[Selected Submission] Falun Dafa in Changchun (Part IV) (Photos)
Part IV. Safeguarding Dafa
Master wrote in “Composure Amidst Calamity” in Hong Yin:
“Transmitting the True Fa,
Proves harder than just hard.
Many are the demons who impede,
Risks piled atop risks.”
Ever since Master introduced Falun Dafa to Changchun, the spreading of Dafa has encountered numerous tribulations. Master, however, never wavered in His efforts to save sentient beings; nor did His disciples ever stop safeguarding Dafa. During the past 20 years, protecting Dafa has become a natural part of Changchun disciples’ cultivation.
The Guangming Daily Incident
In June 1996, Guangming Daily, one of the Chinese Communist government's official newspapers, published an editorial article entitled, "A Loud and Long Alarm Must Be Sounded Against Pseudo-Science," criticizing Zhuan Falun, the best-selling book in Beijing, as "Pseudo-Science."
On July 24, 1996, the Chinese News Publishing Bureau, which is under the Propaganda Bureau of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist government, issued an internal order to all cities and provinces, prohibiting the publishing of Zhuan Falun and China Falun Gong, and other Falun Gong books, using the excuse of "promoting superstition." (http://en.minghui.org/emh/articles/2004/9/26/52823.html#.T9_nSbWXQ-M)
After the Guangming Daily article came out, we all knew that we had to rise to dispel the lies. We decided to write down our personal cultivation experiences to share with the agencies in question. Some elderly practitioners who couldn’t find the words found others to do the writing for them, while well-educated practitioners rebutted the newspaper article's arguments from different perspectives, including history, religion, philosophy, and modern science. We proofread and modified each other’s writings as if we were having an experience sharing conference.
We next mailed our written experiences to the Guangming Daily, the Chinese News Publishing Bureau, the General Administration of Sports, the Propaganda Bureau, and local media outlets. There were also some practitioners who wrote to the China Qigong Association and its local chapters in Changchun City and Jilin Province. As a result of our efforts, many people and organizations began to have a positive attitude towards Dafa. Some people thus entered the door of Dafa cultivation.
Letters mailed to Guangming Daily by practitioners
Because the government banned the publication of Dafa books, veteran practitioners transcribed many copies for newcomers to use. Master instructed that the publication and sale of Dafa books follow normal procedures and that assistance centers should not hold onto any funds or supplies. We did follow the requirements, even during very difficult times.
Appeal on April 25, 1999
When it came to responding to the events that led to the April 25th Appeal in 1999, Changchun practitioners each made their own decisions based on their understanding of the Fa. As a matter of fact, only a very few people learned about what unfolded before the Tianjin arrests that led to the April 25th appeal, and they went straight to Tianjin (and later to Beijing) to call for the unconditional release of the arrested Tianjin practitioners. Except for the few Changchun practitioners that personally participated in the Tianjin incident and April 25th appeal, most practitioners in Changchun didn’t hear about the events until the day before or on the day of the appeal.
On the morning of April 25, 1999, two large-scale experience sharing conferences took place in Changchun, one on the east side of the city and the other on the west side. For the first time, many practitioners learned about the beatings and arrest of Tianjin practitioners, and we were all shocked. We spontaneously decided to go to Beijing to appeal. Some booked airline tickets, while others went by rail. There was even a practitioner, shy of 20 years old, who rode his bike 1,000 kilometers to Beijing.
Not all of us made it to Beijing that day, though. Even before some of us left, we got word that the issue had already been resolved and there was no longer a need for us to be there. For those taking the train to Beijing, they turned around midway and returned to Changchun. There were also others who rode buses to Beijing and were intercepted halfway by the Changchun mayor. A number of Dafa Association assistants got surprise visits that night by local police.
Actually, even before the April 25th Appeal, we knew that in neighboring Liaoning Province police had frequently interrupted group practice sites and even looted practitioners’ personal possessions. In Changchun, we also suddenly saw new faces at exercise sites or Fa-study groups. Despite the intensified surveillance, we all remained very calm.
Falun Gong Practitioner Shi Caidong
One of the three practitioners allowed inside the Zhongnanhai Complex to talk with the then-premier during on April 25th was Shi Caidong, who began his cultivation in Changchun while studying for his master’s degree between 1996 and 1998. Upon graduation, he enrolled in the doctoral program at the Institute of Geology and Geophysics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Mr. Shi said: “When one genuinely learns the truth, he can tell right from wrong, and is free from bad habits. His choices will not change due to pressure or temptation. On April 25, 1999, I did not think that I was making some sort of choice. Under such a situation and circumstance, I would do that naturally, as going to appeal is totally voluntary. If history would let me choose again, when the truth was being slandered, I would again stand up to safeguard the truth, and try to win the right for everyone to be a good person." This is the heartfelt wish from all the Changchun practitioners.
