Comment on this article |
Email this article |
Wanted: Olympic Pressure Applied By Activists
by China Support Network
10 Jun 2002
The China Support Network asks for your help.
150 Willow St. • Cheshire, CT 06410 • USA • (203) 271-2964
Wanted: Olympic Pressure Applied By Activists
The China Support Network is seeking help from you, as a supporter of human
rights. Concerned activists are now asked to apply pressure with
a letter (below), sending outrage to the International Olympic Committee. The
reason? China is now using the Olympics as a reason to crack down harder
with human rights abuses! This is after the 2008 Olympics were awarded to China
China is undergoing a seven-year "Olympic
crackdown," according to official Chinese orders that were uncovered and
leaked by activists. (More information follows below.)
The China Support Network's Executive Director,
John Kusumi, said, "Is this the way to greet the Olympics? How many
are dead in the Olympics' name? For the image and brand name of the Olympics,
this is a global disgrace!"
Your help can make a difference. Please
copy-and-paste the letter below to your own stationary or blank document. Fix it
as needed to make it your letter, then send it to:
International Olympic Committee
Château de Vidy
June 10, 2002
President Jacques Rogge
The International Olympic Committee
Chateau de Vidy
Dear President Rogge,
I am writing to express my outrage at
recently uncovered secret orders of the Chinese government, using the Olympics
as a pretext and excuse for a human rights crackdown, and to express my support
for the campaign to move the Olympics to a more suitable location.
The Communists crossed a line in using
the Olympics to justify a crackdown. In the first place, they should not be
violating people and abusing their basic rights, which are internationally
recognized to be universal. In the second place, they should not be using the
Olympics for such purposes. In the third place, they should not be creating
linkage between their unsavory practices and the Olympic name. To avoid a bad
name or foul stench for the Olympics, China must forfeit its holding of the 2008
Olympics, and the games must be moved to a more suitable location.
I stand with Falun Gong, the Chinese
freedom and democracy movement, and the China Support Network as they call for
this necessary action, in the face of this flagrant and blatant provocation by
the Chinese authorities.
I trust that your office will support
this call to keep the Olympics "on the same page" with standards of
civilized human society. Failing that, in the alternative, I will join in the
boycott of Olympic advertisers in connection with those games.
Olympics Under Pressure From Chinese
DISSIDENTS CRY "FOUL"
LEARNS OF "OLYMPIC CRACKDOWN"
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- The Olympics are in trouble, and the International
Olympic Committee (IOC) faces a new controversy, as Chinese dissidents believe
they have the "smoking gun" document showing that the Chinese
government is misusing its host status for the 2008 Olympics. Amid howls of
outrage, dissidents and human rights groups seek to prompt removal of the
Olympics from Beijing, China -- and moving the Olympics to Toronto, the
The controversy began last month,
when it was uncovered that the Chinese government issued secret orders for an
Olympic crackdown -- a human rights crackdown, complete with religious
persecution, that names the Olympics as a pretext and reason for rights abuses.
The Olympic crackdown was ordered to begin in May, 2000 and continue until 2008.
The document ordering this crackdown was released last month by the Free China
Movement and the Committee to Investigate Persecution of Religion in China
The IOC may also be embarrassed by
the time frame of the crackdown -- it was ordered to begin over thirteen months
before the IOC cast its votes for Beijing. This indicates that Chinese leaders
were very confident in the outcome of that vote, over a year in advance. Because
this crackdown has already been underway for two years, "there is already a
body count from the Olympic crackdown," says John Kusumi, a leading
activist, referring to deaths of practitioners from the Falun Gong, a spiritual
sect which has been heavily persecuted by China in recent years.
Outrage has begun to appear, as in a
widely-circulated Op-Ed of last month titled, "Olympic Misbehavior From
China." The Free China Movement and the China Support Network are each
directing fire at the International Olympic Committee. The
sense of the Chinese pro-democracy movement is that the IOC, to protect the
brand name of the Olympics, must remove the Olympics from this flagrant
religious and human rights persecution. The China Support Network has launched
an action of pressure to "take the Olympics back" from China for 2008,
likely moving them to Toronto.
