Monday, July 28, 2008

Hope and Peace

Crossposted from Modern Musings.

Purple Zoe of the UltraViolet Underground and co-collaborator for the Am I not Human campaign has once again done a remarkable job on this month's E-Book entitled Art 4 Humanity.

Click on the image to access the free download.

The Olympic Games are fast approaching with opening day falling on August 8th which also happens to be my second son, Sanjay's fifth birthday. We started this campaign to educate, motivate and activate on behalf of our Darfurian and Tibetan families both of whom are affected by the policies of the sponsor country of this year's Olympics Games, China.

Let's take a wholistic look at the Olympic Games and what this ritual represents. The Ancient Greeks established the Olympic Games in 776 BC where physical strength and stamina were displayed in honor of Zeus. Until 393 AD, the games were highly ritualized with the games being a part of the whole festival, until the Roman Christians decided that the polytheistic Greek culture was pagan and the games were banned.

The Modern Olympics was reinstated in 1870 as a world wide sporting event designed to be secular in nature. The traditional prize awarded to the winner of a competition was a crown of olive leaves symbolizing hope and peace.

Beijing, China will host the games this year and have displaced over 1.5 million Chinese people for the effort. 1.5 million people illegally evicted from their homes with no available option to protest. Ye Guozhu was sentenced and imprisoned for trying to organize peaceful protests for the forced evictees. Did those Chinese have any hope or peace?

In Sudan, China holds the largest share of the country's oil reserve and when the current depopulation campaign starting in Southern Sudan, Darfur, in 2003, marked an increase of arms sales between China and Sudan. China is Sudan's largest arms supplier. China's oil pipeline from Southern Sudan brought in the international oil market.

In Tibet, China wrongfully claims this territory that historically enjoyed a autonomous relationship with China. With a new train line into Lhasa, Tibetans in Tibet are becoming a minority. After the cultural revolution in China in the 1950s when Mao declared all religion to be the opium of the masses, Tibetan Buddhism has been on the attack. The Chinese government openly declares the Dalai Lama to be a ruthless and clever terrorist, yes terrorist. It is illegal to carry or display his photograph. The recent barbarism of the Chinese government against Tibetans cannot be swept aside.

The Am I not Human Campaign is not anti-Olympics and in fact the Electronic Village another co-collaborator of the campaign highlights Joseph Lopepe "Lopez" Lomong a Sudanese native who through hard work and dedication has secured a spot on the U.S. Olympic team. He is utilizing the platform for more than showing off his physical skills. As a member of Team Darfur, he is educating the world on the plight of the Southern Sudanese.

What we do have a problem with is any corporate profiteering of the Beijing Olympics without acknowledging the role that the Chinese government plays in the Tibet and Darfur.

So I encourage you to Turn Off:

Pledge to turn off the commercials of Olympic Sponsors during the Games.

Olympic corporate sponsors have been silent about China’s financing of the Darfur genocide, even as the sponsors are spending billions to enhance China’s image as Olympic host. If sponsors continue to ignore China’s complicity in the Darfur genocide, we will ignore their million-dollar ad campaigns.

Hope and Peace is what the Olympics should stand for.

Suggested Actions:

Email or call the Olympic Corporate Sponsors.

Send a letter to companies sponsoring the 2008 Olympics, hosted by China. (Dream for Darfur’s email system will let you do this with the touch of a button.)

Write to the UN Special Adviser on Sport for Development and Peace.
Mr. Adolf Ogi represents the UN Secretary-General in contacts with international sports bodies. Tell him you are concerned that the world will gather for the Olympics while the people of Darfur are being slaughtered.

Petition the International Olympic Committee.
Urge the IOC to work with the international community to ensure that China uses its leverage with the government of Sudan to help stop the genocide in Darfur, and avoids tarnishing the 2008 Games in Beijing.

Organizations dedicated to ending the genocide in Darfur

More from Modern Musings on Darfur, Am I not Human and Tibet.

Home Portal of the Am I not Human Campaign at Roots of Humanity.

From the Internets and not necessarily directly involved in the Am I not Human Campaign:

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