This is horrible

Saw this in the NY Times today and I thought it was equal parts heartbreaking and infuriating. I generally prefer to keep sports and politics separate, but I really hope that the world uses the upcoming Olympics to put pressure on China’s government. Between their human rights issues and the intense censorship of the press and their own people, something has to change. Sheer economic numbers won’t make China the super power it wants to be. At some point, its ethics need to catch up with the times.

When the final numbers are in, this earthquake will have killed over 100K people. We always think less of these tragedies when they happen abroad, but just imagine if we lost that many people here. To put it in perspective, Hurricane Katrina killed less than 2K. It’s insane.

Also, the audacity of the Chinese government to “have begged parents to quiet down and accept financial compensation for the loss of their children” is unbelievable. They don’t want money. They want their children back. And since you can’t provide that, you damn sure better give them some answers.

protest

Chinese Stifle Grieving Parents’ Protest of Shoddy School Construction

DUJIANGYAN, China — Police officers here on Tuesday surrounded more than 100 parents protesting shoddy school construction and mourning the deaths of thousands of children during the recent earthquake.

The police dragged away several crying mothers and removed some journalists trying to report on the event, according to witnesses and photographs of the protest.

The attempt to snuff out the protest was the strongest sign so far of the government’s growing impatience with public airing of grievances over unsafe school construction.

A standoff between the parents, many carrying framed photos of their dead children, and the police officers, dressed in black uniforms, lasted for several hours. In the end, the parents walked away.

Read the full article describing the protest in detail and all the censorship these people are facing here.

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