As fun as the Olympics Games are to watch and as great an opportunity they are for amateur athletes across the globe, I can’t help but be completely disturbed by the actions of the government of the People’s Republic of China in their recent military crackdown against the people of Tibet over the past couple weeks.
With a strong-arm crackdown on freedom of assembly and expression underway in the People’s Republic, there is no way that I can feel good about watching and therefore supporting the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics.
The list of injustices stemming from that country’s regime is long, but We Move to Canada has put together a list of reasons why not to support the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games:
Tibet: China’s continuing occupation of this sovereign, peaceful nation.
Darfur: China is Sudan’s largest trading partner and the main foreign investor in its oil industry. Most Western oil companies, under pressure from human rights organizations, have withdrawn from Sudan. And although we know that economic isolation and divestment can have a very powerful, positive effect (think South Africa), China continues to do business with Sudan, enabling slavery and genocide.
China: The list of China’s abuses of its own people is a long and shameful one.
— China executes more of its citizens than the rest of the capital-punishment countries combined and doubled. While China has a much larger population than those other countries, its rate of execution is still disproportionate. China has more capital crimes, and is believed to have more hidden executions and political executions, than any other country in the world.
— China jails (and also executes) thousands of activists, political dissidents, journalists, and ordinary citizens who attempt free expression. Reporters Without Borders is a good source for civil liberty and human rights abuses in China, as is Human Rights Watch.
— China’s labour laws are a sad joke. Factory conditions sound like something out of Dickens or Upton Sinclair.
— China pollutes water, air and soil with impunity, poisoning and sickening its citizens for generations to come.
So, when August 2008 comes around, instead of watching the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, I will be outside enjoying my freedoms of peaceful assembly, expression, and movement that the people of Tibet and the People’s Republic of China aren’t able to freely practice.