|San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed (from the San Jose government website)|
Over the years, Falun Gong practitioners have built up a very good relationship with the people of San Jose. Mayor Reed said: "Here in San Jose, we welcome Falun Gong. They have been in our community for a very long time. We will protect the practitioners and protect their constitutional rights. Falun Gong practitioners have participated in many parades in San Jose. Usually a large group of them do a nice job in our parade, so I hope that they will continue to do that."
Recognizing human rights abuses in China, Mayor Reed reassured the citizens that San Jose would protect everyone's constitutional rights. He said: "We are going to protect our constitutional rights to freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. These are not the rights recognized by the government of China, we know that, but here in the United States, we do recognize them.
"We will protect our Falun Gong practitioners in San Jose just as we protect the rest of our citizens. We have a very good police department. They work very hard to make sure that everyone has the right to free speech and the right of free expression, and we don't allow outsiders to come in and attack our people. If they do, they will go to jail. I don't have a foreign policy and I don't deal with foreign governments.
"Everybody in the United States needs to adhere to our values and to our Constitution. We allow freedom of speech, freedom of expression, and freedom of religion. Everyone has to respect that. Whether or not they agree with that doesn't matter. People have individual, constitutional rights. We respect them in San Jose. We respect all the people, no matter what country they come from, what background they are from. [we need] to adhere to these ideals and follow our Constitution."
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