For myself and for the China Support Network, let me introduce you to our amazing, urgent, and outrageous situation, which we suddenly face.
We are suddenly campaigning for China to lose its host status for the 2008 Olympic games. These were scheduled to go to Beijing, and there is a new "smoking gun" outrage which is so large, it requires, calls for, and demands removing the Olympic name off of this Chinese abuse.
A Chinese crackdown on human rights is always revolting -- but now, the Communists went too far and crossed a line, in naming the Olympics as the pretext and reason for a crackdown -- in top secret Chinese government orders, with the Olympics' name on them. The orders came to light this month. Now, there is a crackdown campaign to abuse Chinese human rights, in the name of the Olympics.
The Chinese Communists should not be using the Olympic name as an excuse for their vile practices of gross, flagrant violation of people. It is an absolute misuse and debasement of the meaning of the Olympics.
Chinese people, such as practitioners of the Falun Gong spiritual movement, should not suffer more because of the Olympics. There should be no extra death, torture, or incarceration because of the Olympics!
The more you read about this, the more offensive it gets. I have written the article, "Olympic Misbehavior From China," about this matter, and it is inserted at the end of this letter.
Can we remove the Olympics from China, and do the right thing? This is an achievable objective, and we are appealing for your help.
Hosting the Olympics is a privilege, not a right. Also, it is important to protect the "brand name" of the Olympics. Any marketing manager would say, "get our brand name off of that torture and tyranny." We believe, the International Olympic Committee can be brought to see matters the same way.
The alternative brings us to a new question about human rights statistics - what portion is Olympic-related? By present estimates, Falun Gong has suffered 1,700 deaths, 20,000 labor camp sentences, and 100,000 arrests. We can only guess what portion has been added by the Olympic crackdown. By way of example, if 4% is due to the Olympic crackdown, then we have 68 deaths, 800 labor camp sentences, and 4,000 arrests in the name of the Olympics.
A SPORTING EVENT should not precipitate ANY percentage of deaths, slave labor, or prisoners of conscience. -Yes, we can remove the Olympics from China. To preserve any semblance of upstanding character, this is already the right thing for the International Olympic Committee to do.
But, we urgently need help from you and all concerned Americans. In this amazing situation, we can actually rebuke China's Communists, where more usually, Americans feel powerless to make a difference in the face of Chinese tyranny. This time, it will be different! The Olympics belong to the international community, not to the Chinese Communist Party. We can send a strong and clear message to China that the world has higher standards than this.
We ask you to send letters of pressure to the International Olympic Committee (IOC), to your politicians, and also a letter to the editor. This is a joint action combining the China Support Network, the Free China Movement, and the human rights community. In 1989, Americans created the China Support Network, as we reacted to Tiananmen Square's tragedy. Our campaign of "take back the Olympics" may be our best chance in years to make a difference and draw the line against abuse of human rights by Communist dictators and the perpetrators of heinous atrocity.
If you need a sample letter of pressure, use our written example at kusumi.com/action/pressure.htm. We also hope that you tell a friend what you have found and done about this issue. Everyone with concern for others and basic human decency will likely feel revolted and offended at the use of the Olympics for cracking down, and for applying the vicious practices of Chinese communism. We will always welcome more involvement as we seek to stop the abuses, which amount to a holocaust in China.
This is part of our larger cause, which has stood for many years. The China Support Network represents Americans who care about the causes of freedom, human rights, and democracy. Working directly with leading Chinese dissidents, we began to help their efforts upon their escape from Tiananmen Square in 1989. Our causes are pro-freedom, pro-democracy, anti-communist, and we favor a strengthened American China policy. At the same time, we support only actions which are non-violent and peaceful, in keeping with the character of the Chinese democracy movement.
If you are an American with compatible views -- believing firmly that China should join the free world, and must have self-determination -- then, you are invited to join the China Support Network.
My readers may occur in two types -- comfortable, and less comfortable, with this cause. If you would help the crowds of pro-democracy college students in Tiananmen Square, then stand with us in the China Support Network (CSN). People who are less comfortable might simply pressure the International Olympic Committee on a humanitarian basis. To join the China Support Network, see the URL, kusumi.com/action.
Many people may wonder what ever became of us, the Tiananmen Square cause, and its crew. Bravely standing for democracy and against tyranny, they were the original rock stars of Generation X politics. Later, they returned to college, and seemed to become China's invisible opposition. They should not be mistaken for gone. The activism continues, and if you would care to join us at an event, you can witness it first hand.
The Tiananmen Square anniversary is, every year, marked by Chinese dissidents with a significant public occasion. While we commemorate June 4, this year the observance is on June 1. Leading Chinese dissidents will appear at the annual gathering in Washington, DC. It occurs in front of the Chinese embassy, 2300 Connecticut Ave., N.W.. It is an early evening gathering, for two hours beginning at 7 p.m.. Mark your calendar, if interested, and join us at this upcoming event.
We also seek volunteers to help spread the word about the CSN Olympic action -- the best move for human rights in years. You can be a volunteer by simply moving this information around the internet. If you are handy with the copy-and-paste function, help by reposting this letter to other visible sites, within limits of respectful netiquette. (Cyber activists can move the information; mention the information; or link to the information.) If you have heftier services to volunteer, get in touch. At the URL, kusumi.com/action, you will also see that we seek contributions and financial backing.
We feel, it is well to help this cause, because it has been low profile and not covered in the media for some years now. This results in less fundraising and shortages of cash. The cause includes many pockets which are strapped financially. Your contributions make a larger difference for this reason.
I believe that world outrage is about to snap back at China's Communist leaders. To lose the Olympics may represent a black eye for China; a loss of face; and, international humiliation. Theirs is a flagrant and blatant outrage. Now is the time to rediscover the China Support Network. In matters of life and death, we are pulling for life, and relief for survivors of Chinese oppression.
Thank you for your support!
National Executive Director,
Olympic Misbehavior From ChinaBy John Kusumi
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 vote.
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 2008 Olympics.
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 a former presidential candidate (Ind., '84).
Kusumi founded the China Support Network (CSN) in 1989. CSN became the leading group of
Americans responding to Tiananmen Square's Communist atrocity.