April 25th, 1999 - An Everlasting Moment that Stands the Test of Time.

A Dafa Disciple in Beijing

PureInsight | July 22, 2015

[PureInsight.org] On April 25th of 1999, I was fortunate enough to be a participant in the now famous Beijing Zhongnanhai Falun Gong appeal. This appeal had a huge impact in China. Sixteen years have already passed since the appeal. I still remember clearly many important details that occurred on that special day. This has created an immeasurably beautiful memory for me. Every year, when this day comes around, no matter wherever I might have been, be it in the detention center, forced labor camp, prison or wandering in a foreign land, I will inevitably recall the events that had happened that same day years back in Beijing. As time goes by, I feel that the importance of that appeal grows even more. In retrospect I think the April 25th appeal shared the beauty and perfection of Falun Dafa with the whole world, it has thus become an everlasting grand event in history; throughout the more than 5000 years of Chinese civilization, throughout the vast cosmos, the April 25th Zhongnanhai appeal will shine ever brightly.

On the night of April 24, 1999, I was studying the Fa at my home together with 10 or so other practitioners. A local coordinator came to tell us that some Dafa practitioners had been arrested in the city of Tianjing, the coordinator said that some local practitioners had decided to go to Beijing to peacefully protest the arrests. When my wife and I first heard the news, we immediately decided to go to Beijing to defend Dafa the next day as well. The next day was a Sunday, so I didn’t have to request a day off from my work unit. I had already experienced the Beijing TV station incident the prior year, the kindness and purity that Dafa practitioners demonstrated throughout that incident genuinely showed the world how great the Dafa of “Zhen Shan Ren(Truth-Compassion-Tolerance)” is. It is very hard to express one’s feeling if one is not personally involved in such an incident. The other practitioners at my house started to read Master’s articles of “Digging Out the Roots” and “For Whom do You Exist”, they made up their minds as to whether or not they wanted to go to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong the next day.

Beijing is around 70 or 80 Chinese Li (35 or 40 Kilometers) away from my hometown. In order to make sure we wouldn't be apprehended by the police on our way to Beijing, my wife and I decided to ride our bikes instead of taking any public transportation. We started out at around 3:30 AM that morning and got to Beijing at sunrise. We grabbed some simple food to eat and then hurried to Zhongnanhai, the building complex where Chinese government appeal centre was. When we got to the northern end of Fuyou Street, there were not too many practitioners around yet. Most of the practitioners who were there had come from different places outside Beijing as they all had left their hometowns earlier in the morning just like my wife and me. Since we were not quite familiar with Beijing, we kept asking each other where to go. There was a Police Station nearby, there didn’t seem to have anything happened at the station at all. As a matter of fact, there were many monitors around that important area in Beijing. If any police officers had ventured out to stop us, it would have been impossible for Dafa practitioners to even get close to the Zhongnanhai compound, let alone encircle it. It was discovered later on that someone had already planned it that way; they wanted us to get close to the Zhongnanhai compound so as to aggravate the situation and then use such an event as an excuse to start the crackdown on Falun Gong. However, those people had never imagined how well Falun Gong practitioners would behave themselves throughout the appeal process; there was no violence at all.

Gradually, more and more Dafa practitioners showed up along Fuyou Street. Some police officers also appeared; they even escorted Dafa practitioners to the Zhongnanhai compound. We walked south along Fuyou street, somewhere in the middle of Fuyou street, another group of Dafa practitioners walked towards us from the southern end of Fuyou street. The two groups met together and then stopped along the side of Fuyou Street, directly opposite from the west gate to the Zhongnanhai compound.

Everyone was very disciplined, there was no noise at all. All the Dafa practitioners were standing along one side of Fuyou Street, the street was still open to traffic, and there was no traffic jam at all. At first, many public buses were going through the street; later police officers came over to block the two ends of the street. It was the Police Departments' decision to block the street which then caused some traffic problems, the presence of Dafa practitioners along the side of the street didn’t create any issues for the normal traffic flow at all, and everything was still running as usual. Everyone was standing there quietly; we made it clear that we were not protesting against the government, we were simply trying to appeal for the release of those arrested Dafa practitioners in the city of Tianjing. When practitioners got tired from standing on the side of the street, they would move to the back and sit there for a while.

