Blue Flower

Written by Admin   
Nov 01, 2007 at 12:00 AM

 [... Official Letterhead of the New York City Council ...]





Dear Friends:

 I write to express my support of the movement in opposition to the Beijing Olympics Rose Float for the Pasadena Rose Parade 2008.  The 2008 Beijing Olympics mark a critical opportunity for the world to refocus on the human rights track record of the government of China, both domestically and diplomatically.

Often we may feel too isolated to make a meaningful impact on global issues of human rights and suffering.  The movement in Pasadena is evidence that this does not have to be the case.  China believes that it can shine in the 2008 Olympics spotlight without being held accountable to its own "One World, One Dream" message.  The human rights community refuses to allow China to escape accountability.  In Pasadena activists have stood up and refused to allow China's Olympic lie to be paraded down their streets unchecked.


It is with a similar mindset that I introduced Resolution 954 in the New York City Council.  Resolution 954 calls on corporate sponsors of the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics with headquarters and operations in New York to approach the Chinese government about addressing the ongoing military and humanitarian crisis in Darfur by leveraging its strong diplomatic and financial ties with Sudan to end the crisis in Darfur, and to withdraw from supporting the Olympics if the Chinese government fails to proactively address the crisis in Darfur. 


The humanitarian crisis in Darfur is extreme, but it is not unstoppable.  China has the diplomatic and financial relationship with Sudan to intervene effectively.  Given its own record of human rights abuses, China is generally not in the practice of such intervention.  The 2008 Olympics are an opportunity to reverse these practices by embarrassing China for its record at home and diplomatically.  Equally embarrassed should be the American corporations that stand to gain financially from the Olympics.  General Electric, for example, stands to make an estimated $1.7 billion from its various contracts for the Beijing Games.


It's our responsibility at home to do what we can locally to hold accountable corporations like General Electric and municipalities like Pasadena for the implications of association with an Olympic Games held by a government that expects the world to look away from its wrongdoings.


I wish the best of success to the activists in Pasadena and I hope that their initiative serves as inspiration to others throughout America to take similar action in doing our part to ensure that the Olympics really are about "One World, One Dream."





Simcha Felder

Council Member - 44th District