On October 17, 2002, Falun Gong practitioners from San Diego and Los Angeles, together with California government officials and numerous citizens, gathered at the square of San Diego City's Conference Centre to take part in the celebration of the first "California Falun Dafa Month." At the same time, celebrations also were held in some other major cities such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, and the capital of California.
The celebration site was in a solemn and harmonious atmosphere. At the front of the major stage there were huge banners reading, "California Falun Dafa Month," and "The world needs 'Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.'" At the front row of tables, over 20 proclamations, resolutions and proclamation of commendations issued by government officials of Southern California were displayed. Around the square were display boards set up for introducing Falun Dafa and clarifying the truth.
The celebration began at 12:00 p.m. A Falun Gong practitioner first made an opening speech. He briefly introduced Falun Dafa's widespread in the world, Falun Dafa's positive contribution to the California people and communities, and Falun Dafa practitioners' peacefulness, courage and strength demonstrated in brutal persecution in China. Finally, the practitioner expressed sincere gratitude to government officials for their continuous understanding, support and commendation to Falun Dafa.
After the practitioner's speech, California Assemblywoman Charlene Zettel gave a speech. She said that through various ways, she learned the number of Falun Gong practitioners in China who have been tortured to death by the Chinese dictator's regime because they persisted in their belief in "Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance." She thereby proposed that all attendees mourn in silence for a while to show respect and condolence for those Falun Gong practitioners who gave their lives for upholding the truth. After that, she congratulated this celebration of "California Falun Dafa Month," and highly praised the positive contribution of Falun Dafa and the principle of "Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance" to society. She also read the resolution to "California Falun Dafa Month" issued by the California State Assembly.
Then, Mr. Dan Hammer gave a speech on behalf of US Congresswoman Ms. Susan Davis who was currently in Washington, D.C. and entrusted Mr. Hammer to express her sincere congratulation. Mr. Hammer also read to the audience the proclamation of commendation issued by Congresswoman Ms. Davis.
Mr. Robert Spanbauer on behalf of California Assemblyman Jay La Suer also read to the audience the proclamation of commendation issued by California Assembly for commending the founder of Falun Dafa Mr. Li Hongzhi.
The attendees gave warm applause to the guests' speeches and proclamations. The practitioners presented to the guests Falun Dafa books, videotapes and Falun Dafa practitioners' painting collection book, hoping they could also benefit from practicing Falun Dafa.
A Western practitioner then shared with everyone his tremendous positive changes after practicing Falun Dafa and ten Falun Gong practitioners demonstrated to the guests and audience the gentle and graceful Falun Gong exercises.
After the exercise demonstration, a practitioner introduced and presented the facts about persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China; another Western practitioner shared his experience of going to Tiananmen Square to peacefully appeal for Falun Gong and the facts of persecution against Falun Gong he learned while in China. The audience gained a deeper understanding of the vicious persecution of Falun Gong in China from the two practitioners' explanation.
In the end, the guests and attendees had a group photo taken in front of the huge banners reading, "California Falun Dafa Month," and "The world needs 'Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.'"
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