A call for public action in China
By John Kusumi
Speech as delivered at rally on the Green of New Haven, CT – 4/26/2008
Hello! Well New Haven, I’m glad to be with you here. I’m glad that we’re putting some attention onto the crimes and the atrocities of Communist China.
You know, I stand before you as a man who is responsible for the China Support Network; and as a man who is saying, ‘stop the Olympics!’ These games are not possible in good conscience to countenance, if they are to be held in Communist-occupied Beijing, China. Just as we can regret that Tibet is Communist-occupied territory, we can also note that Beijing is Communist-occupied territory and that it too should be liberated. The government of China continues to be that of the CCP – the Chinese Communist Party.
Today, I am going to talk briefly about three crackdowns. Of course there are many more than three crackdowns in China, but I will make my point with these: The Tiananmen Square crackdown, the Falun Gong crackdown, and the Tibetan crackdown.
I am told by way of public opinion polling that most Americans feel that placing these Olympics in Communist China was a mistake; half of Americans support a boycott at the opening ceremony; and a third of Americans support a full and complete boycott of these Olympic games. That is where I stand, together with many leading Chinese dissidents. 23% would have the U.S. President order a boycott, as America once undertook when the Soviet Union had the games in 1980. I suppose that the U.S. President can make up his own mind; but in my view, to go to these games reflects a warped sense of priorities.
In this day of satellite and streaming video, I realize that many people will see this speech in Beijing and in Shanghai and elsewhere. I have some words for the Chinese people directly. Am I simply an outsider, bashing China? Or, is the China Support Network integrated with the Chinese democracy movement? I think you will come to see that I am standing with, and in support of, leading Chinese dissidents.
To me, this is not about international relations. This is not about ‘the West’ versus China. I am not hired by the American government; you’ve just heard my view that President George Bush has warped priorities; and I believe I can leave the matter right there – enough said about the American government. I believe that the Chinese democracy movement is of, by, and for the Chinese people. But my group the China Support Network was initially of Americans, by my hand, and for Chinese dissidents.
It began at a time when dissidents needed help. The June 4 crackdown had just occurred, and by that I mean the Tiananmen Square massacre of June 4, 1989. No one can say that this is outsiders against China. Who was rising up then? It was Beijing’s college students – China’s own elite – who wanted an improved version of China. The price of food was up, the price of gasoline was up, the government was a harsh and undemocratic system that ruled by fear and sheltered corruption. The people were not happy, and so they agreed with the students that “there’s got to be a better way” of life. For two months, Communist-occupied Beijing was challenged by student-occupied Tiananmen Square. We learned that in a place run by the Communist Party, there is fear; and, in a place run by students, there is freedom.
Some people have youth and idealism. Others have age and treachery. The treacherous old men who were China’s dictators –themselves became fearful. And so they cleared out the Square in the harshest way possible. 300,000 troops were sent to Beijing and used live ammunition to open fire on unsuspecting civilians, who were otherwise peaceful and unarmed. Some 3,000 people died.
Many died, but others lived, and came to the United States to finish their college educations. That is when the China Support Network and I began to help Chinese dissidents, and our association now has 19 years of history to it. What ever became of the June 4 student leaders? Well, one of them is named Tang Baiqiao, and you already heard a speech from him, earlier today on the program.
Tang Baiqiao tells me that he will participate in a new movement called the ‘Return to China’ movement. And that is necessary because certain exiled Chinese dissidents are blacklisted and not allowed to return to China. It is a profound violation of human rights to deny people their nationality; their citizenship; their full walking rights in their own homeland! Y’know – in the country that is their motherland.
The government of China ought to allow Chinese dissidents to return, unharmed, to China. And next month, I understand that Tang Baiqiao will attempt a return to China in an effort to begin a movement or a groundswell of returning Chinese dissidents. (Applause)
Tiananmen was not China’s last crackdown. In 1999, Jiang Zemin outlawed the practice of Falun Gong. Like the college students, these are peaceful, unarmed civilians. And like too many Chinese people before them, they are treated in a very hideous and cruel way by the CCP’s vile and vicious dictatorship system.
