Chinese Protest Against
Beijing's Bid to Host the 2022 Winter Olympics
A group of Chinese activists protested outside the Chinese Consulate in Los Angeles on Thursday against Beijing's Winter Olympic bid. They held placards that say “Human Rights, Not Olympics”, “No More Shame Games,” “Free Human Rights Lawyers” and “Free Gao Yu” . As the demonstrators chanted “We want freedom, we don’t want Olympics! Trample on human dignity, violate Olympic spirit!”. The consulate, which is usually open during the week, was closed for the day.
Cheng Qiubo, an organizer of the rally said the consulate was already closed down as they arrived around 10am. A notice on the front door says the consultate would be closed on Friday, July 31.
A number of Chinese consulates were closed temporarily in Sydney, New York and San Francisco over the last two weeks as Chinese and Tibetans staged protests over worsening human rights abuses in China and Tibet. The IOC members are voting on July 31 in Kuala Lumpur to choose either Beijing or Kazakhstan’s Almaty would host the 2022 Winter Olympics.
L.A. demonstrators called for the immediate release of detained human rights lawyers, activists, members of their staff and families. Since July 9, more than 260 of them have been arrested, put under house arrest or interrogated. The protesters also held pictures of detained ailing Chinese journalist Gao Yu, urging for her release.
The protest in L.A. follows a number of prominent Chinese lawyers, journalists, scholars, activists, and former Tiananmen student leaders inside and outside China sending an open letter to the International Olympic Committee (IOC), urging its members to veto Beijing’s bid for the Winter Olympics because of what they call the “unprecedented human rights violations.”
The open letter accuses the Chinese government of carrying out an unprecedented attack on civil society, and that awarding Beijing the Olympics would contradict the Olympic goal of “promoting a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity.”
The first signers of the letter include Chinese students in the U.S. and Australia, dissidents inside China, such as Hu Jia and Du Yanlin. Other signers include human rights defender Chen Guangcheng, lawyer Teng Biao, renowned economists He Qinglian and Xia Yeliang, political scientists Wu Qiang of Tsinghua University and Xia Ming of the City University of New York.
Signers also include Tiananmen student leaders Wu’er Kaixi, Zhou Fengsuo and former athlete Fang Zheng, whose legs were crushed by a tank during the 1989 Massacre. Fang, a gold medalist and record holder, who now lives in San Francisco, has been banned from participating in sporting events in China since 1994, including the 2008 Paralympics.
Most of the signers are from inside China from all walks of life, the youngest is a 15-year-old high school student who says Olympics only “belong to a free China.” Human rights activist Hu Haibo who signed the letter posts a public statement on U.S.-based news website boxun.com, saying "any big peace movement events should not be held in China, a regime that's worse than the Nazi's."
Another signer, Beijing-based Du Yanlin, was summoned by the police last Saturday and was told the government treated the open letter very seriously as bidding for the Olympics was a “Number One event”.
Du says he told the police that the reason why he’s boycotting Beijing’s bid is that it’d be desecrating the Olympics if the games are held in a country with such a “terrible human rights record.”
“If the IOC insists on letting Beijing host the Olympics, it no doubt is trampling on Olympics itself. If sports ignore human rights, neglect social justice and conscience, that means the Olympics have fallen, sports have fallen. Hosting the Olympics in Beijing is sending a message to the world, human rights are unimportant in front of political interests. Today it can be held in Beijing, tomorrow in Pyongyang.”
Du says even if Beijing's winning the bid is not of his concern, it’s always very significant to boycott Beijing, “Because we’re reminding the international community and Chinese people, the Chinese government is trampling on human rights freely. Some people are speaking of opposition, which means not all are in agreement of negligence of human rights.
The letter is part of a global petition to gain signatures to boycott Beijing’s Winter Olympic bid.
Foreign Ministry told Reuters that “a few people with ulterior motives are politicizing the Olympic Games.”
U.S.-based activist, Tiananmen survivor Rose Tang who co-wrote the letter, wrote on her Twitter and Facebook in response: “I really enjoy being a member of an overseas enemy force with ‘ulterior motives’. My "ulterior motives" are to get rid of the Chinese Communist party dictatorship, to bring all corrupt officials to justice, and help all people living in China and Chinese occupied countries gain human rights and democracy.”
See pasted below the open letter to the IOC.
Contact for the L.A. protesters: Cheng Qiubo. Cell: +1-626-818 6463
Contacts for the campaign:
Rose Tang, firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter @rosetangy
Gu Yi, email@example.com Twitter@musa8964
International Olympic Committee
Route de Vidy 9, 1007 Lausanne
Date: July 24, 2015
Re: Reject Beijing’s bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympics
Dear Mr. Bach:
The undersigned Chinese nationals and former citizens urge you to reject Beijing’s bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics as China is now facing a human rights crisis with a scale of violations that is unprecedented since 2008.
