(Minghui.org) On April 24, 2021, Falun Dafa practitioners in Quebec held a parade and other activities in Montreal in remembrance of the historic April 25 Appeal in China 22 years ago.

Falun Dafa practitioners in Quebec, Canada, held activities in Montreal to mark the 22nd anniversary of the April 25 Appeal in Beijing.

Parade of cars with messages about Falun Dafa.

Pedestrians sign the petition to call for an end to the persecution.

At 2 p.m. under the bright, early spring sunshine, the parade started off from Cabot Square, headed down Rue Sainte-Catherine in the city center and Boulevard René-Lévesque, a major road in Montreal, and then headed east.

Police vehicles drove in front, clearing the way. The parade was split into several sections, made up of banners, display boards, and cars with signs on top with information about the spiritual discipline and the persecution in China. Several spectators expressed their support by raising their thumbs, shouting, “Keep going!” and nodding as they pressed their palms together in front of their chests.

22 Years of Peaceful, Calm Resistance and Perseverance

Hao Yuxiu (right) participated in the appeal in Beijing on April 25, 1999.

Hao Yuxiu decided to go to Beijing to appeal on April 25, 1999, after witnessing the unjust arrest of practitioners in Tianjin. She was sent to labor camps twice after the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) launched its persecution of Falun Dafa and was nearly tortured to death. Today, 22 years later, she participates in the parade to call for an end to the atrocities.

She said, “Falun Dafa practitioners have always been peaceful and rational, from 1999 until today. This is all because we follow the teachings. Falun Dafa is virtuous and upright, and that’s why people can persist in their belief in spite of the brutal persecution.”

Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance Resonates in My Heart

Hélène of Montreal says the three words Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance resonate in her heart.

Hélène, a Montreal resident, said after seeing the three words, “Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance” on the Falun Dafa brochure: “This is found in human nature. It speaks to my heart.”

She was curious and thought that the parade was unlike any other she’d ever seen. There was no shouting—it was very quiet. When she learned that Falun Gong is a traditional Chinese cultivation practice with a sitting meditation and its adherents are cruelly persecuted by the CCP, she was very touched. She could not imagine anyone continuing to practice in the shadow of such inhuman treatment. She said, “These people are very strong. I cannot be indifferent to this. I would do something to change the situation.”

She wanted to walk behind the parade and said, “This silent parade is very powerful. People stop in their tracks and read the signs. They understand what’s happening when the parade goes by. My heart is with them. I think what they are doing is very important. I encourage you to keep doing this.”

The Parade Inspires People, Falun Dafa Practitioners Are Brave

Jay from Montreal has been paying attention to the reports on the persecution of Falun Dafa for a long time. He had praise for the parade and said it encourages people. He admires practitioners for their courage.

Jay, his wife, and daughter expressed their support for Falun Dafa practitioners. Jay said the parade was inspiring. “I happened to pass by and saw it. I completely support this kind of protest. The CCP’s human rights record is terrible. People who live there have no human rights or political rights such as the Uyghurs, Falun Dafa, and Hong Kong citizens. There is so much suppression, it is very sad and depressing,” he said.

“I know about Falun Dafa,” he continued. “They have been protesting peacefully for over two decades. They are very brave. I read many reports and know the CCP instigates many people to monitor them. Seeing them gather together and holding a protest—this is excellent. I hope people can think about this. We cannot allow the CCP to do such deeds. I support them and hope things will change.

“We must make a distinction between the CCP and Chinese people. The two are completely different.”

I Am Full of Admiration for Falun Dafa

Lambadas, who lives in Montreal, stood on the curb watching the parade for a long time. He said, “I am not simply joining in the fun or taking selfies. I have tremendous respect for them because what they are doing is very important. I am full of admiration for Falun Dafa. I am glad to see people stand up and say something.”

Lambadas, who lives in Montreal, said the CCP’s persecution of human rights is ridiculous and a disgrace. He said he respects Falun Dafa practitioners.

