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From The Socialist newspaper, 8 April 2008

Olympic Games: Chinese regime fans the flames of protest

PRO-TIBETAN demonstrators disrupted the procession of the Olympic torch through London (above) , last Sunday, despite a huge police and security presence.

The protesters' action was in solidarity with Tibetans arrested following the recent uprising in that country against Chinese rule, which was swiftly suppressed by the Chinese authorities with over 100 people killed.

The Chinese regime wants to use the 2008 Beijing games as a means to boost its global image and increase support at home. But it has come under much international criticism for its lack of democratic rights in China and occupied Tibet, and its support for rotten dictatorships like Sudan and Burma.

However, China's rulers are not alone in this. The British and US governments support and work with dictatorships in Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan for example, not to mention the biggest dictatorship of all - China!

Around 60,000 US and British companies happily exploit China's cheap non-union labour force with the protection of Beijing's anti-democratic laws and riot police. That is why Gordon Brown and George Bush have been muted in their criticism of China.

Big business

Like all major sporting events in the capitalist world, the Olympics is first and foremost about making money for the big corporations.

So when the bosses of the International Olympic Committee awarded the 2008 Olympics to Beijing, this was about money, and big profit-making opportunities for global companies like Coca Cola, Adidas, McDonald's etc, that have traditionally monopolised the event.

To keep its side of the bargain, the Chinese regime is spending an estimated $40 billion on the Games - on grandiose infrastructure projects most of which will be of little benefit to workers and the poor.

This is an especially sore point after the recent freak snow storms that decimated much of the power and transport infrastructure in central and southern China. Some areas may be still without electrical power when the Olympics start in August!

In Beijing itself, many people have been forcibly evicted from their homes to make way for Olympics-related construction, or luxury apartments. The Geneva-based Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions has estimated that 1.5 million people will have lost their homes in Beijing by the time the games take place.

By putting China under the international spotlight the Olympics can be an opportunity to protest against poverty, inhuman factory conditions, land seizures, lack of basic democratic rights, environmental destruction and many other vital issues.

In struggling against these injustices, socialists do not expect nor seek the support of foreign capitalists and governments but rather the support of other oppressed peoples around the world.

See also www.chinaworker.org

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In The Socialist 8 April 2008:

Perks for MPs - Bonuses for the bosses - Cutbacks for us!


Socialist Party election campaign

London elections: working class alternative needed

Socialist Party: a clear difference from 'free market' policies

Exposing daylight robbery in Lincoln!


Socialist Party workplace news

NUT strike: No more pay cuts!

Defend the 4: Defend democracy in Unison

Unison health conference: Reject the pay sell-out!

Why should workers pay for the crisis?

Tube strike called off after winning concessions

Museum strike in Wales

NUJ conference

News in brief


Socialist Students

Struggle still essential

Get active and fight back!


Post Office closures

Winchester: 'We need our post office'


International socialist news and analysis

Zimbabwe: Mugabe plans to steal election

Olympic Games: Chinese regime fans the flames of protest

Ireland: "The most cunning and devious of them all" finally goes

Israel - Palestinian Land Day demonstration


 

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Related links:

Olympic Games:

triangleBarcelona 1936: the people's Olympics

triangleFilm review: Eddie the Eagle

triangleThe shame of sexism in sport

triangleYFJ protests against big business takeover of Cardiff

triangleOlympic victory for London bus workers

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triangleA world in crisis, ripe for revolution

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triangleKorean peninsula: is nuclear war likely?

triangleHong Kong: mass demonstration against repression

Pakistan:

triangleHackney Socialist Party: 70 years since India-Pakistan partition

Saudi Arabia:

triangleAttacks ratchet-up Syrian conflict and fuel tensions between powers

Sudan:

triangleSudan: General strike in defiance of regime

Tibet:

triangleTibet: The 1959 uprising

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