Everyone was simply standing there. From the early morning until the evening of that day, we stood there for the whole day. I was very touched by three practitioners that happened to be standing nearby me. One of them was a young mother, her baby was only a few months old, the mother was still nursing the baby, yet in order to defend Dafa as well as let more people know about Dafa so that they might begin to practice Dafa, this young mother carried her baby with her and quietly stood in the street for a whole day. The other two practitioners were a recently married couple from the southern part of China. The couple was on a business trip in Beijing, when they heard about the news of the arrests in Tianjing, the couple decided to come out to join the appeal. The young woman was about 7 months pregnant, her belly was very obvious, yet, she also silently stood in the street with her husband throughout the whole day. What a group of people! Heaven and earth should be moved by such people! Everybody cares about his or her baby, every family takes great care of a pregnant woman; if one has not personally benefitted greatly from Dafa, if one only seeks comfort for himself or herself, who would venture out to stand in the street while being several months pregnant or even carrying a baby? Falun Dafa gives many benefits to a nation, and does not a single bit of harm; every Falun Dafa practitioner has personally experienced the beauty and benefits of Falun Dafa. We all know how evil and brutal the CCP can be, there are simply too many bloody examples of the CCP’s brutalities. Everyone knows about the “Tiananmen Square Massacre” that happened on June 4th in the year of 1989, we all understand that the evil CCP can do anything it wishes, it simply has no scruples whatsoever. Anyone who dares to approach Zhongnanhai to protest against the CCP is utterly selfless. Without any concern for oneself, a person is thus fearless. Those who tried to scare Falun Gong practitioners into submission had really underestimated the power of a selfless human being. It’s been more than 16 years since the April 25th appeal, Dafa practitioners are still holding onto the principles of selflessness and compassion, yet, there are still many people around the world who are blind to the characteristics of Falun Dafa practitioners.

Dafa practitioners all believed that those practitioners that were arrested in the city of Tianjing must be innocent; there should be more of such people in society. The government should support and encourage such people. Now, instead of encouraging, the government was arresting such people. That was just irrational. Some Dafa books were banned from publication as well; the government was simply doing something against the law and against the Chinese constitution. Why couldn’t Dafa practitioners then start to appeal? Every Dafa practitioner sincerely hoped that many more people would benefit from Dafa.

Premier Zhu was a tall man, as soon as he stepped outside the Zhongnanhai main entrance gate, I immediately recognized him. There were no body guards around Premier Zhu, it was wonderful for Premier Zhu to be so broad minded, and it created a sharp contrast against the narrow-minded, skittish twit, Jiang the Toad (Jiang Zemin). Premier Zhu walked across the street to talk to some practitioners and said he had already issued a comment on Falun Gong, Premier Zhu then asked whether anyone had heard of his comment yet, no one said yes. Premier Zhu then told the practitioners that he needed to welcome certain foreign dignitaries that day, he had already arranged for some officials to hold a meeting with Dafa practitioners. A few Dafa practitioners volunteered to go to the meeting and then followed Premier Zhu inside the complex. Later, those Dafa practitioners came out and then a few more practitioners went inside the complex.

Many police officers showed up in the morning, the officers spread around the street and stood around 10 meters away from each other to form a line. It was obvious that the police officers were temporarily rushed in, as they seemed very anxious. Their supervisors must have told them something very serious had happened around the Zhongnanhai compound. Soon afterwards however, the police officers began to relax. Every Dafa practitioner was following the principles of “Zhen Shan Ren”, the over-all atmosphere was very tender and kind. As all the practitioners were standing there in defense for Dafa, the atmosphere was also very pure and sacred. The police officers gradually sensed the atmosphere - actually they were blessed to be in such a field. Police officers are frequently exposed to violent scenes when dealing with criminals, yet right now in front of them, even with so many people gathered around, there was no sign of any aggression, there was simply no danger of any kind at all, and everything was quiet and peaceful. Some practitioners approached the police officers and chatted with them, the officers came to understand more on what was going on.

