Friday, 25 July 2008

Olympics, Thirteen days to Go

Yes it's only thirteen days until China hosts the games of the XXIX Olympiad. The authorities are providing designated "Protest Pens". "We have already designated specific areas where people or protesters who want to express their personal opinions can go to do so," Liu Shaowu, director for security for the Beijing Olympic organising committee, said on Wednesday.
The zones, in three outlying parks, are away from the main venues where most events and medal ceremonies will be held. Chinese regulations require that all protesters apply and receive permission in advance and don't raise causes that the Chinese deem illegal, such as a free Tibet, all in all a really great way of bringing yourself to the attention of the authorities.
British spectators and athletes have been warned that they face arrest and detention by the Chinese authorities if they stage demonstrations.

The Foreign Office warned that anyone attempting to protest about sensitive subjects such as the occupation of Tibet or the repression of the Falung Gong spiritual practice is likely to face a hostile reaction. "British nationals should be aware that involvement in demonstrations or distributing political leaf-lets without application is not tolerated and they could be arrested," a spokeswoman said.

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