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February 11 China human rights rally in Lafayette Park

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Tiananmen Square massacre. Best viewed on an empty stomach.

On June 3, 1989, I was about to go to sleep before going to my younger brother’s high school graduation the next morning. The television news reported on the Tiananmen Square massacre that had taken place. The news reports were just coming in, and apparently in the process of being clarified and detailed. Having no Internet for getting more information, I went to bed with a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. The next morning I watched the news to learn how massive, extreme and brutal had been the massacre. I felt even sicker. I write more about this here.

China’s human rights situation seems barely improved since the massacre, other than that no such broad-scale massacre has been repeated since. What, then, is China’s reward for such brutality? The 2008 summer Olympics, that is what.

For those inclined to participate, on February 11 will be a rally in Washington, D.C., demanding a pre-Olympics end to human rights abuses in China. The rally will begin 12:00 p.m. at Lafayette Park (across from the White House), 1608 H Street, NW, Washington, D.C. More information may be obtained from Amnesty International’s media office at 202-544-0200, x302.

The mass emailing I received from the International Campaign for Tibet about this rally states, in part:

“The Chinese Government has clearly not delivered on its promises to the International Olympic Committee and the global community to improve human rights in China and Tibet in the lead-up to the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics.

“Human rights groups are coming together to remind the world of China’s broken promises. If the 2008 Beijing Games are to avoid shameful historical association with Nazi Germany’s 1936 Berlin Games, or the Soviet Union’s 1980 Moscow Games, then China must make real progress on human rights before this August.

“As we mark the six-month countdown to the Olympics, please join the International Campaign for Tibet, Amnesty International, and other organizations in front of the White House for a mid-day rally in support of human rights in China and Tibet.

“ICT is calling on President Bush to rethink his commitment to attend the Olympic Games because of China’s blatant disregard for American human rights diplomacy.”

One blogger focuses on human rights in China through a blog named Boycott 2008 Communist Olympics. Business as usual should not be tolerated in China, which already dominates a huge portion of the United States’ import market, including computer components, toys (many revealed to contain dangerous lead levels), and chinaware. Jon Katz