.” He said, “As the world becomes more corrupt and evil, they continue to uphold justice and tell people the truth despite the huge risk.”

The day’s events attracted many spectators. Elizabeth, a local resident, was one of them. She said she especially loved the Tian Guo Marching Band's performance.

Elizabeth saw a show by Shen Yun Performing Arts in San Francisco in January 2020. She said she felt healed when she left the theater. “I wanted to know more about Falun Dafa so I researched it. I began to learn the exercises myself. I feel that the meditation can heal my mind and body. It’s amazing!” she said.

Although she has yet to finish reading the main book Zhuan Falun, it has inspired her to consider many things and taught her to reflect on her shortcomings.

Walter Kaweski, a university lecturer, said there is nothing more evil than the CCP’s state-sanctioned forced organ harvesting.

Walter Kaweski, a lecturer at California State University in Sacramento, said he stands with Falun Dafa completely and supports their call to end the CCP. “The regime’s persecution of Falun Dafa is inhuman and it needs to be brought to justice in all parts of the world,” he said.

He also said it is important for people to know about the brutalities. “Many people don’t know what the regime has done in China. Murdering Falun Dafa practitioners for their organs and selling them for huge profits. This makes me think of the crimes committed by Nazi Germany. It is horrible and barbaric. There is nothing more evil than this,” he said.

Elon Cohen from Denver said he supports practitioners' efforts to raise awareness of the persecution.

“I hope I can see the collapse of the CCP in my lifetime,” said Elon Cohen from Denver, Colorado. He has in-depth knowledge of the persecution in China and said he supports practitioners in resisting the persecution: “I am an Israelite. I know the evil nature of the CCP. Everyone should have freedom of belief. No one should be persecuted or threatened because of their faith. I will support you until the day the persecution ends.

“The CCP must be held responsible for the hurt it has done to its people and the world. Ending its tyranny is what we must do,” he said.

Ana Gere was shocked by the CCP's persecution of innocent people.

Ana Gere from southern California said it was the first time she had heard about the persecution of Falun Dafa in China. She was shocked that Chinese nationals are tortured for exercising their freedom of belief.

When the Tian Guo Marching Band started to perform during the rally. Ana was moved to tears. “The music is so beautiful,” she said. “They are so kind. I feel sad that Falun Dafa practitioners are being persecuted. I cannot accept this. Why would the CCP want to suppress a group of cultivators who want to become better people?”

She said, “When I see photos of those who were tortured to death for their belief, I am astonished by what’s happening. I cry for these victims. How can the world allow something like this to happen? They [the CCP] have done a great wrong.”

Mr. Huang, who has lived in San Francisco for more than four decades, was surprised to learn that so many people practice Falun Dafa. When he was told about the persecution, he said, “Everyone should have the right to freedom of belief. The [Chinese] government has no right to interfere in this. It is not right to persecute practitioners.”

When he learned about Falun Dafa practitioners being killed for organs, he said in anguish, “This is inhuman and shouldn’t happen. You cannot take people’s organs by force simply because of different ideologies. This is too evil. A civilized county would never do such things.”

He said, “If everyone in the world follows the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, then the world will became a wonderful place.”

Chinese version available

Category: April 25 Events