Later on, Master published an article “Some Thoughts of Mine” on June 2, 1999. He said:
“I only teach people to be good. At the same time, I unconditionally help people get rid of their diseases and health problems, and I enable them to reach higher realms of mind. I don’t charge any money or ask for material things as reward. All of this has had a positive impact on the society and its people, and it has, on a large scale, turned people’s hearts towards goodness and made their moral level high.”
“In fact, I keep teaching people to conduct themselves with Truthfulness, Benevolence, and Forbearance as their guiding principles. So naturally, I have also been setting an example. When Falun Gong disciples and I have been criticized for no reason and treated unfairly, we have always displayed breadth of mind with great benevolence and great forbearance, and have silently endured everything in order to give the government sufficient time to find out what we are about. But this forbearance is absolutely not because the students of Falun Gong and I fear anything. You should know that once a person learns the truth and the real meaning of life, he will not regret giving up his life for it.” (Essentials for Further Advancement II)
The April 25th Appeal was a remarkable event that will be remembered in human history.
July 20, 1999 Marks the Beginning of the Battle between Righteous and Evil
On the morning of July 20, 1999, Changchun police arrested many directors and assistants at Falun Dafa assistance centers. As the news quickly spread, many practitioners went to the Jilin Province Government Appeals Office to demand their unconditional release.
The next morning, fully armored police barricaded the downtown area and arrested numerous practitioners that showed up in the parks for morning exercises. Busloads of practitioners were driven to police departments, schools, stadiums and elementary schools.
Despite the pressure, many more practitioners showed up at different exercise sites the next day. From Shengli Park to People’s Plaza, the sidewalks were filled with practitioners. The city government compound, which is around the corner from People’s Street, saw numerous practitioners in the vicinity. Even though there was a huge crowd, no one caused a disturbance. By noon, a high-pressure water truck arrived and prepared to drive practitioners away. We knew that the situation had worsened; yet no one was moved despite the tension in the air.
At 3:00 p.m. that day, local TV stations and radio stations began to broadcast false reports that slandered Falun Gong. After suffering for 50 years at the hands of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), many practitioners began to realize that all the fabrications were actually originating in Beijing. Starting at 4:00 p.m., many practitioners took off for Beijing and began their journey of validating Dafa.
Actually, as early as on the morning of April 25, one Changchun practitioner saw a scene with his third eye: The Fa-safeguarding gods in the universe had begun a battle against evil in heaven, and Dafa disciples vowed to Master they would make sacrifices for the truth of the universe. That was a solemn declaration made voluntarily to Master, and was to be fulfilled without consideration for life or death.
Jilin Province Government Compound
Back then we had no idea of what was going to happen next or how long it would take to end the persecution; yet, as Dafa cultivators, we held a strong and righteous belief in Master and Dafa. We stayed true to our original nature, understood the responsibility of fulfilling our mission, had the steely willpower to charge forward without any reservations, and were confident that the Fa-rectification must succeed. As such, we were able to make the right decisions when choosing between the universe’s righteous truths and the evil red dragon of the CCP.
I Am Forever Master’s Disciple
Northeast Normal University had a huge number of practitioners among its students and staff. On August 20, 1999, the university Party Committee gathered its practitioner members for a so-called “reveal and criticize” meeting. As soon as the close to 60 practitioners saw each other, they immediately felt an atmosphere of mutual support, determination, and encouragement. When asked to badmouth Dafa, everyone remained silent.
Then a young male practitioner stood up and said emotionally, “I hereby solemnly declare that I am Master’s disciple, and I will cultivate to the end.” He was met with a round of applause and everyone felt energized.
Next a female practitioner got up, “Master is forever my Master and I am forever Master’s disciple.” Another round of applause brought tears to the eyes of many practitioners.
The Party secretary then raised his voice, “This is a reveal and criticize meeting, not a Falun Gong experience sharing conference.” No one paid him any attention.
A young woman had tears streaming down her face and she sobbed, “I am an obedient girl and never opposed my parents. Right now they are facing tremendous pressure because of my practice, but I have to say today that I’m determined to practice Falun Gong all the way to the end.” Everyone also cheered for her.
Northeast Normal University Administration Building
Instead of talking about himself, a middle-aged professor threw a lot of sharp questions at the Party officials, “Do you know why Falun Gong is so miraculous at curing illnesses and keeping fit? Do you know why so many people inside and outside of China come to learn this practice?” The room was quiet, and all eyes were on the officials on the stage. Extremely embarrassed, they stood up and ended the meeting.
The news of the meeting soon spread to Beijing, where many Changchun practitioners remained to appeal for Falun Gong. They then shared the news with practitioners from other parts of the country, who, in turn, told many more practitioners. In no time word about the meeting spread around the country. In the days that followed, a number of similar “reveal and criticize” meetings were also held in Changchun, yet practitioners were able to hold firm to their belief in Dafa.