As time went on, the police officers became even more relaxed; some even decided to take a nap inside their police cars. Those who still stood on the street also began to loosen up, they started to chat and smoke cigarettes; as a result, cigarette butts were thrown everywhere in the street. Of course, the police officers didn’t intentionally throw cigarette butts around; it was just out of their usual habits. On the other hand, Dafa practitioners had been standing there for the whole day, everyone was still standing straight, and no one was bent over. At that time, I didn’t think too much about such a contrast, I didn’t feel tired at all. Even now when I recollect the events of that day, I still remember that I didn’t have any sense of fatigue that day, on the contrary, I was very happy and felt very light. It must have been the strengthening power from our merciful Master. Dafa practitioners had been practicing the sitting and standing exercises for many years, their minds were calm and their hearts were pure. So, together with the strengthening power from Master, the Falun Dafa practitioners were able to stand in the street for a whole day without getting tired.

The next day when we were studying the Fa at my house, one senior practitioner told us a story about her daughter who was a police officer. The practitioners' daughter was also present at the appeal. Later when the daughter returned home, she told her mom that she was there, she also talked with other male Police officers that day and said, “Look, what a group of people with such high discipline, we should really learn from these people.” All the male Police officers agreed completely. Later on, I heard many such stories told by people including Police officers at the scene that day, or people just passing by on a bus to see the peaceful gathering personally. When these people talked about the orderliness and the high level of discipline demonstrated by Dafa practitioners that day, all of them would show great admiration towards Dafa.

At some point during the appeal, the loud speakers above started to order people to leave. There were printed announcements as well asking us to leave the scene, but none of us would accept the announcements. We were there to appeal, we didn’t break any laws, and we were all broad minded. The incident of arresting Dafa practitioners in the city of Tianjing was a real act of violation of the law, and it must be stopped. Since the issue was not yet resolved, how could we go away? Two sedans slowly drove by in the afternoon; we could see cameras behind the car windows. Just like those nearby me, I stood straight and directly faced the cameras. We didn’t have anything to hide, why should we be afraid of being video-taped? Everyone knows that the evil CCP is good at harassing people after an incident is well over. The “4.5 Tiananmen Incident” in 1976 and the "Tiananmen Square Massacre” on June 4 in 1989 all showed that the evil CCP would not easily let people off. Nonetheless, we were not afraid of the evil CCP at all, we were all Dafa practitioners, we fully understood the beauty of Dafa, and we were simply hoping that many more people would come to learn Dafa.

There were some foreign news reporters trying to approach Dafa practitioners that day. Government officials would then run over to the reporters and shun them away, some reporters tried to hide behind Dafa practitioners, we would then ask the reporters to go away. We had come to appeal, the reporters had their own agenda, and we didn’t want the reporters to mingle with us. Later, certain unknown people also tried to mingle with us; we immediately saw through these people and asked them to go away. The evil CCP had always used infiltration to create conflicts among people inside independent groups and then taken advantage of such conflicts to crackdown on the groups. Now, it was really hard for an outsider or a bad person to mingle with Dafa practitioners. Dafa practitioners are cultivators, their kindness and compassion cannot be easily mimicked by any other non-cultivators, so it was easy to spot those dubious characters.

Most of the Dafa practitioners didn’t bring any food with them that day. After a long day, we took turns to buy food to eat. All the nearby instant and convenient foods such as pan-cakes and noodles were sold out very quickly due to the sheer number of practitioners at the scene. The whole atmosphere was so harmonious that even the food stall owners were moved. The food stall owners would personally wash their tomatoes or cucumbers before selling them to Dafa practitioners, they would say, “Hey, I’ve just washed these cucumbers, please go ahead and eat them.” There was a public restroom nearby, I went there and noticed it was kept in a very clean state even though so many Dafa practitioners were using it. When most of the Dafa practitioners had left the scene that evening, quite a few local Dafa practitioners helped to clean up the area afterwards.

