Display boards and banners were set up in the pedestrian area in front of St. Dominics Church.
The displays showed the brutality of the persecution of Falun Gong in China, talked about the more than 200,000 criminal complaints that have been filed against Jiang Zemin for his role in the persecution, and offered people a chance to learn about the true nature of China’s communist party.
Crowds of tourists stopped by, reading the materials, taking pictures and videos, and talking to practitioners. Many Chinese people took the opportunity to renounce Party membership with help from the practitioners.
One Chinese government official said, “What I can do to help you in China is really limited. But had I lived overseas, I would pass out flyers with you guys on the street. The communist party is really evil. It has been many years since I last paid Party membership dues. The persecution of Falun Gong is wrong.”
He and three of his friends all quit the Party on the spot.
On April 23-24, 1999, police officials in Tianjin, a city near Beijing, assaulted and arrested dozens of Falun Gong practitioners who had gathered outside a magazine office to discuss errors in a recently-published article attacking Falun Gong. As word spread of the arrests and more Falun Gong practitioners inquired with officials, they were told they had to take their appeals to Beijing. The following day, April 25, some 10,000 Falun Gong practitioners spontaneously gathered at the central appeals office in Beijing, as they had been instructed by Tianjin officials. The gathering was peaceful and orderly. Several Falun Gong representatives were called in to meet with Chinese Premier, Zhu Rongji, and members of his staff. That evening, the concerns of Falun Gong practitioners were addressed, the arrested practitioners in Tianjin were released, and everyone went home.