The world's attention has turned to China in anticipation of the Summer Olympic Games to be held in Beijing in 2008. This has reignited the passions of the Tibetan people for independence and had led to worldwide protests of China's policy/practices of occupation in Tibet.
Here is Reuters coverage of student protests in Beijing.
The Olympic Torch has started its journey around the world, which will culminate with lighting the large flame at the Opening Ceremony in Beijing this summer. It was blown out three times in France, and has been met with protests everywhere. The Free Tibet Torch and the Olympic torch are currently in San Francisco (the only stop for the Olympic torch in the US). The city Board of Supervisors passed a resolution to greet the Olympic torch with "alarm and protest."
Here is some news coverage of the protests all over SF in response to the Torch. The organizers sneakily changed the route mid-way to avoid massive protests. However, protesters were all over the place and somewhat unavoidable.
Yesterday three activists climbed up the Golden Gate Bridge and unfurled banners and the Tibetan flag to show support for a free and independent Tibet. (There is no audio for this video)
This video shows the protesters climbing up.
Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Nicolas Sarcozy (the President of France) and others have called for a boycott of the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in support of the Tibetan cause.
The Olympics were originally intended to be a time when war and violence ceased, and everyone focused on nations coming together in friendly athletic competition. There have been some acts of violence or attempted violence directed at Olympians or teams for political reasons (such as the murders of the Israli team at the Munich Olympic Games in 1972). And there have been some Olympic hosts and participants whose countries commit war crimes, even while the games occur (not the least of which is our own US of A).
Are there some atrocities that cannot be ignored for the sake of the Games? Or is ending violence and oppression part of the spirit of the Olympics that is served by using the event to focus the world's attention on ending human rights abuses?
Topics List: Spring 2008
- VIOLENCE, TRAUMA AND SOCIAL WELFARE COLLOQUIUM
- Week 1: Introduction and Self-Care
- Week 2: Historical and Theoretical Perspectives
- Week 3: Biopsychosocial Impact of Trauma
- Week 4: Violence Against Women
- Week 5: Religion, Race, Ethnicity, and Violence
- Week 6: Etiologies of Violence; Perpetrators of Intimate Partner Violence
- Week 7: Child Sexual Abuse; Suicide and Self-Harm
- Week 8: War, Crimes Against Humanity, and Genocide
- Week 9: Poverty and Violence in Oakland & Bayview-Hunter's Point
- Week 10: Rape as a Weapon of War; Violence Against LGBT people
- Week 11: Interventions for Trauma (with Greg Merrill)
- Week 12: Child-Parent Psychotherapy
- Week 13: Truth & Reconciliation in the Aftermath of Violence (with David Androff)
- Week 14: Violence, Trauma and Social Work (student presentations)
Links to Browse & Buy Books
Ayaan Hirsi Ali
- Submission Part 1 (a short film in which the words of the Koran are written on women's bodies as they speak their stories of violence and trauma)
- "Infidel" (her autobiography of growing up a refugee and becoming a member of the Dutch Parliament)
- "The Caged Virgin" (her essays about women and Islam)
- Ayaan's Personal Web Page
- Wikipedia (good summary of her life, philosophy, and work)