Happy New Year! Hopefully all of you have fully recovered from your night of debauchery as you get your latest fix of 8Asians.com. Traditionally, on January 1st, there is the annual Rose Bowl Parade in Pasadena, California. A few days ago, The Los Angeles Times reported on human rights activists trying protest and prevent a float celebrating the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games in the article (12/30/07) “Activists fail to stir opposition to China’s float“:
“At the heart of the issue is a float celebrating China’s first Olympic Games — apropos, tournament officials say, because the upcoming parade’s theme is “Passport to the World’s Celebrations.” Backers say China’s government had no role in building the float, and that it was paid for by Pasadena-based label maker Avery Dennison Corp. and a coalition of Chinese American business people and philanthropists”
According to the article, there hasn’t been much support for protesting or preventing this float in the parade. Even those in the Taiwanese community are not supporting the cause:
“Even local supporters of independence for Taiwan — who rarely miss a chance to condemn China’s government — have largely stayed out of the parade debate. Some Taiwan activists will hand out fliers at the parade. But after much debate among community leaders, they decided it was too risky to criticize the float because it had such broad backing among local Chinese, some of whom they rely on for support. “If we come out and protest this float in public, we may anger many Chinese people in L.A.,” said a leading local Taiwanese activist who wanted to remain anonymous because of the sensitivity of the internal debate. “They consider the Beijing Olympics a point of pride. We don’t want a war between the Chinese and Taiwanese in L.A.”
As well intentioned the efforts of the human rights activists are, given the fact that the Chinese government has no role in funding or participating in the Rose Parade or the float, I can see the lack of enthusiasm for the activists.