At around 6 p.m. on April 25th, 2005, dozens of Falun Gong practitioners gathered in front of the Chinese Consulate General in Toronto and held a candlelight vigil to commemorate fellow practitioners who have died during the past six years of persecution by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
On April 25th, 1999, 10,000 Falun Gong practitioners went to the Appeals Office of the State Council, which was located in Beijing's Zhongnanhai Compound, to peacefully appeal for Falun Gong. It was the most peaceful and rational group appeal held by Chinese people since the CCP came to power. However, it was used as an excuse for the CCP to thoroughly repress and persecute Falun Gong right afterwards. To date, 1933 Falun Gong practitioners are confirmed to have been tortured to death during the persecution.
A representative from the Toronto Falun Dafa Association said that during the six years of repression, Falun Gong practitioners have been resisting the ruthless persecution and slaughter in a firm, indomitable, sensible and peaceful manner. Moreover, the world has come to know the truth about Falun Gong.
However, the CCP has not only refused to stop the persecution, it has escalated it. On April 22nd, 2005, according to sources in China, the CCP has launched another wave of pursuing and arresting Falun Gong practitioners on a nationwide scale. The recent incidents of ransacking practitioners' homes and arresting practitioners in Shangdong Province, Liaoning Province, Tianjin, Sichuan Province, Guangdong Province and Hubei Province have now been confirmed.
For example, Mr. Chen Shihuan (from Zhaoyuan City, Shandong Province), his sister Ms. Chen Shuhua and his son were all arrested on the afternoon of April 21st, 2005 at their workplaces. At about 7 p.m. on April 20th, 2005, Mr. Wang Zhigang from Jinzhou City, Liaoning Province was taken away by national security agents at his mother's home at Laobaobei Lane. On April 6th, 2005 Falun Dafa practitioners Ran Qiongying and Wu Xiaoyu were arrested while posting Falun Gong materials in the Renhe District of Panzhihua City, Sichuan Province, and their homes were illegally ransacked.
Toronto Falun Gong practitioner Mr. Liu said that, looking at the situation back in 1999, he feels that the pressure is not as intense as before, because many people have come to understand the truth about Falun Gong. Especially after the publication of the "Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party," many people are able to understand the nature of the Communist Party and care more about Falun Gong.
Mr. Li was one of the initiators of this memorial activity. When asked the difference between this year and past years, Mr. Li told the reporter a true story. He said that he had participated in the "Support One Million People Withdrawing from the Communist Party Parade" in New York and, after returning to Toronto, had met four tourist groups from China at a restaurant. He said that he distributed the "Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party" to the groups, and that all the group members elected to take the commentaries from him. One of the groups was even led by their Party Secretary! Mr. Li said this would have been impossible in the past. He thinks that this meant that the Chinese people were waking up, because faith in gods will bring back the compassion and courage that comes with birth and that no one can completely erase from a person's life.
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