Chinese dissidents this week
observed the 13th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown. The wounds of
that crackdown remain unhealed, and in annual speech making, the dissidents
excoriated the new Olympic crackdown. In a ringing speech, John Kusumi of the
China Support Network breathed fire at the President of the IOC --
"No way, José! No way, Jacques Rogge!" According to Kusumi,
China Support Network can scarcely imagine that any editorialist, sports commentator, or sports fan
would not be revolted by what we've uncovered. This is a human rights problem in
China, and a moral imperative for the IOC. Attaching the Olympic name to a
human rights crackdown will never do. This is unacceptable, and by the time
you've thought about it, this vile order should produce a visceral, gut
revulsion among people with human decency everywhere.
below this release, find a related Op-Ed column, "Olympic Misbehavior From
The China Support
Network became the leading group of Americans responding to Tiananmen Square's
tragedy in 1989. For the latest of its actions, visit the URL, kusumi.com/action.
May '02 Op-Ed:
Olympic Misbehavior From China
China stepped over a
line in secret orders, for an Olympic-related crackdown on human rights,
as leaked last week by the Free China Movement. The orders made use of the
Olympics as a pretext and excuse for a severe crackdown, slated to last
through the six years remaining between now and the 2008 Olympics.
"To better welcome
the smooth holding of the 2008 Olympic Games in our country," the
order "in accordance with regulations from [China's] Ministry of
Public Security [the national police headquarters] and Supreme People's
Court" describes four levels of punishment for those who do not
"obey the suggestions" of the government.
Two of the four levels
include specific instructions to conduct arrests without warrants; and,
the harshest level of punishment is reserved for practitioners of the
Falun Gong spiritual movement. In March, police in Changchun were seen to
be forcing Falun Gong practitioners out of high rise windows, as the
suffering of Falun Gong rose to around 1,700 dead; 20,000 labor camp
sentences; and 100,000 arrests.
This is unacceptable
conduct in the first place -- and it is unacceptable use of the Olympics'
name in the second place. This outrage will rock the sports world, and
forms the reason why the International Olympic Committee must revisit the
decision which made China the site of the 2008 games.
In marketing, image is
everything, and no alert marketing executive in the free world would want
his or her brand name associated with the type of conduct represented in
China's crackdown on Falun Gong. Howls of outrage will also come from the
human rights community, and from the Chinese freedom and democracy
movement, where the selection of Beijing was opposed as the IOC made its
decision last summer.
The China Support
Network has already launched a pressure campaign to "take the
Olympics back" from China, and this is the rightfully indicated
course of action for the IOC. The secret orders of the Chinese government
also list the start date of the crackdown as May 20, 2000 -- fully
thirteen months before the Olympic committee made its decision. Eyebrows
may rise, where China's leaders were very confident in the outcome of the
The raised eyebrows may
go through the roof, in the cities which were passed over in that outcome
-- Toronto, Paris, Istanbul, and Osaka. The likely destination of a moved
Olympics would be Toronto, which received the second highest number of
votes. Organizers of Toronto's bid knew in their hearts that they had the
most deserving bid, with all being right, well, and in order. They had
boldly predicted a win, and through a twist of fate, they may yet host the
The Free China Movement
and the China Support Network are now pushing for this decision, although
it should actually be a no-brainer at the IOC, for supporters of human
rights, and for all those with any standards of human decency. If more
incentive is necessary, the China Support Network, with others, will also
boycott Olympic advertisers in the event of a Beijing Olympics in 2008.
It is time now for the
Olympic community to side with people and humanity, reflecting our
revulsion at the type of systemic abuse reflected in this flagrant order,
which is at once tawdry, seedy, and blatant. It is certainly beneath
dignifying with the Olympic name. Where China has now offended our
sensibilities, we must send a message back to China: The world has higher
standards than this.
John Kusumi is the founder of the
China Support Network.