Sometime during the day, many Dafa practitioners were looking up into the sky. I couldn’t see anything. My wife told me that she saw many Falun in the sky, they were very beautiful. I was told later on that many deities were present above in the sky that day, the deities appeared very serious, they were there waiting for Master to rectify the Fa, however, the number of Dafa practitioners at the scene was still not enough that day.

Around 9 PM that night, the practitioners who had gone inside the complex finally came out. I noticed that one of them was Li Chang, the director of Falun Dafa Research Association. Li Chang talked to the practitioners across the street about the meeting with the government officials; it was said that the central government had already learnt of the arrests in Tianjing, and officials in Tianjing had already agreed to release the detained Dafa practitioners, so Dafa practitioners should leave the scene now. Some people started to leave; we decided to wait for a while and eventually left only after some other practitioners came to us to confirm the news. Someone suggested that those practitioners that lived in Beijing should help with lodging for those who had come from outside the city. Later, some practitioners indeed stayed at local practitioners’ residences for the night. Dafa practitioners always treat each other like family, I am pretty sure there would have been many moving stories that night.

Li Chang used to be an official who worked in the Central Government’s Department of National Public Security. Due to his involvement with the April 25th appeal, Li Chang was later on sentenced by the evil CCP to 18 years in prison, one of the longest prison sentences ever handed out to any Dafa practitioner. Li Chang is now in his 70s already, he is still imprisoned in a jail in the city of Tianjing. The jail appears loosely controlled to outsiders, it is actually strictly monitored in secret. Li Chang is still one of the most prominent figures in the jail, and as such is under constant surveillance, as the evil CCP regards Li Chang as a leader for Falun Gong and fears that Li Chang might encourage others to follow him at short notice. The evil CCP finds it difficult to understand that Dafa practitioners all follow the Fa, not individuals in their practice. Every practitioner is treated with exactly the same respect, no matter when the practitioner started his or her practice of Falun Gong. All Dafa assistants are just volunteers who help others in their own capacities; they are also Dafa practitioners themselves. Master Li Hongzhi (the founder of Falun Dafa) treats everyone the same, He shows His compassion towards every single person, including veteran Dafa practitioners, new practitioners, ordinary person or even people who have persecuted Dafa.

It was during the “Guangming Daily” newspaper article (an editorial that criticized Falun Gong) incident that I got to know Li Chang. It was Li Chang that wrote a letter to the newspaper to defend Falun Gong, Li Chang put his name and his work unit in the letter to the newspaper, I really admired Li Chang’s courage. Li Chang was not an organizer for Falun Gong at all, he was simply trying to tell other practitioners what was going on, he was just a volunteer to help others, he didn’t have any authority to command others, and he didn’t force anyone to do anything; all Falun Gong assistants were just like Li Chang. Up until now, everyone, including police officers and government officials all throughout China, know what a Falun Gong assistant is. Li Chang is really an old man to be respected. At one April 25th Memorial Day, I approached Li Chang and said from the depths of my heart to him “Thank you! I know many other friends will also bless you on this day.” Li Chang’s jail sentence is very long; we all hope Li Chang and all the other detained Dafa practitioners will be released soon so that they can get back to their families, to Falun Dafa.

When Dafa practitioners began to leave the scene that night, it didn’t take too long for all the practitioners to leave. One reason was that the government allocated many buses to take people away. So many Dafa practitioners, they arrived quietly and they left quietly, it was almost like magic. Those practitioners who lived nearby left the scene at the very end, and before they left they cleaned up the street and the public restroom one more time, even though the street and the public restroom were already kept very tidy during the day.

