(Clearwisdom.net) On June 1st 2003, the Mayor of El Cajon, local residents and Falun Gong practitioners celebrated "East San Diego County Falun Dafa Week" in the conference hall of the city public library. Mayor Lewis also signed the petition to support the campaign to rescue American citizen Charles Li, who is now illegally imprisoned in China. El Cajon is the largest city in east San Diego County.

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The City of El Cajon celebrates the first "East San Diego County Falun Dafa Week." Falun Gong representative gives opening speech. Mayor Mark Lewis delivers main speech of celebration.
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Mayor Lewis proclaims Falun Dafa Week. Proclamations and Award Certificates from governments. Mayor Mark Lewis signs petition supporting the campaign to rescue Charles Li.
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Reporter from NTD TV station interviews Mayor Lewis. Local residents are learning Falun Gong exercises. Many local residents sign petition supporting the rescue campaign

The celebration started at 2 pm. A Falun Gong representative delivered the opening speech and briefly introduced the current status of Falun Dafa spreading to the world and the contributions that Falun Dafa has made to San Diego County and its communities. He also talked about the peace, courage and strength of Chinese Falun Gong practitioners in face of the evil persecution.

Next, Mayor Mark Lewis spoke for about ten minutes. He first talked about his understandings of the principle of "Truthfulness Compassion Tolerance." Combined with his personal experiences and the current situation of the local community, he said, "If everyone followed the principle of 'Truthfulness Compassion Tolerance,' we would live rich lives. If more people in the community practiced Falun Gong, there would be less and less harmful behavior like drug addiction and burglary." Lewis also praised the Falun Gong practitioners for their persistence with the truth and serving the communities. He believed that through the persistent efforts of the Falun Gong practitioners, "Truthfulness Compassion Tolerance" will become known to more and more people. When talking about the persecution of Falun Gong in China, Mr. Lewis said he couldn't understand why such a good exercise that benefits the community and the people would be persecuted? His wonderful speech won warm applauses many times.

After his speech, Mayor Mark Lewis awarded the proclamation of Falun Dafa Week that he signed in person. Next, he signed his name on the petition form to support the rescue campaign of American citizen Dr. Charles Li, and requested that the American government act immediately to rescue Charles Li, who is on sixth day of a hunger strike.

Also, proclamations were read from Senator Dennis Hollingsworth, Assemblyman Jay La Suer and Assemblyman George Plescia. In addition, the Supervisor of San Diego County, Dianne Jacob, issued a proclamation for this event, and the Mayor of Lemon Grove, Ms. Mary Sessom, wrote a congratulatory letter for the event.

Local Falun Gong practitioners expressed their sincere gratitude to Mayor Mark Lewis and all levels of government and revealed the current situation of the brutal persecution in China. The practitioners talked in detail about American citizen Charles Li, who is on the sixth day of a hunger strike to protest his illegal imprisonment. They called on the people of San Diego to work together with Falun Gong practitioners to rescue Dr. Charles Li.

After the meeting, the attendees watched a video program introducing Falun Gong. Mayor Lewis accepted interviews from NTD TV station and took photos with all the Falun Gong practitioners. Afterwards, local residents attending the meeting learned the Falun Gong exercises.

When the meeting was going on, some Falun Gong practitioners started collecting signatures inside and outside the library. When they heard about Dr. Charles and his hunger strike in a Chinese prison, many kind hearted Americans immediately signed their names and expressed their anger about the Jiang regime's savage behavior. One high school student signed her name and asked her mother and younger sister to sign. She also copied four forms in the library with her own money and let her four classmates who were also studying in the library sign their names. In the end, she brought all the signature forms back to the practitioners. Seeing so many American people and government officials understanding Dafa and truly supporting it, the practitioners were deeply moved, and they sincerely appreciated their support.

After the celebration, the practitioners went to different areas to continue the petition drive to rescue Charles Li.