San Leandro Actually Considering Honoring Repressive Chinese Government
If City Council member Benny Lee has his way, on October 1st San Leandro will awaken under the red banner of the People’s Republic of China. October 1st, “National Day”, will be the 64th anniversary of Mao Zedong‘s proclamation that the communists had won the civil war and that China was now a communist republic. No word yet on whether Lee will propose to adorn City Hall with pictures of Mao as well.
Item 10.B on the September 16th agenda is pretty straightforward:
10.B. 13-458 Consideration of Request to Raise the Flag of the People’s Republic of China on October 1st
It comes with no accompanying materials to explain the reason for giving such an honor to the PRC state. No similar honor is requested for the flags of Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macao or Tibet – or any of the multitude of nations from which San Leandro citizens come.
But it makes little difference. The People’s Republic of China was established as a dictatorship and, 64 years later, it continues to be one. Until it becomes a democratic nation and its citizens can enjoy full civil and political rights, the PRC’s flag can only be said to represent the Chinese state. We don’t honor the Chinese people as a whole, much less the Chinese-Americans who live in San Leandro, by honoring that flag, we honor a dictatorial, communist government and its political allies. That is not a position that the City of San Leandro should be taking.
Honoring the PRC state is spits on the face of all the people who live and have lived under its dictatorial rule, including the citizens of the countries mentioned above, some of whom are among our neighbors. The honor confers a nod of approval to the horrible actions by the PRC government – from the arrests of pro-democracy and pro-human rights activists, to police brutality, the use of forced labor and torture and the generalized repression of Tibetans.
It is so incredible that a city in the Bay Area would be thinking of honoring the PRC in such a way, that when I first posted it one of my readers said he thought I was trying to be “The Onion“.
Unfortunately I’m not. This is a real proposal, and if the San Leandro City Council does not hear from people who believe honoring the PRC in such a way is harmful to democracy and human rights, they probably will.
You can e-mail them at the following addresses (please copy and paste): firstname.lastname@example.org,email@example.com,firstname.lastname@example.org,email@example.com,firstname.lastname@example.org,email@example.com,firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also sign the petition below.
You can also attend the City Council meeting and be heard: The meeting is at City Hall, 835 East 14th St. in San Leandro. The meeting starts at 7, though this item will most likely not be heard until 8 or 9 PM. That is, unless the Mayor changes the order of items in the agenda.
An Open Letter to the San Leandro City Council Members – by the Tibetan National Congress
An Open Appeal To The Mayor of San Leandro, California – by Tibettruth