Friday, April 18, 2008

More Olympics

(I was going to put this image below with the other Olympic graphics... then I realized how well it went with my opening quote, so... here it sits...)


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“There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.”

~ Elie Wiesel
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Truly... this will be an interesting build-up to the Olympics. Protests continue to shadow the Torch as it makes it way towards China:

China will be watching (Australia's Herald-Sun)

Australian Federal Police chiefs have cancelled leave.

The cost of the security operation for the five-hour event is estimated to run close to $1 million.

The Chinese Government has insisted that several of its controversial paramilitary security guards will protect the torch, but federal police say they will take complete responsibility.

Overseas, the Chinese security officers have been labelled "thugs" for their aggressive behaviour.

Just three Chinese attendants will accompany the Olympic flame on Thursday.


And this line in particular caught my eye:

Some politicians have created headaches for police by declaring public's right to protest during the event.

I wasn't aware that politicians declared our right to protest. I always thought it one of those immovable, immutable universal laws of nature and reality. Huh... the things I learn...

Japanese Temple Refuses to Host Olympic Torch Relay

The Zenkoji Temple officials say monks at the temple are concerned about the way fellow Buddhist monks are being treated in China and about the safety of the temple and its worshippers. The temple is located in Japan's northern city of Nagano, and was originally to be the starting point of the relay in Japan.

Thailand prepares for troubled Olympic torch relay

The torch, whose worldwide journey before the Games in August has turned into a public relations debacle for China's leaders, made its way to the kingdom overnight from India, where many people were arrested.

Thai officials have warned they will deport foreigners who try to disrupt the relay but, unlike at several previous stops, Thailand has not made plans to shorten its leg of the flame's globe-trotting extravaganza.

-snip-

Jacques Rogge, head of the International Olympic Committee, has said the protests have thrown the Olympics into "crisis," and reminded China that it pledged to improve its rights record when it proposed to host the Games.
Beijing has told Rogge to stay out of "irrelevant" politics and insisted the demonstrations are not in keeping with the Olympic spirit.


A good read here from SF Gate: China-Tibet-Olympics: Medals for highest-pitched rhetoric?



Tibet protesters clash with Nepal police, 130 detained

KATHMANDU, April 18 (Reuters) - Maroon-robed monks and nuns with shaved heads scuffled with police at a pro-Tibet demonstration in Kathmandu on Friday, in the latest of a series of protests against China.

Authorities said they detained 96 men and 34 women.

"Resolve the crisis in Tibet through dialogue, not guns," a yellow-banner carried by demonstrators read. "China plays games with human rights," read another banner carried by some protesters wearing yellow sleeve-less jackets.

Others displayed a big portrait of the Dalai Lama, Tibet's exiled spiritual leader.

"Stop killings in Tibet, we want peace," shouted a protester who gave his name as Karma. Four police later hauled him into a waiting van.

Nepal has seen almost daily anti-China protests, except for a short break during last week's national elections.


And in a story that gladdens my heart, Canada's indigenous population may be joining the ranks of Olympics protestors... at the 2010 Olympics (reminiscent of a line I remember -- I think from Gary Snyder -- "women, playing drums, flying over Tibet"):

Squamish band will likely protest at Games despite its support for Olympics

Squamish band members will likely protest at the 2010 Olympic Games despite the chief signing an agreement with the Vancouver Organizing Committee to support the event.

"There will be some level of protest, and I hope so, too," Squamish First Nation Chief Bill Williams said Thursday.

"We are going to be working with VANOC, but we have 3,500 members and not all want to be part of the Olympics. They want to talk about the children and the hardships in the community and they have the full right to do that."

Williams said natives across Canada have the highest ratings in all the worst quality-of-life scenarios.

"We have the highest rate of people incarcerated, the highest rate of children dropping out of schools, the highest rate of children in the child-care system and I could go on and on," Williams said.

"I myself as an aboriginal male have the shortest lifespan."

Williams was reacting to a warning in Ottawa yesterday from Phil Fontaine, Grand Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, that natives could protest at the 2010 Olympics to highlight their "desperate conditions."

In March 2007, three members of Vancouver's Native Warriors Society cut down the Olympic flag at Vancouver City Hall.

-snip-

Fontaine likened the lives of some native communities to those of Tibetans under Chinese rule.

"We find the Tibet situation compelling," he said. "The Tibetans are disenfranchised people. The situation here is similar, but it's different in this sense - the poverty we're talking about exists in Canada's own backyard.




Interesting, the graphics that come out of these movements. Here are a couple I ran across doing my search for pics for today's post:





What a strange, strange world in which we find ourselves today... truly the ends of the string of time have spiraled and now come so close to touching... the oldest of cultures and societies coming to face head-on the juggernauts of modern technocracy.

Which again, has to do with that Two-Row Wampum.

Oh yeah... before I forget... I've come up with what I can only describe as a Buddhist-based definition of the word "boycott"...

Boycott:

the sound of one hand not opening a wallet.

And you can quote me on that one.

Peace.
~~~

“To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men.”

~ Abraham Lincoln

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