Wednesday, January 30, 2008

In That Olympic Spirit, China Leads The World In Dissident Arrests!

While George Bush, Mitt Romney and other empty-headed Republican blowhards continue to spout platitudes about freedom and patriotism, while at the same time attempting to undermine them at every turn, there exists in the world individuals who really know what these words mean.

Meet Mr. Hu Jia.

Mr. Hu is an average citizen of the "Peoples Republic of" China. He and his wife Zeng Jinyan live in an apartment with their beautiful newborn daughter, Qianci. Like many people of the world, Mr. Hu blogs on the internet and uses modern telecommunications tools such as Skype. Unfortunately, in the "Peoples Republic of" China, he is not free to do so without the risk of harassment and arrest from his government.

Who Says The Chinese Government Doesn't Have A Sense Of Humour?

After spending almost two years under house arrest in the ironically named Bo Bo Freedom City, for engaging in these very activities, on December 27, Mr. Hu was dragged away by the state police on the charge of "subverting state power." He had become involved with the case of Yang Chunlin, a former factory worker who organized a petition campaign entitled, “We Want Human Rights, Not the Olympics." The petition was part of an effort to help local farmers seek legal redress over land confiscated by the Chinese government.

While The Petition Wasn't Wildly Popular With The Chinese Government, It Did Manage To Collect 10,000 Signatures.

As China prepares for the Olympics, it seems that they are also preparing to clean up any hint of dissent within their culture. There have been crackdowns on internet sites and arrests of dissidents. Reporters Without Borders has stated that China has jailed 51 online dissidents, the most in the world, and blocked more than 2,500 Web sites in 2007. But wait, there's more. So paranoid is the Chinese government that even Mr. Hu's newborn daughter is under house arrest, making her possibly the world's youngest political prisoner.

If George Bush Loves Freedom So Well . . . Ah, Forget It.

It's time for the Republican Party, the neo-conservatives, the religious right and every other flag waiving, SUV driving with the magnetic ribbons on the back, freedom loving, "God Bless America" spewing American to man up and put an end to this. It's time for the mouthpieces of "American Values" to transform their voluminous rhetoric into action. Note to O'Reilly, Limbaugh and Hannity: If you are not willing to speak out against a baby and her mother being under house arrest for expressing dissent, then it is time for you to shut the f-bomb up.

What's it gonna be, America? Dangerous, but really cheap goods at your local Wal-Mart or our founding values? If you chose the latter, here's what you can do about it:

1) Stop buying products made in China.

2) Let companies that are outsourcing jobs to China know that you will no longer buy those products.

3) Write your congressional representative and demand that the United States boycott the Beijing Olympic games.

4) If the United States does not boycott the games (and they probably won't), refuse to watch them.

If you chose the really cheap goods option then, frankly, you deserve all the toxic lead paint that the Chinese government can ship into your house.

The bottom line is this: We as a nation are helping the Chinese government engage in repression of the basic civil rights that we enjoy.

The question is, are you going to participate?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, bloody hell. I'd stop buying cheap Chinese stuff if a monopoly did not exist on things like irons, toys, and most power tools I've looked at recently. Hm...go wrinkly or support repressive regimes? I'm also on the lower end of the economic spectrum and that sends me to Wal*Mart as well!!!

One thing I CAN do is refuse to watch the Olympics. I pretty much stopped after 1976 anyway because the network coverage seems to believe that despite the Olympic ideal of peaceful competition and the admiration of stunning athletic ability, we just want to see Americans win and hear their personal stories. Um, no, not really.

I used to stay up late to see swimming heats when Spitz was racing, but I also learned to respect the athletes from third world countries who competed without the benefits and funding our country provided.
Russian weightlifters during the Soviet era were a special favorite, as well -- even though we were not supposed to cheer for our cold war enemy. The Olympics was supposed to transcend all that.

Ever since Reagan's misguided boycott year, the networks in the US have seen the Olympics as an excuse for touching our hearts with US-centric programming, so we never even get to see most of the Olympics anyway.

So it's kind of like giving up liver for Lent if I say I'll refuse to watch the Beijing competitions, but nevertheless, it's SOMETHING I can do. Still, I'll miss some amazing Chinese divers....

9:28 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home