As we rode our bikes home we were so happy, we felt so light, Master must have bestowed so much upon us, and the changes in our bodies in other dimensions must have been mind-boggling. It was around 1:30 AM when we got back home, my mother had not gone to sleep yet, she had been waiting up for us, she had also kept some food warm for us. Even though my mother didn’t go to Beijing, her heart was with us just the same.

If we compare this April 25th event with other government sponsored rallies, it becomes even more apparent how significant this April 25th appeal is. I had taken part in government sponsored parades before, such as the “national day parade”. I clearly remember how the parade went. When we were gathering around to get ready for the parade, there were so many people. Workers, students, government officials, all kinds of people were there. The public restroom was disgusting, it was also almost impossible to get to use the public restroom. When the whole group of people finally left the scene, the street was covered with fruit peels, peanut shells, plastic bags, old newspapers, etc. Trash was everywhere, it was filthy, and one simply didn’t want to look at the street. It was just the same when people gathered for the flag raising ceremony on Tiananmen Square. When those people left the scene again, the ground was covered with all kinds of trash.

After reading the books “Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party” and “Dissolving the CCP Party Culture” and watching the Shenyun shows, we have come to realize that once people develop an upright faith and adhere to high moral standards, they will discipline themselves accordingly, they become much better people. The orderliness, kindness, peacefulness and cleanliness that was exhibited during the April 25 appeal in Beijing proves that human beings can act properly and in a civilized way, our society is supposed to function in that way. It is the evil CCP’s indoctrination of atheism and violent struggle against any of its targeted enemies that have ruined the entire Chinese nation and its people. Now, many Chinese people are very confrontational, they don’t respect life, it is a trivial thing for them to fight and to kill others, they don’t care about morality anymore, just like the police officers who throw their cigarette butts everywhere and spit everywhere whenever they feel like it. People have gotten used to such behavior, no one shows any surprise when such behavior is displayed. The evil CCP is keen on cultivating ruffians and violent youths to help them attack their so-called enemies. Even the CCP’s top leaders think in this way. That’s why when the CCP officials personally witnessed what happened that day, their immediate reaction was total surprise, they wondered how people could behave in such a self-disciplined manner, so they figured that there must be some kind of organization behind the appeal to control the practitioners in such a disciplined way. The evil CCP itself is very good at strictly controlling people using fear, brutality and violence. So in comparison, we can clearly see how evil and poisonous the CCP regime is, at the same time we can also clearly see how wonderful Falun Dafa is!

Interestingly enough, my niece’s birthday is on April 25th. In the 10 years prior to the April 25th incident in 1999, all of our family members would gather on that day to celebrate my niece’s birthday, we would eat cakes and have fun with each other. We would always have a good time. On this same day in 1999 though, I started off early in the morning with my wife on our way to Beijing, when we finally got back home, it was already the next day, so we missed celebrating my niece’s birthday together. I didn’t feel sorry because we were on a mission to defend the Fa that day, and what’s more there would be still more birthdays in the years to come. I didn’t realize however, that the evil CCP would start its brutal crackdown on Falun Gong. On July 20th 1999, the evil CCP regime began a nationwide persecution campaign against Falun Gong. I went to Beijing again to appeal for Falun Gong on April 25th the following year, I was detained. I was arrested and sent to a prison in 2001 while in the subsequent two years, I wandered around the country. In 2004, I was again illegally arrested and sent to a prison. So, nine years went by without celebrating my niece’s birthday. I really didn’t anticipate this to happen when I went to Beijing on April 25th of 1999. Nonetheless, throughout those nine years, no matter wherever I might have been, I would always send my best wishes to my niece on her birthday. Of course, on that special day, I would also send my best wishes to the whole world!

