Students for a Free Tibet is alive and well in Canada! Check back here daily to keep informed about our efforts and to connect with members around the country!

The SFT Canada blog is currently run on Blogger, which is owned by Google. We are working on moving this blog to a new platform and hope to have it up and running ASAP...

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Chinese 'greeters' paid during Hu's Canada visit

Remember during Hu Jintao's visit to Canada we couldn't figure out how the Chinese government managed to get so many pro-China 'greeters' out to welcome Hu. For those of us in Vancouver it was pretty obvious this was an organized operation. Well, it would seem this was an extrememly well orchestrated (and well funded) propganda exercise. SFT members obtained an 'instruction sheet' issued by the Vancouver Chinese Consulate and the translation has been posted on SFT's website, click here.
Not only were the 'greeters' paid $50/day, they were also told to "chant in unison, “Welcome, Welcome, Big Welcome" upon Hu's arrival. This was obviously staged to be broadcasted back in China. Although the instruction sheet calls on the 'greeters' to refrain from "fighting and verbal arugments", some members of the crowd were obviously there to intentially disrupt and intimidate pro-Tibet demonstrations. The pic above shows SFT Vancouver members being mobbed by some of the 'greeters'. To read more about the instance, click here.

For those of us at the Vancouver demonstrations it was a stark reminder of the lengths to which the Chinese government will go in order to silence voices critical of the continued occupation of Tibet. If this can occur in a country like Canada, we can only begin to imagine the level of repression and control that exists in China and Tibet. To end on a positive note, I believe this whole ordeal also shows that our tactics are working. We're having an impact or why else there would there be the need to spend thousands of dollars paying people to shut us up! And no matter how many people they turn out, our message will carry louder and farther because it's real, as real as the inevitability of a Free Tibet!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Premier McGuinty stumped on rights improvements in China

Last week SFT members in Ontario sent 100 faxes to Premier McGuinty's office encouraging the him to raise the issue of Tibet will China's leaders during his trade mission which wraps up on Nov 14th. CTC Toronto was also incredibly vocal in pushing the Premier to speak up about Tibet, holding a press conference and vigil at the Ontario legislature.

On Tuesday McGuinty spoke about civil rights in China with a small group of students and professors during a talk at the Tsinghua University, but failed to raise the issue of Tibet or human rights during his sole meeting with a Chinese government reprentative. Geoffrey York, a reporter with the Globe and Mail was quick to call him on it - to read the article, click here.

Let's not let McGuinty get away with this tokenistic approach to the human rights situation in Tibet and China, send him a message now expressing your disappointment at his lack of leadership on these issues.

Fax: (416) 325-3745
Email: Dalton.McGuinty@premier.gov.on.ca.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Bombardier's Feeling the Heat!

Thanks to everyone who participated in yesterday's global day of action protesting Bombardier's involvement in building China's railway in Tibet. If you haven't already done so, check out http://BombarideroutofTibet.org - where we've received over 200 photos of people from around the world telling Bombardier to get out of Tibet! Over 1500 faxes were sent to Bombardier CEO, Laurent Beaudoin!

Also, click here to see photos and reports from the actions at Bombardier offices worldwide (pic to the right is from the rockin' demo in Montreal). We've received reports from activist in different cities that Bombardier circulated an email instructing employees not take out leaflets or let us onto Bombardier property. However, we still managed to hand out thousands of leaflets to Bombardier employees explaining our campaign and encouraging them to support Tibet.

We also presented petitions and letters to office managers - and in Montreal, a local Tibet SFTer asked to meet personally with Beaudoin! His request was refused, but Bombardier's learning (the hard way) that the International Tibet Movement is a force that can't be ignored or silenced with silly rhetoric. Until Bombardier drops the contract, the company will face increased public scrutiny and embarrassment by Tibetans and supporters in Canada and across the globe. If they were scared by yesterday's day of action, they ain't seen nothing yet.