A visit from the West Inspired Millions in the East.
On November 20, 2001, 36 people from around the world gathered on Tiananmen Square. Many had never met, many didn’t even know if anyone else would show up. It was a gathering both necessary and unpredictable.
Synopsis: Journey to Tiananmen is the story of 36 people from 12 countries who met on Tiananmen Square to challenge the brutality of the communist regime.
It is a story of their unexpected triumph in drawing international attention to the detention, torture and often deaths of the tens of thousands who had come before them to raise a banner on Tiananmen Square and proclaim “Falun Dafa is Good.”
Tiananmen Square has seen many historic moments, many of them bloodstained—from the proclamation of the communist regime by Mao Zedong in 1949, to the fervent rallies of millions of red guards during the Cultural Revolution, the student massacre in 1989, and the crackdown of Falun Gong practitioners from 1999 on.
November 20, 2001, was a brighter moment. That sunny afternoon 36 men and women made a secret journey to Tiananmen and staged an unprecedented protest against the persecution of Falun Gong.
Each faced danger entering the police state. Others who shared their belief had died for doing exactly what they planned to do. Some wondered if a foreign passport would be enough to protect them.
They would soon experience the secret China, the one hidden from foreign investors and tourists, the one every Chinese citizen knows is lurking in the shadows, waiting those who speak too loudly on subjects forbidden by the regime.
But with jail and between bouts of violence, they had a rare chance to speak with the security personnel who had become the blunt instrument of oppression. Eyes were opened and some hearts changed.
Millions would learn what happened. Even imprisoned Falun Gong practitioners would hear of it, some finding new reserves of determination.