The year of 2015 has just arrived. Looking back on that special day 16 years ago when we all went to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong, I have now realized that we were not simply appealing for some individual or group rights then; on that day Dafa practitioners were telling the world with their sincere hearts what the 5000 years of genuine traditional Chinese culture was like. Since 1949, the Chinese people have been born into a nation of gangs, they speak the language of gangs and they act like gangsters; on April 25, 1999, those precious Dafa practitioners were telling the entire Chinese nation what they really should act like. Let’s think it over, the evil CCP is so brutal and so overwhelming, what did it fear so much about Falun Gong practitioners’ appeal that day? Why did it decide to use all of China's resources to persecute Falun Gong? The reason is actually very simple. If all the Chinese people start to act like Falun Gong practitioners and everyone follows the principles of “Zhen Shan Ren (Truth-Compassion-Tolerance”, then the evil CCP which was established on the basis of lies, brutality and violence would collapse right away.

The April 25th appeal has brought a great deal of precious spiritual wealth to the Chinese people, the incident startled the whole world and everyone was praising Falun Gong. If we could go back to that day 16 years ago and on that day if all the Chinese people decided to support Falun Gong, then how wonderful it could have been for the whole nation! However, he evil head of the CCP at that time, Jiang Zemin decided to crackdown on Falun Dafa, and with such a decision from him, he was already destined to be punished eternally in hell. Heaven has already determined the path for the evil CCP and Jiang Zemin.

Now, what has happened to all the Chinese people since that day? How many people decided to give up everything to resolutely fight and resist the CCP’s persecution of Falun Gong? How many people have decided not to get involved in the persecution? How many people, out of self-protection, decided to take part in the persecution with various degrees of involvement? How many people, out of self-interest decided to proactively participate in the persecution? Things have changed a lot. Now, numerous people have ventured forward and signed petitions to support Falun Gong and to resist the persecution of Falun Gong and more than 200 million Chinese people have decided to quit the evil CCP. Today, 16 years after that special day, I’d like to ask every Chinese person, why don’t you make the right decision for the sake of your own future? This is a chance that comes about only once in millions of years, when it’s gone, it’s gone forever!

It’s been 16 years now. Falun Dafa still stands firmly in this world even after such a comprehensive, brutal persecution against it, carried out by the most evil CCP regime. Falun Dafa has not been eliminated as first planned by the evil CCP head Jiang Zemin. Falun Dafa is now flourishing ever more brightly. The kindness, tolerance and rationality that were demonstrated by Dafa practitioners during the April 25 appeal have accompanied Dafa practitioners since then. Faced with dismissal from the work place, practitioners being kidnapped from their homes, houses being ransacked, forceful brainwashing, forced labor camp sentences, prison sentences, numerous different kinds of torture and even live organ harvesting, Dafa practitioners have never fought back when being persecuted, they continue to try hard to spread the truth about Falun Gong in order to save sentient beings. Just very recently, the total number of Chinese people who had quit the evil CCP has just exceeded 200 million, it is clear that the evil CCP is destroying itself in the process of its persecution against Falun Dafa. Falun Dafa is emerging ever stronger out of this brutal persecution. Falun Dafa is now practiced in more than 100 countries around the world and Shenyun Performing Arts plays in top theatres all around the world. The evil CCP itself is full of ongoing internal factional fighting as well as facing all kinds of external pressure; it faces total collapse at any moment. Fa rectification could happen at any time. Many Chinese people, especially many corrupt government officials in various departments still suffer from their bondage with the evil CCP, they don’t want to get out. I feel most sorry for all such people.

Looking back at the April 25th appeal, we can see the righteous and the evil, kind and wicked more clearly now. I hope many more people who have sinned against Falun Gong quickly wake up and catch this last chance to quit their affiliations with the CCP and repent for their crimes!

Looking back at the April 25th appeal, we want to thank once again our merciful, grand and respected Master, we want to thank again all those Dafa practitioners who have been waking people up to the truth and we want to thank all those who have been brave enough to stand up and say no to the evil CCP. Finally, we hope that everyone will remember that “Falun Dafa is good”, “Zhen Shan Ren (Truth-Compassion-Tolerance) is good”.

Translated from: http://www.zhengjian.org/node/145050



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