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STAND – OLYMPIC TORCH – China

08 Aug

One year from today, the 2008 Summer Olympics will begin in Beijing, China, and anti-genocide activists across the globe are already getting ready.

Today in Chad, just across the border from Darfur, STAND’s partner Dream for Darfur will launch its own international torch relay. The torch will move from Chad, Darfur’s closest neighbor, to cities and countries across the world.

STAND
will play a leading role, along with the Save Darfur Coalition and Dream for Darfur, in planning a series of torch relays throughout the United States. These relays will focus on putting pressure on Beijing to stand against genocide. China has a great deal of influence over the government of Sudan as its largest trade partner, foreign investor, and arms provider. It is time for China to uphold its responsibility to protect the people of Darfur!

For more information on the torch relay, check out the Save Darfur’s Olympic Torch Relay website. If you want to be more involved in the U.S. portion of the relay, please contact STAND today at info@standnow.org. STAND is also looking for a student to coordinate involvement in the campaign!

In the year before the Olympics commence in China, let’s work to ensure that the Olympic Dream comes to the people of Darfur!

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3 Comments

Posted by on August 8, 2007 in Africa, Blogs, Bookmarks, China

 

3 responses to “STAND – OLYMPIC TORCH – China

  1. sauerkraut

    August 10, 2007 at 11:07 am

    I fully realize that putting pressure on China vis-a-vis the Olympics seems like a great idea but I’d like to throw out a couple of cautions.

    First, China has proved intractible with respect to international pressure. It truly is a dragon which pays no attention to public opinion – which really is about all the Olympic-related comments can do – and just keeps on trucking along. I do not hold the belief that Olympic pressure will result in any meaningful change in the lives of the people of Darfur. Shouldn’t more effort be redirected towards China’s economy? It’s not often I read anything on China’s use of slave labor to cheaply produce products for sale to the western world.

    2) I know too many people who were seriously impacted by Jimmy Carter’s boycott of the Moscow Olympics. Nearly all of these people made the 1980 US Olympic dream. Yes, I know that not getting to run the 800m is not nearly as life-threatening as is a night-time attack by the ganjaweedheads, but it is an issue which must be discussed and considered carefully.

    Realizing that my opinions and concerns will raise a few eyebrows, I remain, faithfully,

    sauerkraut.

     
  2. cooper

    August 10, 2007 at 11:30 am

    From the perspective of Darfur, and human rights in general, there has been of significant – in the eyes of the totally free world of which we are supposedly a part of – adjustment in China as we speak. It is problematic to expect individuals interested in human rights to address the economics of China. The point of this kind of boycott/protest is essence in nature. China has a lot riding on the success of this Olympics. They have invested heavily and expect economic reward.

    That China was awarded speaks volumes of the International Olympic Committee.

    China has done more over the last few months in regard to putting pressure on Darfur than previously as to if most of it is rhetoric and what goes on behind closed doors no one knows now do they.

    I personally do not give one iota for The “Olympic Dream” of some randy teenager, or an overage runner. I could not even begin to compare the loss of an Olympic opportunity to the rape, murder, torture and displacement or fear there off of the people in Darfur.

    That you can speaks volumes .

     
  3. sauerkraut

    August 12, 2007 at 12:35 am

    You misunderstand my words if you believe that I “can” compare an athletic dream against a person’s life. Indeed, I state quite the opposite.

    One needs to look at the methods used by the people who took the side of Afghanis when the Russians invaded in the late 1970’s. What affect did the American boycott have on the Russians? And one needs to look at what happened after the democracy protests in Tianeman Square.

    Those are my suggestions here. As is my suggestion that more pressure can be put onto China by directly addressing their economic methods, i.e., the use of prison labor in manufacturing, the poisons that have shown up on our grocery food shelves, and dumping of goods at such a level as to drive American businesses out of business.

    Those are issues which could be combined with the efforts in Darfur.

    I have a real fear that not only will the Darfur-Olympic protests do little good but that they may result in backlashes against American athletes who associate themselves with any Darfur efforts. Not to mention the thousands of Americans who are going to attend the Olympics in China regardless of what goes on in Darfur.

    This may not be what certain people want to consider at this point, but it needs to be discussed fairly and considerably.

    I have this great picture of the 1980 pole vault gold medal winner kneeling on the mat after discovering that he was the event’s victor. A Pole, he is giving both middle fingers with great gusto in the direction of Breshnev. It’s great symbolism. I like results. Given China’s history and present power structure, I’m not sure much more than symbolism can be achieved outside a direct attack on China’s economic methods.

    My opinions, respectfully submitted. And certainly not deserving of a snide sentence as above.

     

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