Appeal at Tiananmen Square
Changchun disciples unfurling banners at Tiananmen Square
From July 20, 1999 to the end of 2001, one group of practitioners after another went to Tiananmen Square to appeal for Falun Gong. The Square has witnessed Dafa disciples’ Fa-validation efforts. Below are a few examples of how Changchun practitioners validated the Fa in Beijing.
One 67-year-old practitioner said, “There were many people on Tiananmen Square when I got there. I saw numerous Dafa disciples, as well as plainclothes police. Some practitioners were passing out flyers while others unfurled banners. The uniformed and plainclothes police ran around chaotically trying to either arrest practitioners or grab flyers. Some practitioners got beaten up so badly that their faces were beyond recognition. I unfurled a banner that read the ‘Fa Rectifies the Human Heart’ near Jinshui Bridge. When I shouted out ‘Falun Dafa is good and return innocence to my Master,’ the passersby were shocked and they stopped to watch. It was hard to describe how I felt.”
“Master kept strengthening me while I was on my way to Tiananmen Square. It was very cold in December. When we arrived at Jinshui Bridge, we saw a lot of people there. I stepped onto the highest point of the bridge and held my banner up high over my head. I used all my might to shout. 'Falun Dafa is good! Falun Dafa is the righteous Fa! Restore my Master's good name!' In that instant, time froze and I was struck by a wonderful, magnificent, and strong energy field.”
“We didn’t go to Tiananmen Square right away after we arrived in Beijing. Instead we talked to each other briefly near the Square. Even though we came from different places and didn't know each other, Dafa connected us. Two elderly women and I next went to the middle of the Square and sat down to do the meditation exercise. I kept saying in my heart, ‘Master, I’m at Tiananmen to validate the Fa.’ With this thought, I felt my body become engulfed by a strong energy field, an amazing sensation I can't describe.”
“We went to the flagpole and quickly unfurled our banner and shouted, ‘Falun Dafa is good! Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good! Master is good! Restore Master's innocence.’ It was a beautiful sunny day, but a colorful rainbow also appeared in the sky. I felt our voices shook the heavens and earth; I was extremely comfortable.”
Minghui website published an article in 2001, talking about a story of a disabled practitioner who lost the ability to walk but went to Beijing to validate the Fa:
He said: “On the evening of July 21, 2001, with some simple preparation, my wife sent me to the train station. Barefoot and having not left the house for a long time, I first moved to the stairs then down the steps bit by bit, easing myself down on my hips (my apartment was on the fifth floor). Though I was full of confidence, it took me almost an hour to reach the bottom. After that, I moved to the street where my family members had called a taxi. When I arrived at the train station, I was about 100 meters away from the ticket office. Because of my condition, however, it took me another two hours to get there. When I looked back, I could see a trail of blood, with more blood closer to me. Despite this, I recited in my heart, "When it is difficult to endure, you can endure it. When it is impossible to do, you can do it."”
I arrived at the Beijing Train Station on July 22. Each step caused gnawing pain since I had to shift my body by twisting my waist and using my two arms to support. All of my toes were showing through my worn cloth shoes. On top of that, the blood and flesh were mixed and they were pretty frightening. The taxi driver dropped me on the sidewalk by Tiananmen Square and I planned to crawl to Tiananmen myself. After a while, a police vehicle came up and stopped about thirty meters from me. Several policemen dragged me into their vehicle. I refused and called out with all of my strength, "Falun Dafa is good." My mind was empty; the evil looked so insignificant. In the darkness, a policeman dragged my clothes. Some of them lifted my legs and others grabbed my hair. They threw me into the police vehicle. I found that the window was still open, so I started to yell outside, "Falun Dafa is good."
Two police took me in the opposite direction to Tiananmen Square and threw me on the street where the rainwater was over two inches deep. As I moved slowly to Tiananmen, the blood from my feet spread slowly in the rainwater. Since I couldn't sit down, I moved to the sidewalk and lay under the canopy of a closed store. I had one more aspiration that I needed to fulfill: to unfurl the banner. I must open the banner with my purest heart. At that moment, lots of people were walking to the Square to wait for a bus. I hung up the banner and made sure that the people and vehicles could see it before I left. When I turned around, I found that many people were crowding around to see it. The banner was only fifty meters from the police car, but I wasn't scared of anything. Because it was raining and I was almost crawling, the police surprisingly didn't find me. I was still bleeding but I felt no pain. Master was suffering for me. I was completely wet while in the square. I moved slowly in the water. Thinking about Master, I couldn't control my tears. As the rainwater ran, my blood and tears all mixed together.
(To be continued)
From the Call for Submissions to Commemorate the Twentieth Anniversary of Falun Dafa’s Introduction