The April 25 Peaceful Demonstration Raises Consciousness
(Minghui.org) As a witness of the April 25 peaceful demonstration in 1999, I have a special feeling every year around its anniversary. It is important to recall the reason for the brutal persecution that Jiang Zemin, former head of the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP), initiated and perpetuated.
The CCP's framing and persecution of Falun Gong started before 1999. Gangming Daily, the CCP's mouthpiece, carried a commentary slandering Falun Gong on June 17, 1996. The Press and Publication Administration, Ministry of Propaganda issued an order that prohibited the publication of Falun Gong books Zhuan Falun and Falun Gong on July 24, 1996.
The Ministry of Public Security conducted an investigation to collect so-called criminal evidence to frame Falun Gong at the beginning of 1997. The ministry issued a notice number 555 titled “Notice on Investigating Falun Gong” on July 21, 1998. The ministry falsely accused Falun Gong in the notice and went against the law by employing “conviction first, investigation to follow.” Police had set up surveillance of Falun Gong practitioner coordinators' telephones and whereabouts, and harassed and drove off participants of public practice sites, ransacking and confiscating personal property.
He Zuoxiu, a member of Chinese Academy of Science, published an article titled “I Don't Recommend Youths Practice Qigong” in Youth Science and Technology Expo, a magazine of Tianjin College of Education, on April 11, 1999. He slandered Falun Gong with false information in this article.
Falun Gong practitioners in Tianjin went to Tianjin College of Education and other relevant departments calling for a retraction of the false report from April 18 to 24, 1999. Several thousand practitioners reported their own positive experiences in practicing Falun Gong.
On April 23 and 24, 1999, Tianjin Police Bureau dispatched over 300 armed police to beat and forcefully dispel the practitioners. Forty-five practitioners were arrested and some practitioners were wounded.
Then, over 10,000 Falun Gong practitioners from Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei and other places went to Beijing to visit State Appeals Office on April 25, 1999 in peaceful pursuit of justice. The office located in Zhongnanhai, the CCP's compound. The then Prime Minister Zhu Rongji met with representative practitioners. The practitioners presented three simple requests: immediate release of Falun Gong practitioners arrested, a peaceful practice environment for practitioners, and permission to have Falun Gong books published.
I and other practitioners stood on the sidewalk from around 6 am to 9 pm that day. There were no slogans or shouting, and no aggressive actions. Some practitioners even cleaned up litter from the street. The whole process was in good order. I vividly remember that day.
The practitioners arrested in Tianjin were released later that day. The practitioners who demonstrated in Beijing left peacefully around 9 pm. The peaceful demonstration won praise from the international community.
However, the event appeared to have thrown Jiang Zemin into a jealous rage, as he wrote to the Politburo Standing Committee and other high level officials on the night of April 25, 1999, stating that “it would be a big joke if the Communist Party cannot defeat Falun Gong.” The letter was printed and distributed to officials at each level. Jiang gave a speech to the politburo meeting on June 6 and slandered Falun Gong. His speech was printed and distributed among officials in the Party.
Jiang launched the persecution on July 20, 1999, using the April 25 peaceful demonstration as an excuse, claiming Falun Gong had “besieged Zhongnanhai.” Jiang and the CCP colluded in the brutal and inhumane persecution. The principles of Falun Gong are Truthfulness,Compassion, and Forbearance, whereas the CCP promotes violence and lies.
From the origin of the April 25 demonstration, we can see the CCP's nature and the historic significance of the event. I hope that this peaceful demonstration, in maintaining rationality and upholding justice, raises the consciousness of more people.
Over 200,000 Falun Gong practitioners and their family members have filed criminal complaints against Jiang to the Supreme People's Procuratorate and Supreme People's Court for his crimes in the persecution. Over one million people overseas have signed criminal report forms citing Jiang's crimes. Over 230 million people have withdrawn their memberships in the Party and its affiliated organizations. It seems that the collapse of the CCP is imminent.
In 1999, Jiang Zemin, as head of the Chinese Communist Party, overrode other Politburo standing committee members and launched the violent suppression of Falun Gong.
The persecution has led to the deaths of many Falun Gong practitioners in the past 16 years. More have been tortured for their belief and even killed for their organs. Jiang Zemin is directly responsible for the inception and continuation of the brutal persecution.
Under his personal direction, the Chinese Communist Party established an extralegal security organ, the “610 Office,” on June 10, 1999. The organization overrides police forces and the judicial system in carrying out Jiang's directive regarding Falun Gong: to ruin their reputations, cut off their financial resources, and destroy them physically.
Chinese law allows for citizens to be plaintiffs in criminal cases, and many practitioners are now exercising that right to file criminal complaints against the former dictator.