Thursday, November 15, 2007

Letter: Bring balance to Rose parade

Pasadena Star: Article Launched: 11/14/2007 06:14:21 PM PST

Opinion: Is Beijing calling the shots?

I'm referring to the article "Protest foreshadows parade controversy" (Nov. 11):

With the ongoing saga of the Rose Parade, one may wonder why Mayor Bill Bogaard and TofR President Keedy are so unwilling to bring a little balance into the parade.

Now let me get this straight.

At first they were empathetic to the many cases of human rights abuses raised by their own citizens, not to mention the numerous appeals outpouring from groups such as Human Rights Watch, Reporters without Borders, Ann Lau and the Artists Guild, the Falun Gong, Free Tibet Committee, the Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong and others. Then the city and the Tournament of Roses all had a glance at the recommendations in the human rights report presented to the City Council and all said how good it was and how bad China was, but they were awfully quick to say, "Thank you very much, no can do."

And now, the communication channels have been cut with Li, representing the Falun Gong, to renegotiate an alternative plan as promised.

I don't know much about politics, but wouldn't it make good common sense to have the Human Rights Torch as part of the parade
contingent to represent the views of Americans as proposed? This would amicably take care of the situation instead of leaving it up to the police force to deal with protests on the day of the parade.

One would think that pleasing Beijing couldn't be more important than giving a voice to Americans - but I'm afraid to ask who is calling the shots here.

If Mayor Bogaard was really serious about asserting the apolitical nature of the parade, he would have asked the sister city to stay out of it a long time ago.

What is wrong with this picture? Would somebody please remind Bogaard and Keedy that this is America! They should show some integrity here, and standing up for human rights is a good place to start.

Marie Beaulieu
Victoria BC

OLYMPIC WATCH: Human Rights in China and Beijing 2008

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