United States: Commemorating the April 25th, 1999 Appeal in Chicago

On April 25th, to commemorate the 8th anniversary of the "April 25th" Peaceful Appeal, Falun Gong practitioners in the Chicago area held a group exercise practice on Federal Plaza and exhibited artworks from the "Truthfulness Compassion Tolerance" Art Exhibition. The weather was cloudy with scattered showers, but the cold raindrops couldn't move the Falun Gong practitioners. For eight years, they have endured numerous rainy days and the bloody persecution.

Falun Gong practitioners from Chicago commemorate the 8th anniversary of the "4.25 Peaceful Appeal" at Federal Plaza in the rain

On this day eight years ago, over 10,000 Falun Gong practitioners peacefully appealed to the Chinese State Council Appeals Office in Beijing, requesting the communist government release 45 Falun Gong practitioners illegally arrested in Tianjin City, not to harass people doing Falun Gong exercises in public places, and to allow the publication of Falun Gong books by commercial printing presses. The then-premier talked to representatives of the Falun Gong practitioners and the issues were resolved peacefully. This peaceful appeal pushed Falun Gong to the world stage and the rest of the world saw a group of peaceful cultivators. But the situation changed completely in a few months. Not long after April 25th, Falun Gong practitioners experienced the most evil persecution in history - a persecution which has not yet ended.

The world will not forget the peaceful appeal. At the recent event at Federal Plaza, a woman approached with a bouquet of flowers in her hands. She looked at the paintings in the exhibit one after the other. She said she appreciated the paintings very much. After learning of the persecution experienced by Falun Gong practitioners, she gave her flowers to a little practitioner at the site to show her respect. She then carefully put the truth-clarification materials in her bag so they would not be wet in the rain.

A Polish TV station interviewed Mr. Xu, a local Falun Gong practitioner. Mr. Xu talked about the meaning of the commemoration activity and the Chinese Communist Party's persecution of Falun Gong. The reporter said, "All communist parties are of the same evil. Poland is fortunate that it has abandoned the communist party. This is the only way for Chinese people to win their freedom."

Practitioner Mrs. Xu Ming is from Shenyang City in China. Eight years ago, she heard about the practitioners in Tianjin being arrested, so she travelled to Tianjin City immediately. Then, the Tianjin local government told the practitioners to appeal in Beijing, so she travelled to Beijing to appeal. "At that time, we trusted the government. We believed the government must have made a mistake in arresting the practitioners, so we appealed for justice. But is this evil communist government trustworthy?" For her persistence in her belief, Mrs. Xu was illegally sent to forced labor camp. Her family business was closed by the government. She went on a hunger strike to protest the persecution and was close to death. At the end of last year, the United Nations Refugee organisation helped her to come to the United States. This saved her life.

Forced to leave mainland China because of the persecution, Mrs. Li from Hebei Province said that this was her first April 25th commemorative activity since she came to America and regained her freedom. She was very moved while standing at Federal Plaza and could not help thinking of her fellow practitioners in China. With tears in her eyes, she said, "Why is it that people can practise Falun Dafa in every country except China? I wish, in the near future, that Falun Gong practitioners in mainland China can freely practise the exercises like we do here."

Representative Mr. Sen Yang from the Midwest Falun Dafa Association was interviewed by a local TV station. He said that the evil Chinese Communist Party's persecution of Falun Gong is inevitable because the Communist Party doesn't believe in God and it cannot tolerate any people believing in a higher truth. "Throughout history, no persecution of righteous faith has ever succeeded. There is only one result. Falun Gong will exist as a faith forever," he said.

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