It seems that China’s regime always moves along to focus on the next group of people whom it singles out as a target for persecution. In 1998, Falun Gong was a fine upstanding group. One year later in 1999, they were enemies of the state. In previous persecutions, we have even seen the persecuted become rehabilitated and return to being an accepted group. The capricious CCP targets people by random, arbitrary, and even whimsical fiat.
What horrors do people suffer after they have been targeted for persecution? Well, there is laogai and laojiao, both of which should be abolished. Laogai refers to labor camps, the gulag of China. Laojiao refers to administrative detention with no due process of law, no appeals, and no recourse. Torture is common inside Chinese prisons. And the ultimate affront may be a system of involuntary, forced removal of human organs for medical transplant to others, who pay for organs harvested out of Falun Gong practitioners, who may still be alive up to the time of organ removal. That is a combination of theft plus murder plus profiteering – and it ranks in history much like the medical experiments on prisoners that were performed by Nazi Germany.
If a war were on, we would call it war crimes. Without a war, we call it crimes against humanity. Communist China will be happy to get you a rare human organ, lickety-split. And the speed of the waiting list can only be explained by the fact that hundreds of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners are kept in the incarceration inventory, with their blood types and tissue types tested and known. When their number is called, it is the end of their life; and their only crime would be matters of conscience and belief and religion. That is no crime, whatsoever – these people don’t belong in prison in the first place! This is persecution by capricious government fiat!
Now recently, there is a crackdown in Tibet. We have new photographs, of dead bodies with bullet holes in them. This reminds one of the June 4 occasion because similar photos came from that, and this is mass murder all over again.
Two days ago, I gave a speech and observed that Beijing is in a pickle, or a predicament, and that the only way out is to talk to the Dalai Lama. One day ago, Beijing announced that it will talk to emissaries of the Dalai Lama.
That is a change, and it sounds like a welcome step of progress. However, many people are skeptical because they expect that the government will be there in bad faith. In 1989, treacherous old men were China’s dictators. Treacherous old men do not negotiate in good faith. They do not serve the people or the nation. They only serve themselves.
Let me say this for inside China. Yang Jianli has called for a people’s movement of speaking the truth. That means speak out and speak fearlessly with your genuine and authentic stories and opinions. I endorse that, and I want to remember a group called the Tiananmen Mothers. They are mothers who had children killed in the June 4 massacre. They demand the right to mourn in public; to pay tribute to their dead children. That is a reasonable and righteous demand. The fact that such a right remains denied to them shows us that China lacks justice.
Can you imagine what this means? If, around June 4, they go to Tiananmen Square with a white flower – they may be arrested! Apparently, people with white flowers are enemies of the state! That makes me wonder – are white flowers illegal in China? Or, are people illegal in China? How profoundly wrong is that government – to outlaw either of those, or both of those together!
And so, I want to ask the Chinese people for the white flowers movement of June 4, 2008. Simply take a white flower and head for Tiananmen Square. If many, many people all try to smuggle in white flowers, they cannot stop all of them. If many people answer my call and participate in this activity, then there WILL be white flowers of mourning for the dead victims, finally at last this year, 19 years after the June 4 massacre. People everywhere can show solidarity with this idea by wearing a small white flower on Wednesdays – perhaps every Wednesday until the government meets the demand of the Tiananmen Mothers.
At this time, I want to thank the organizers for arranging many details in today’s event. We even got the sound and the electricity back on. Good work, guys. I want to remind people that there is a group called China Interim Government. It’s mission is to replace the government of Communist China. And a June 4 student leader, Tang Baiqiao as I mentioned, is an officer at the China Interim Government. And so I hope that we will heed his words and their words. And I thank you for your attention to my speech.