Falun Gong practitioners held a Truth Compassion and Tolerance Art Exhibition in Ceyrat, near Clermont-Ferrand, a town of military importance in central France. This activity was organised by Ceyrat City Council.
He said, "When Mr. Sirvins (a local Falun Gong practitioner) came to see me, I found out that we had many things in common. I saw this young man was devoted in what he tried to do and he took my attention immediately. Our city of Ceyrat is a hospitable place where the persecuted are provided with asylum. I am very happy for Ceyrat to welcome such an art exhibition.
"Today, what you are defending is also what we are safeguarding: freedom, that people in the world should all have the freedom of expression. Unfortunately it is a pity that is not the case.
"I agreed about his ideas immediately when Mr. Sirvins came to see me, since we have the same hope. We all know that the Authority of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is not the one of democracy. But in fact, we almost know nothing about what has been happening in there.
"Also due to this, when another fellow suggested that our Ceyrat City participate in rescuing one imprisoned for the peaceful expression of his conscience in a prison in China and becoming his guardian, all our municipal councillors held a meeting and passed through this proposal for support. Then we are going to try our best make him free by means of persuasion and compassion.
"As expected, after we had made this decision, the representative on behalf of the Republic of France's Government asked us to withdraw this decision. The reason is that our local authority at the town level does not have this kind of privilege; moreover this decision may affect the relationship between France and China. After that, my municipal colleagues and I submitted this proposal to the City Council voting by ballot once more; again this proposal was passed with unanimously. I do know that there are chances for a dismissal by the representative if I continue to do this, like the case during Vichy Government Time in 1939-1945. However, now I am still the Mayor, and my colleagues also continue to work as the councillors and deputy Mayor of Ceyrat City. In order to support this consciences-prisoner, we again took the disobedient action. I also saw nearby towns and cities changed their decisions under such pressure.
I think there will be a big change just because of such a tiny victory one by one, and such a tiny effort one after another for freedom. It is that effort that makes us have hope: everyone will be given the freedom of thought and the freedom of expression in the future."
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