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!

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