The Olympics will be taking place between August 8th and August 24th in Beijing, China. Many human rights groups are concerned that China is cracking down on dissidents ahead of the games.
On September 28, 2007, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate Desmond Tutu urged China to intervene in the crackdown on protests in Myanmar. Tutu said that if China did not take a stance against the military rulers in Myanmar he would "join a campaign to boycott the Beijing Olympics" The press freedom organization Reporters Without Borders(RWB) has advocated a boycott of the Olympics expressing concerns over violations of free speech and human rights in China. RWB hopes that international pressure and petition can effect the release of prisoners of conscience, and hold China to promises made to the IOC regarding improvements in human rights. RWB journalists interrupted the speech of the China organizing committee chief during the Olympic torch lighting ceremony in Greece March 24. One protester tried to snatch the microphone as another unrolled a black flag showing the Olympic rings as handcuffs. Activists working to address the ongoing violence in Darfur, Sudan, have called for pressure to be exerted on China because of their financial and diplomatic support for Omar al-Bashir, who is responsible for the Sudanese government's proxy militias. Pro-Tibetan independence groups, such as Students for a Free Tibet, have initiated a campaign to protest the Olympics. The group plans to protest for Tibetan independence. The Tibetan People's Movement has also demanded representation of Tibet with its own national flag. On Sunday April 6th, protesters tried to steal the torch as it made a 31-mile trip through London from Wembley Stadium to the O2 Arena in North Greenwich. Several protesters were arrested.
On Monday April 7th, protests in Paris forced an end to the relay in France after protesters repeatedly extinguished the torch. French snuff Tyranny Torch | UK Indymedia Photos&Video Of London Tibet Protests | Demonstrations in Paris cancel Olympic torch relay | Activists urge torch-bearers to speak out on Tibet oppression | Forget the Olympic Torch: Free Tibet | NYPD caught on tv beating up Tibet protestors in NY | Incendiary Device Left at the Chinese Consulate in SF | HRW: International Olympic Committee Operating in Moral Void On March 10th 2008, monks from the Drepung monastery in Tibet staged a protest on the anniversary of the 1959 failed rebellion led by the Dalai Lama. Chinese police arrested 60 monks. The next day around 600 monks staged a protest in front of the Lhasa police headquarters demanding the release of the detained monks. Protest across China led to many arrests and possibly hundreds of deaths. The Chinese government has now sealed off Tibet from the outside world preventing journalists from getting into the provence and many essential goods (such as food and medicine) from getting into monasteries. On April 3rd, China sentenced AIDS activist Hu Jia to 3 1/2 years in prison after he testified to the European Parliament and published a letter urging a focus on human rights as the Summer Olympics approach. The largest Tibetan uprising since 1959 | Tibet Intifada Day 2 | Tibet Intifada Day 3 | HRW: Restrain Forces From Violently Attacking Protesters in Tibet | Petitition to Boycott Beijing 2008 Olympic Games | Repression in Tibet and China | 1959 Tibetan Insurgency | In Tibet, China dishonours Olympic spirit | Chinese profits will soon make the world forget Tibet | Gruppo EveryOne: Save Tibet, Boycott Beijing 2008 | Yahoo and MSN helping to root out Tibetan rioters | China claims "Intern'l Community on OUR side" | More info on the ethnic cleansing of Tibet | M19 Tibet Protest at the Chinese Consulate in SF | August 8th 2007 SF Protest Against Olympic Torch
Some activists groups are concerned that protests against China are motivated more by US government military and economic interests rather than real concerns about human rights. They point out that the 1959 Tibetan Uprising was sponsored by the CIA and Tibet under the rule of the Dalai Lama was a theocracy .Party for Socialism and Liberation: Statement Opposing Anti-China Campaign | Oil in Tibet and gold, uranium and more | A Free Tibet: Freedom for whom? | From Brutal Theocracy to Socialist Liberation to Capitalist Nightmare | The Protests in Tibet and the Discontent Below | China, Tibet and the Propaganda Olympics | What's really going on in Tibet