Boycott Beijing 2008

une_gb As a condition of being granted the 2008 summer games, China promised the IOC and the International community that it would make positive changes in its human rights record. As soon as it was awarded the games, China turned its back on those promises and began to crack down even harder on what it considers subversive elements. Most notable is the recent crackdown in Tibet, but it extends to Internet censorship, their strong support for the brutal Burmese government, jailing of journalists, executions of Muslim Uyghurs for “separatism,” and arrests of members of the Falungong to name a few.

While the Olympic games are supposed to be free of politics, China has made them a political issue. China is using the games to legitimize its government on the world stage. China has also made human rights promises related to the games which it has not kept.

monks_176254t I don’t believe that there is the political will for Western nations to outright boycott the summer Olympics like they did for the 1980 Moscow Games, but I do believe that we as citizens have an obligation to register our protests in any way that we can. As such, I am doing the following;

  • Actively avoiding all media coverage of the games,
  • Where possible, boycotting companies that support the games or advertise at the games,
  • Writing to companies that I am boycotting telling them why I am boycotting them,
  • Writing posts like this and discussing the issues with as many people as possible,
  • Signing petitions like these to boycott the opening ceremony and to register my wish that China improve its human rights record.

None of this is in any way a reflection of my support for the athletes, nor will I think less of those who participate. I just won’t be watching.

How do you feel about this? Do you think I am being unreasonable? If you also feel the same way, what else can be done to register our protest? Let me know, leave a comment.

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