Noel Hidalgo-(a.k.a. Noneck) an activist I once met online in 2006 while attending RootsCamp in Second Life-had a camera as he walked through Tiananmen Square and happened upon some people protesting the human rights violations in Tibet. He wound up on a plane back to the States. Fortunately, Noneck twitters:
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Glenn Hurowitz recently wondered who's going to help Tibet bring down China, like the Russians were brought down in Afghanistan and the British in India.
International pressure and protest seems to carry no weight among the Chinese. Their government is still arresting monks for "unauthorized gatherings", they're still shooting and killing Tibetans. They've also been shipping weapons to Zimbabwe's dictator, who's currently ignoring the results of an election that voted him and his party out of power. They buy 90 percent of Sudan's exported oil, and sells them small arms destined for Darfur. Darfur, where the Sudanese government is carrying out air attacks against helpless civilian targets. Oh yes, and they're now the world's top carbon polluter, though the US still remains the top carbon polluter per capita.
Yeah, that Chinese government, complete jerks, tyrants, to put it charitably. People are surprised that the Olympic torch protests seem only to have stirred Chinese nationalism, surprised that the Chinese don't understand why people are angry. Still, I think Glenn asks the wrong question. Because who is it that raised China up? The lack of self-awareness in this situation isn't exclusive to the Chinese, people everywhere have an amazing capacity to accept almost anything as normal.
Indeed, let's cut right to the heart of the matter: whom else will we buy our shoes from?
I looked this up once when I was working at my community college paper in 2005. There was an editorial insistence on doing a fashion insert, so I contributed something about sweatshops and the offshoring of clothing manufacture. (I know, total killjoy.) I found a copy of that article in my old files, and according to the research that I'd done at the time, the US had lost over 860,000 textile and apparel jobs since 1993, and China was making 80% of the world's shoes.
Sure, if you have (usually) more money to spend, you can find shoes made somewhere else. But not everyone has that kind of time or latitude. Funny thing, though, now shoe manufacturers are closing down in China. Now that "many factories have to meet social obligations" and workers have been agitating for better pay, manufacturing jobs are slowly starting to leave China as they once left the US. Read on...
Lizz Winstead's group, Wake Up World with Hope & Davis, a comedy newscast similar to The Daily Show has a new newsbreak video out that could either be a simple slip of the tongue or a very scary peek into the real souls of the Bush administration.
Earlier this week at the press briefing, Dana Perino was asked about the official White House stand towards China's brutality in Tibet, as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was visiting with the exiled Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama at the same time that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice met with Chinese leaders to urge them to speak to the Dalai Lama. Meanwhile, rioters raged through Lhasa, and Tibetans are claiming more than 130 dead.
Maybe all of those things rocketing through that perky little brain of hers yielded some confusion. Because, while Rice is supposed to be working her way to a peaceful accord, Perino claimed the exact opposite.
Q China sent more troops into Tibet to crack down on the demonstrators. The United States have any reaction to that?
MS. PERINO: I hadn't heard about that development. What I can tell you is that last night Secretary Rice spoke to the Chinese Foreign Minister to very directly reiterate our views and concerns about the situation and told the Chinese that we would urge restraint in dealing with protestors, to refrain from non-violence and then Secretary Rice informed the President this morning of that conversation.
The Internet as a liberating force? Not always. [..]
The whole thing is a bloody mess as the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing draws near. I think a vast majority of people have no stomach for another boycott -- most Americans would rather defeat evil on the athletic field, as Jesse Owens did in Berlin in 1936, than take our ball and go home, as Jimmy Carter did in 1980. That said, I'd like to see freedom-loving people, from the U.S. and elsewhere, figure out how to make some kind of statement this August.
PARIS (AP) - Moves to punish China over its handling of violence in Tibet gained momentum Tuesday, with a novel suggestion for a mini-boycott of the Beijing Olympics by VIPs at the opening ceremony.
Such a protest by world leaders would be a huge slap in the face for China's Communist leadership.
France's outspoken foreign minister, former humanitarian campaigner Bernard Kouchner, said the idea "is interesting."
Sadly, I can't see anyone in the Bush administration going along with that idea...especially when we owe China so much. I guess that oppressing their citizens, violence and actual weapons of mass destruction, that's not so important, when they underwrite your loans.
Man, first it was Steven Spielberg over Darfur and now Bjork's going after the Chinese government over Tibet. It's hard out there for the largest holder of US debt. At least the Bush administration hasn't included them in the Axis of Evil. Of course, it would be hard to get another loan to finance another tax cut for the top 1% if you do that, isn't it?
Björk is under attack after shouting "Tibet! Tibet!" at the end of her song Declare Independence at a concert in Shanghai.
Her remark was not reported in official media, but led to criticism when it began to circulate on the web. While China's 58-year occupation of Tibet remains controversial abroad, most Chinese see Tibet as a part of their country and regard calls for its independence as intrusive and divisive.
One fan said it was "disrespectful" and "very selfish" to raise the issue while visiting China.
The Icelandic singer first dedicated Declare Independence to Greenland and the Faroe Islands, which still have formal links to Denmark, and the song's video shows her in clothing bearing their flags. She dedicated the song to Kosovo while performing in Japan last month.
Its lyrics include: "Don't let them do that to you. Raise your flag!"
Matt Whitticase, spokesman for the London-based Free Tibet Movement, said it was delighted by her remarks, contrasting them with Gordon Brown and David Miliband's "shameful" decision not to raise the issue publicly on their recent visits to Beijing.
It should be noted that Tibet's most famous exile, the Dalai Lama, has said that he supports China's right to host the Olympics.