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300 protest China’s human rights violations

March 31, 2008

From Boston Globe – A mock Olympic torch relay drew about 300 protesters to Boston Common yesterday to rally against China’s alleged human rights violations as the country prepares to host the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.
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The stop was said to be the first in North America for the Human Rights Torch Relay, an international campaign against Chinese human rights abuses that has held similar events in 80 cities worldwide. Organizers said the event was meant to encourage China to embrace the humanitarian spirit of the Olympics.

The issue of human rights in China has been in the international spotlight, especially after director Steven Spielberg withdrew last month as artistic director of the games. Spielberg said he was stepping down because China, Sudan’s largest trading partner, had not used enough of its leverage over the Sudanese government to resolve the conflict in Darfur.According to Reuters, China’s foreign minister last month defended his country’s right to host the 2008 Olympics in the face of criticism over human rights. Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said, “People in China enjoy extensive freedom of speech.”

The International Olympic Committee recently expressed concern over violence in Tibet and human rights abuses by the Chinese government.

“Since they were awarded [the Olympics] in 2000, organizations such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the United Nations have reported that [China’s] human rights abuses have gotten worse,” said Steve Gigliotti, spokesman for the event. A number of speakers appeared on the Parkman Bandstand, including representatives from the Tibetan Association of Boston, Doctors Without Borders, and the John Birch Society.

The event began at 8 a.m. in Hopkinton, where the torch-bearer, Paul Guzzi, a physical education teacher at Hardy Elementary School in Wellesley, kicked off his 27-mile run to downtown Boston. After Guzzi arrived at the Common at about 12:15 p.m., the Tianguo Marching Band from New York City played the coalition’s theme song, “Human Rights Torch,” and participants began following Guzzi around the Common in a procession.

One spectator, Donald Connetti, 70, of Greenville, R.I., said he changed his plans to attend the games this summer in Beijing because of the country’s human rights issues.

“I believe that China should be free like America. We were led by founding fathers that guided us, and that’s what China needs now,” Connetti said, adding, “All you need is a governmental change.”

Michael He, 40, of Westborough, said he came because he is a practitioner of Falun Gong, a spiritual group many say has been persecuted in China. “Human rights abuses and the Olympics cannot coexist in China,” said He, who emigrated from China 20 years ago.

Last Friday, the Massachusetts State Senate passed a resolution in support of the group, declaring next month “Human Rights Torch Relay Month.”

In addition, Senator Edward M. Kennedy sent a letter of support, noting, “We as a nation also have an obligation to speak out about China’s recent actions in Tibet and its role in human rights abuses in other nations as well.”

State Senator Diane Wilkerson, Boston City Councilor Michael Ross, and Quincy Mayor Thomas Koch attended yesterday’s rally, during which there were no arrests, police said.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 4, 2008 2:37 am

    WE STRONGLY CALL ON THE CHINESE GOVT. TO STOP ABUSING THE HUMAN AND CIVIL RIGHTS OF ITS CITIZENS AND TIBET WITH IMMEDIATE EFFECT OR FACE SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC BOYCOTT BY ALL THE COUNTRIES OF THE WORLD.

    WPPM.ORG SUPPORTS WORLDWIDE CAMPAIGN TO STOP HUMAN, CIVIL, WOMEN, CHILDREN AND ANIMAL ABUSE AND EXPLOITATION AND AN END TO ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTION

    Let Us Spread The Truth, Freedom, Love And Peace all over the world

    Our world is filled with evil, wars, poverty, social, economic and political as well as sexual problems, suffering and misery today because we are divided and we let these divisions force us to fight among ourselves and destroy one another.

    This is foolish because all of us are the children of God and the universe and have cosmic roles to play to maintain order in the Cosmos.

    If people all over the world can forget the color of their skins, religions, politics, genders, races, ethnicities, countries, states, professions, classes, and personal biases and join hands with each other to work towards spreading Truth, Love and Peace around the world, we can stop wars, crimes, injustices, abuses, discriminations, poverty, suffering and transform our world into a paradise for all to enjoy.

    There is strength in unity. If we join hands and work together, we can change our world and make it safer, better and more enjoyable by: stopping human rights abuse, stop civil rights abuse, stop children abuse, children molestation, children murder, stop the abuse of women, stop sexual exploitation of women through pornography movies, stop human trafficking and prostitution, stop domestic violence, stop abuse and destruction of families by Child Protective Services, clean up the foster care system, clean up the children adoption services to cut down on children abuse, stop child sexual molestation, stop bestiality (= is animal rape by animal lovers), stop animal abuse, stop violence in the world, stop crimes in the world, stop the breeding of illegitimate children, stop abuse of women in Islamic world, stop suicide bombing and terrorism using children, work for world peace, prosperity, world health, stop feeding human beings genetically manipulated (GM) food that have not been proven safe, solve environmental pollution problems, stop wars, support green living, stop the spread of nuclear and atomic weapons, stop WMD, stop the infection of human beings with man made viruses, stop injecting children with vaccines that cause autism and mental retardation, stop drugging our children at school, stop allowing big pharma companies to keep peddling dangerous drugs with terrible side effects to human beings, stop tyranny in the world, stop supporting third world dictators and politician who embezzle and loot their countries’ income and resources, causing poverty and misery to their people, make United Nations competent and effective to handle conflicts among nations of the world, protect human beings from UFO abductions and genetic engineering experiments, start monitoring biotechnology activities, raise awareness of biohazard issues, find cure for cancer and other debilitating diseases, stem cell research, diabetic research, start the economic development of developing countries, (World Economic Development WED), stop poverty in the world, solve Middle East problems, help people start their own businesses, create more jobs for people all over the world.

    This world is ours and it is our responsibility to take good care of it or we shall lose it and become homeless!!!

  2. March 31, 2008 1:12 pm

    was that a symbolic number?

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