Lambadas said he did not know about the persecution before. But he knew the CCP has always suppressed the Chinese, from the persecution of Tibetans and the one-child policy to slave labor in prisons and so on. He said, “Like all totalitarian regimes, it abuses its own people. Those who dare to speak the truth will be thrown into prison and even executed. The CCP spends a lot of money on overseas investments with money plundered from its people. It does not care about people’s hardships. All the other governments should oppose that regime.

“Please let practitioners know they are doing the right thing. I am full of admiration for them.”

Bala, a postgraduate student at Concordia University, commented after learning about the CCP’s persecution of Falun Dafa that faith is a fundamental human right. He said what the regime has done is “terrible.” He supports practitioners in their peaceful protest. “You cannot suppress one’s faith. Everyone has freedom of thought. The CCP has done so many bad things. Look at how they treat people in Hong Kong. Using communist ideology to suppress people is wrong.”

Bala, a postgraduate student at Concordia University, said he cannot accept the CCP persecuting people for their belief. He feels that people should stand up for their rights.

Awad, a student in the business school at Concordia University, said, “I have never seen such a peaceful parade. There is violence in most protests and they are radical. The protesters don’t even know what they are protesting. But the participants in this parade seem to be very clear about what they want to express—and it is a large group.”

After being told about the persecution in China, he said, “I love this parade! There is no one shouting or screaming. They conveyed their message in a great way. It is very well organized!”

Awad, a student in the business school at Concordia University, said he’d never seen such a peaceful parade.

The International Community Hasn’t Done Enough to Stop this Persecution

Boutim from Montreal said after watching the parade that he has read a lot about the persecution of Falun Dafa, “This is a tragedy and is very disturbing. The parade is a marvelous way to condemn the CCP.”

He also said that the CCP must be stopped: “There must be pressure from the international community. Governments in other countries, including Canada, have done too little or else the persecution would not have continued until today.”

Joining the Parade to End the Persecution

Nathalie drove from Sherbrooke, 160 km away, to take part in the parade to end the persecution. “Everyone’s human rights should be protected. Otherwise, everyone could become a victim ultimately, because the CCP does not only persecute Falun Dafa. This brutality must end. That’s why I came here,” she said.

“Falun Dafa teaches us to follow Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance. To me, these are the most important values in one’s life. They are wonderful and have changed my life. They make me calm and at peace inside. Over 10,000 practitioners went to appeal peacefully in 1999. They showed the world the beauty of these principles. But the CCP cannot accept such goodness. The CCP is atheistic and many people practiced Falun Dafa, but the CCP wants to control everything.”

Nathalie drove 160 kms to attend the parade. She said the principles taught by Falun Dafa are wonderful and have transformed her life.

Background: What Is the April 25th Appeal?

Falun Dafa (also known as Falun Gong) was first taught to the public in 1992. Nearly 100 million people across China were soon practicing it after experiencing improvements in their health and morality.

On April 23 and 24, 1999, police officers in Tianjin, a city near Beijing, assaulted and arrested dozens of practitioners who had gathered outside a magazine office to discuss errors in a recently-published article attacking Falun Dafa. As word of the arrests spread and more practitioners talked with officials, they were told they had to take their concerns to Beijing.

The following day, April 25, some 10,000 Falun Dafa practitioners spontaneously gathered at the Central Appeals office in Beijing, as they had been instructed by Tianjin officials. The gathering was peaceful and orderly. Several Falun Dafa representatives were called in to meet with Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji and members of his staff. That evening, their concerns were addressed, the arrested practitioners in Tianjin were released, and everyone went home.

Jiang Zemin, former head of the CCP, perceived the spiritual discipline's growing popularity as a threat to the CCP's atheistic ideology and issued an order to ban Falun Dafa on July 20, 1999.

Minghui.org has confirmed the deaths of thousands of Falun Dafa practitioners due to the persecution over the past 22 years; the actual number is suspected to be much higher. More have been imprisoned and tortured for their faith.

There is concrete evidence that the CCP sanctions the harvesting of organs from detained practitioners, who are murdered to supply the organ transplant industry.

Chinese version available

Category: Rallies & Protests