Saturday, October 27, 2007

Trafalgar Square rally

Speaking at a rally in Trafalgar Square yesterday on human rights violations in China and the Olympic Games. I said that foreign visitors who attend the Games might take copies of the Mandarin translation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights with them, to give to Chinese sports fans, officials and other people they meet there. (

The Olympic Charter's objective is to establish a peaceful society based on human dignity, but Chinese officials have said they will 'crack down severely on troublemakers' in advance of the 2008 Games.

There are still more executions in China than the rest of the world put together.

In Tibet, the police beat up schoolchildren for drawing political graffiti and murder people fleeing across the border into Nepal. The hysterical reaction to the Dalai Lama's reception by President Bush shows what they think of the human dignity of the Tibetans.

The arrests, tortures, killings and vilification of peaceful members of the Falun Gong is another brazen violation of the Olympic Charter.

Abroad, China encourages brutal dictators and props them up with arms. In Burnma, they sustain the incongruously named State Peace and Development Council, which kills and injures monks, imprisons democrats, and wages war against its ethnic minorities.

In Zimbbwe, they befriend the appalling Mugabe, who drove 700,000 people out of their homes, eradicated the free press, rewarded a few cronies while making the rest of the population destitute, and drove two million people into exile.

In Sudan, with their ally General Beshir, they have blocked UN measures to stop the genocide in Darfur, and to prevent it from spreading into Chad and the Central African Republic.

Some people hoped that awarding the Olympic Games to China would give them an incentive to improve their human rights record, and there's just a chance that it may. Let all sports fans and other tourists visiting China engage with the Chinese people in their struggle for human dignity, and for the rights and freedoms in the Universal Declaration.

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