As we write this letter, the Chinese government is carrying out an unparalleled attack on civil society. More than 250 Chinese human-rights lawyers, legal assistants, activists and their family members have been arrested, interrogated, put under house arrest and made to disappear since July 9. The youngest is 16 and the oldest 81.
Beijing has been using the Olympic Games to promote the Chinese Communist Party. If the International Olympic Committee awards Beijing the 2022 Winter Olympics, a great event intended to promote solidarity, brotherhood and human development will once again serve a corrupt dictatorship. It will endorse a government that blatantly violates human rights. Awarding Beijing the Olympics is a contradiction of the Olympics’ goal of “promoting a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity.”
The 2008 Summer Olympics made a mockery of the fine principles that the Olympics stands for, and brought more humiliation than dignity and more sadness than joy to the people in China.
In the name of the Olympics, Beijing forcibly relocated 1.5 million residents and evicted thousands of households. Hundreds of petitioners—as well as handicapped people—were detained in secret detention centers as part of the government’s effort to “clean up” the capital for the games. To put forth a good face for the Olympics, Beijing covered up a nationwide powdered milk scandal, which seriously affected the health of some 360,000 babies in China by 2008. The government also banned record-holding athlete Fang Zheng from the Paralympics because his legs were crushed by a tank in the 1989 Tiananmen Massacre.
To win the 2008 Olympics, China promised to allow space for Chinese citizens to protest during the games. Spaces were allocated, but those that applied for permission to hold protests were actually arrested, making a mockery of China’s promises to the IOC. We expect similar abuses to take place should you award Beijing the 2022 Winter Olympics.
We feel utterly ashamed of such a notorious human rights record, which not only contradicts Beijing’s own promises, but also severely tarnishes the reputation and spirit of the Olympic Games.
Beijing promised to improve press freedom in order to win the 2008 Olympics. Instead, the Chinese media have experienced even more censorship and crackdowns. China has been denying work visas to a number of foreign journalists who cover “sensitive” issues. The country is the world’s largest jailer of journalists, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.
Allowing Beijing to host the 2022 Winter Olympics would send the world a message that China’s human rights abuses are being endorsed by the IOC, making the 2022 Games look strikingly similar to the 1936 Berlin Olympics and the 1980 Moscow Olympics.
We believe that the pure Olympic dream should never serve political oppression by a host government. We dream that one day the sacred Olympic flame will cast a light on a free China. For now, under this government, any more Olympic games would go down in history as the Shame Games, and make the IOC an accomplice in the abuse of human rights in the name of the Olympics.
[China (中国)] DU Yanlin (杜延林); HU Jia (胡佳)； HU Junxiong (胡俊雄); HUO Xiaoxi (霍晓曦） JIANG Qiushi (蒋秋实); SHEN Liangqing (沈良庆); SHEN Xiaofu (沈小甫); TANG Liang (唐亮); WANG Lihong (王荔蕻); WU Qiang (吴强,); YE Du (野渡); Zhang Jing (张京); Zhang Youwei (张有为）
[Taiwan (台湾)] Wu’erkaixi (吾尔开希); YAN Kefu (颜柯夫);
[USA（美国）] CHEN Chuangchuang (陈闯创); CHEN Guangcheng (陈光诚); CHEN Kuide (陈奎德); CHEN Liqun (陈立群),; CHENG Qiubo (成秋波); FANG Yong (方勇); FANG Zheng (方政); George GE (葛洵); Yi GU (古懿); HE Qinglian (何清涟); HU Yunfei (胡云飞); LEONG, Fred F. (梁联发); LEONG, Ann H. (熊若磐); SHI Yi (施毅); Rose TANG (唐路); TENG Biao (腾彪); WEN Yunchao (温云超); WU Renhua (吴仁华); XIA Ming (夏明); XIA Yeliang (夏业良); YANG Jianli (杨建利); ZHOU Fengsuo (周锋锁);
[Germany (德国)] GAO Zheng 高铮 LIAO Yiwu (廖亦武); SU Yutong (苏雨桐);
[UK (英国)] FENG Yun (封云);
[Canada (加拿大)] HOU Wenzhuo (侯文卓); LIU Shasha (刘沙沙); YANG Kuang (杨匡); ZHAI Bugang (翟步刚);
[Australia (澳大利亚)] CHEN Qiangbao (陈强保); LI Juan (李隽); LI Jun (李俊); LV Yin (吕毅)；QIN Jin(秦晋)； SHEN Wenshi (盛闻世); SU Zhi (苏智); SUN Hao (孙浩); TAN Yan (谭彦); WU Lebao (吴乐宝); XIA Jiecheng (夏杰成); XIE Yi (谢怡); YANG Jia (杨伽); YU Yang (余阳); YUAN Tieliang (元铁梁)； ZHANG Ming (张明)； ZHANG Shang (张上); ZHONG Jinjiang (钟锦江); ZHONG Wei (钟韦);
Yi Gu (古懿), firstname.lastname@example.org
Rose Tang (唐路), email@example.com