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Monday, June 11, 2007

OUTRAGE: Utah Speech Censored For China

Officials from the soccer club Real Salt Lake EJECTED fans who held Tibetan and Taiwanese flags, as well as a sign referring to the massacre of students during the 1989 Tiananmen Square protest, during an exhibition match with the Chinese national team over the weekend. People holding Chinese flags in the stands weren't bothered. Let's see, communist dictatorship commits cultural genocide in Tibet, constantly threatens to invade and conquer neighboring Taiwan, and guns down students during a peaceful protest. So let's over-rule the First Amendment and censor Americans so the Chinese government doesn't have to feel any awkwardness about it. Who's idea was THAT? Real Salt Lake beat the Chinese 1-0.


Anonymous UFO said...

What a shame...

Tuesday, June 12, 2007 1:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

send bush back to Albania, permanently

Tuesday, June 12, 2007 6:20:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you read the whole story, it really is not the way it was painted here. A soccer game is not the place for a political protest. They admitted that the flags were there partially to harass the players. Of course the Chinese flags were allowed: China was one of the teams playing! Some of the athletes would not play while the flags were displayed. The fans were asked to put the flags away, and they did. When they brought them out again, so they were told to leave. It makes sense to me. Let's not make an issue out of this.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007 1:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thats a sketchy issue. I agree that a soccar match is not a good place for political statements, but I'm not sure if it was right to get them to leave. It the players wouldnt play because of a flag that's too bad, What if the fans were just yelling their political beliefs, would the players still play? And yeah I know I cant spell so freaking what?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007 9:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If this is not the place for political displays then where is? The whole point behind dissent is to do it where people can see. The idea that political protests have to be restricted to obscure sidelines is a new one that is disturbing. If it makes you uncomfortable, then they got their point across to you.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007 3:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Never question authority. Just do what you're told and buy whatever is offered.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007 5:28:00 AM  
Anonymous Ray said...

Hmm.. I think what the officials did was entirely rational. The protesters were warned first that they were disrupting a game. I'm sure they were told that they would be kicked out if they did this again. And surely, that's what they did.

Also, why make a political statement at a soccer game ?? It wouldn't accomplish much since the players have nothing to do with the government. Maybe they would get their banners televised by Chinese television, but I doubt that since censorship is so strong in China. It would probably be clipped out anyhow.

What the "protesters" did sounded more like something to disrupt China's concentration... heh.. something similar to the Victoria prank. So, officials took actions to make a game playable.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007 9:49:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder what would happen in China if the US teams played there. Oh wait, we do. In fact we play all of the world while banners of Bush drawn as a Nazi or other derrogatory flags fly and nothing is done about it. The fact is that while the Salt Like officials had the right to eject the flag bearers, so fine, they warned them and kicked them out.

I am sure that the fans knew they would be kicked out the second time, but good for them. They chose a great place to stage their protest as it got far more attention this way than it would if you had to trust our typical lame ass media to cover it.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007 3:02:00 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

***** Let's not make an issue out of this. *****

No, let's.

China's is a repressive, authoritarian, genocidal, racist regime tightly controlled by the communist party. They crush dissent, stifle free speech, jail peaceful political reformers and censor any speech in any form that doesn't tow the party line.

If the Chinese government doesn't want its citizens to be exposed to free expression, they shouldn't send sports teams to free countries.


Wednesday, June 13, 2007 4:06:00 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

***** A soccer game is not the place for a political protest. *****

If someone holds up an anti-Bush slogan, are they kicked out the stadium? No, they're not.

It's bad enough that China crushes free speech in its own country. But now they've got Americans crushing free speech for them in ours.


Wednesday, June 13, 2007 4:07:00 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

***** The protesters were warned first that they were disrupting a game. *****

They weren't disrupting the game at all. Some players -- reportedly -- *chose* to be "disrupted" by a couple of simple flags in the stands.

Fans always hold signs and shout things designed to demoralize the opposing team, and it's all taken in stride.

The right thing for Salt Lake officials to have done when the Chinese team started whining about the flags is to lecture them on free speech and the first amendment and the concept of individual rights. They should have told the Chinese team that if they were unwilling to play in a stadium that also contained a Tibetan flag, well, there's the door. Feel free to go play soccer in a place where the Tibetan flag isn't allowed... Tibet, for example.


Wednesday, June 13, 2007 4:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's OK to be political at a sports event. The entire USA is (supposed to be) a "free-speech zone". People aren't ejected from political events for wearing 'sports' logos. And the idea that we must follow any command issued by anybody who claims authority, is no more than submission and compliance; I'm more a 'land of the free, home of the brave' kind of guy. Aren't you?

Thursday, June 14, 2007 6:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

People often forget that "freedom" is a selective term. The organizers who paid for the event should have the *freedom* to determine who is crossing the line with being unruly and escort them to public grounds where free speech is protected. Likewise the press has the freedom to choose whether the protest (and the ejection of the protesters) is more newsworthy than the game.

Of course, the flip side is that the organizers should have the freedom to allow such protests if they so chose. If Americans object to the selective silencing of anti-Chinese protests while anti-American protests go unchecked we have the freedom to not watch soccer and boycott the organizers. Oh wait, we don't watch soccer...

Thursday, June 14, 2007 11:35:00 AM  

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