On Sunday April 25, 2021, Falun Dafa practitioners in Rome held activities at Piazza San Silvestro to commemorate the April 25 Appeal. They demonstrated the exercises and told people how the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) has persecuted the spiritual practice for 22 years.
|Practitioners held activities at Piazza San Silvestro on April 25, 2021.||Practitioners demonstrate the Falun Dafa exercises as part of their activities.|
|Tourists and locals stopped to chat with practitioners.|
The day was warm and sunny, and many people were outside enjoying the spring weather. Attracted by the peaceful and soothing music as practitioners demonstrated the exercises, passersby stopped to watch. They read the information and several said they did not understand why the Communist regime would persecute a group of peaceful people who follow the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance. Several people said they appreciated practitioners for telling the world about these important issues.
Two ladies told practitioners that they knew the Chinese Communist regime always covered up the truth—just as they covered up the truth of the CCP virus (coronavirus).
After talking with practitioners, one man encouraged them to continue telling people the facts. He wished practitioners success in ending the persecution.
On April 23-24, 1999, police officers in Tianjin, a city near Beijing, assaulted and arrested more than 40 Falun Dafa practitioners after the practitioners had gone to a magazine office to discuss errors in a recently-published article that attacked 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 went to the Central Appeals office in Beijing, as they had been instructed by Tianjin officials. The gathering was peaceful and orderly. They did not block the sidewalks or stop traffic. Practitioner representatives were called in to meet with Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji and his staff. That evening, practitioners' concerns were met; the arrested practitioners in Tianjin were released, and everyone went home.
After that day, the world saw China in a different light. After the Tiananmen Massacre a decade earlier, the fact that a peaceful protest could happen in China and be resolved the same day seemed positive.
However, Jiang Zemin, then head of the CCP, was determined to stamp out Falun Dafa. He claimed the peaceful protest was practitioners attacking the CCP central government compound as a group and used it as the main excuse to start the campaign of persecution in July 1999.
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