July 23, 2002

Thank you, and let me applaud all of you for coming here. I know you have discipline and forbearance, but it's asking almost too much for you to sit in this hot sun today. So I will be brief.

No one, no one in the world, should have to go through the brutal persecution and indignity of the Falun Gong [practitioners] in China. Is it appropriate that we here in America talk about this? Of course it is. This is not just an internal matter. We are talking about human rights. Here in the United States we say the phrase "Freedom and Justice For All." We talk about the divinely given rights of freedom. We understand that if these rights are diminished anywhere in the world, it diminishes the rights of us all. So yes, it is very important that we talk about those things here. It is very important that you come today to talk about those things. And with you I call on the government of China to speak the truth, to show compassion, and to practice tolerance for those whose ideas, whose beliefs are not the standard beliefs of the government. Because that is what we are talking about when we talk about human rights.

I thank you all very much for coming. You are doing great work.