April 12, 2008

Obama Ties Beijing Olympic Boycott to Crisis in Darfur


Much of the protests against the Olympic Games in Beijing focused around the way that China is handling the unrest in Tibet. I was pleased to see Barack Obama pivot the discussion to include the relationship that China has with Sudan.

Barack Obama called for President Bush to boycott the opening ceremonies for the Olympic Games in Beijing. Obama said a boycott "should be firmly on the table," but that a decision should be made closer to the Games.

Here is Obama's full statement:
"If the Chinese do not take steps to help stop the genocide in Darfur and to respect the dignity, security, and human rights of the Tibetan people, then the President should boycott the opening ceremonies. As I have communicated in public and to the President, it is past time for China to respect the human rights of the Tibetan people, to allow foreign journalists and diplomats access to the region, and to engage the Dalai Lama in meaningful talks about the future of Tibet. I am also deeply concerned about China's failure to support efforts to halt the genocide in Darfur. Regarding the Beijing Olympics this summer, a boycott of the opening ceremonies should be firmly on the table, but this decision should be made closer to the Games."
Please join the Electronic Village and others tomorrow as we participate in a Blogblast entitled, 'In Solidarity: Global Day for Darfur'.

6 comments:

Regina said...

I'm glad that Obama took this stand.

Villager said...

Regina - Obama did his part. Now it is up to each of us to take a stand. I'm glad that you are part of today's In Solidarity: Global Day for Darfur blogblast...

Tony said...

Call me idealist but I do not believe a boycott of the games supports what the Olympics is suppose to be about. And in hindsight I feel the same way about the 1980 and 1984 boycotts.

The games (IMHO) are supposed to be about the worlds nations coming together in an exercise of unity. Also, its a stage for people who would not ordinarily be heard to speak and be heard by the world. One example I can think of is the Iraqi soccer team.

If you want the athletes to wear signs or walk hand and hand with representatives of those those peoples then do that. Just don't show up. Its a wasted effort. China could easily spin it by saying the Americans were scared or though they were too good to show up.

Villager said...

Tony - Your points are well-taken. Do you think it is a good idea to leverage the Olympics movement to bring more attention to the crisis in Darfur?

Tony said...

The world is on the brink of terminal apathy. Everyone takes it as a given that parties that don't agree either having nothing to do with each other or wait for one to blow the other up.

The Olympics is not just a way for the geneticly gifted to show off their talents. It is a platform for the ills of society to take center stage and be talked about. So that genocide in Africa, political domination in Asia, and racial unrest in the Americas can be viewed by the world community, discussed , and commented on. In my opinion that is how a society is supposed to work.

Villager said...

Tony - Asante sana for sharing your village voice on this topic. I invite you to participate on the 27th of each month in our Roots of Humanity campaign...