Remembering July 20, 1999

July 31, 2010 | By a Falun Dafa practitioner in Hebei Province

(Clearwisdom.net) On the morning of July 20, 1999, I heard at the practice site that some fellow practitioners had been illegally detained and had their homes raided. In the late morning, after our appeals to the provincial government fell on deaf ears, many practitioners went to Beijing. Several of us who had already bought tickets for Beijing at noon were stopped by the police at the train station in our hometown. In the afternoon, all ticket sales for trains to Beijing were suspended. We then bought tickets to Huairou, a suburb of Beijing, and planned to get off at Beijing station along the way. We arrived at around midnight. In front of the station, we were tricked by a person hired by the police and taken to a place of detention place (not an official detention center). Many practitioners who arrived earlier were already there. I didn’t sleep at all that night and continued to clarify the facts to the police. When I asked to be taken to the Office of Appeals, I was told, “We’ll take you to the place to appeal tomorrow morning.”

The next morning at around 8:30 a.m., several buses came and picked us up. We knew we had been deceived when we saw our bus leaving downtown and heading towards the suburbs. It turned out that they weren’t taking us to the Office of Appeals but instead were rounding us up to dispatch us back to where we came from. We were taken to a sports stadium, photographed, and our names and addresses were recorded. We were then taken to a school playground on the border between Beijing and Hebei Province, where buses were waiting to take us back to our hometowns. I ran into a practitioner whom I knew. She was grabbed by the hair and beaten at an Appeals Office. She was handcuffed, and I could still see the red marks from the handcuffs. After briefly discussing the situation, we realized that we couldn’t yet go home, since we had not accomplished our goal of appealing to the authorities in Beijing. The practitioners sat neatly in squares on the playground. Some meditated, and some recited Master’s lectures quietly. It was noon, it was very hot, and there was no shade. We felt as though we were sitting by a furnace, but it didn’t weaken our determination.

The buses waited for a long time, but no practitioner moved. When the police saw that no one was willing to go, they brought in several German shepherd dogs that kept barking. The children were scared and began to cry. Suddenly, a female practitioner stood up and led us in reciting Hong Yin. Master’s poems echoed throughout the playground. Our voices were like thunder that shook the heavens. I can still vividly remember the solemn and magnificent scene. It was indeed a battle between good and evil.

The actions taken by Dafa disciples to protect the Fa shocked the authorities. The police turned off the only water fountain on the playground. The youngest child among the practitioners was only two or three months old, and the oldest practitioner there I knew was almost 70 years old. We sent a representative to negotiate with the police. The police brought in a vendor that sold mineral water at the high price of three yuan per bottle. Under the scorching sun, everyone’s clothing was drenched in sweat, but no one left. The practitioners continued to recite Master’s lectures and poems. At four or five in the afternoon, some government officials and a team of counter-terror police with machine guns arrived. Counter-terror police surrounded the playground. After a long impasse followed by negotiations between the practitioners and government officials, we gradually boarded the bus. We returned to the provincial capital that evening. After registering our names, addresses, and workplaces again, we were allowed to go home.

The next day, which was July 22, I went to the practice site at 3:30 a.m. as usual. There were only a few practitioners. After the sitting meditation, I practiced the standing exercises with practitioners from a nearby practice site. While practicing, I felt a strong energy in my body, which was unusual for me. I felt as though Master was beside me. I was so moved that tears rolled down my cheeks. The feeling lasted throughout the exercise. Later, when I read in Master’s “Touring North America to Teach the Fa,” I saw this passage,

“By July 20th of 1999 I had already pushed all of the pre-July 20 students to their positions–I pushed you to your highest positions.”

I then suddenly understood why I felt that way.

On the afternoon of July 22, I boarded another train to go to Beijing to appeal. There were a large number of police officers on the train, and many practitioners were stopped halfway and sent back home. I only had one thought, that no one could stop us. My son and I handled the police interrogation with wisdom and successfully arrived in Beijing. We ran into some other practitioners that evening. Ten of us stayed in a little room in a Beijing suburb. The room had not been occupied for a long time and was dirty and messy. There was only one wooden bed with no mattress. To avoid arousing the attention of police, we didn’t turn on the lights. We took turns brushing our teeth in a small bathroom nearby. Since there was only one bed, the practitioners let the most elderly practitioner and my son (the youngest) sleep on the bed, while the rest of us slept on the floor. The room was so small that one young practitioner had to sleep under the bed.

Eleven years has now passed. Of the ten practitioners who went to Beijing to appeal that day, everyone has walked his or her own path. Ding Yan was arrested in Guangzhou and tortured to death. Although she left us too soon, her experience sharing articles encouraged many other practitioners to step forward to validate the Fa. Six of us have been persecuted and tortured to different extents, sentenced to long prison terms, threatened to be removed from college entrance exams, sentenced to labor camps, and sent to brainwashing centers. However, our strong faith in Master and the Fa sustained us, and we each are acting as a particle of Dafa. The remaining three people gave up cultivation due to the persecution. I hope they can soon return to Dafa and not be eliminated in the end.

The persecution continues, even after eleven years. I still recall the scenes from 1999. We will not stop our efforts in opposing the persecution or exposing the evil nature of the Chinese Communist Party until the persecution ends. The persecution of Falun Gong should not have happened in the first place. It needs to end immediately!

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