4.13.2008

tutu says boycott beijing

How did I miss this? Earlier this week, Archbishop Desmond Tutu called on world leaders to boycott the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics.
Nobel Peace Prize laureate Desmond Tutu said Tuesday he supported international protests surrounding the Olympic torch and urged world leaders to boycott the games' opening ceremony in Beijing over China's human rights record.

The retired Anglican archbishop from South Africa also called on China to negotiate with the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan spiritual leader and fellow Nobel Peace Prize winner, who is seeking autonomy for Tibet.

Tutu praised protesters who have put themselves on the line in Paris, San Francisco and elsewhere to protest last month's crackdown in Tibet, which claimed as many as 140 lives.

In particular, he applauded three climbers who hung pro-Tibet banners Monday from the Golden Gate Bridge.

"I salute them," he said.

Tutu was in San Francisco to receive the Outspoken Award from the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission for his work on behalf of gay and lesbian rights.

Desmond Tutu is a hero of mine and proof that religion can be a positive force in the world. Not in my own life, of course! But in the fight for social justice.

8 comments:

David Toronto said...

I've always admired Desmond Tutu but in the last few years, he's become something of a sensationalist in his expression of opinions.

In doing so, he defeats his purposes. Shouting and failing one arms about do not speak well about the person. A quiet well-spoken person--like Tutu was in the '80s--has more gravity.

But--there's his ebullient personality. Sometimes the personality and the message being conveyed are in awkward arrangement.

L-girl said...

If these times don't call for shouting and flailing one's arms, I don't know what does.

An Archbishop saluting people who scaled the Golden Gate Bridge to hang a protest sign? The world needs more like him.

kim_in_to said...

Thanks for posting that link. I've had a few conversations with people in the last couple of weeks, and found it hard to figure out where I stand on this issue; the article put it all into perspective.

I've always loved watching the Olympics - glued to the tv for many of the sports. Honestly, I don't think I'll end up boycotting *completely*. But as discussion of the Olympics continues in the weeks to come, I will pass on these arguments to others.

L-girl said...

Hi Kim, thanks for your comment, I'm glad to know this was helpful.

My feelings about the Olympcis are here. I'll miss the Games, but I feel it's something I have to do.

kim_in_to said...

Thanks! Actually, when I ambiguously said "link", it was your article I was referring to.

L-girl said...

I thought you meant the story about Desmond Tutu. Well then, now I thank you even more! :)

Joe Grav said...

I'm glad you posted that line about religion being a positive force in the world for social justice.

A lot of people are surprised that I (a fervent atheist) chose attend a Jesuit, Catholic university.

But despite not being a religious person myself, I greatly admire the Jesuits and their message of social justice. I think it really gets through to people in a way that secular messages often can't.

L-girl said...

Thanks Joe. I've learned a lot from religious progressives, people like Helen Prejean, or the folks of Dorothy Day's Catholic Worker, or for that matter, Martin Luther King. Peace movements have always had religious support, from Quakers and Mennonites - and in Canada, from mainstream churches as well.

I'm completely areligious, and an atheist, but there's no point in painting the whole lot with one brush.