Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2008-03-26-Speech-3-074"

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"Mr President, for 10 years Europe’s leaders have taken part in the Olympic Games of Indifference: running the fastest after contracts, jumping as high as possible over human rights and flying as fast as possible over the oppression in Tibet. That has been going on for 10 years! Olympic Games in a dictatorship are a political act, whether we like it or not, whether the law likes it or not. What do we do in this situation? When the Olympics were held in Germany in 1936, that was a political act that we all regret. What do we do in this situation? Firstly, the European Union and all its leaders must in this situation refuse to attend the opening of the Olympic Games. That is a political sign, a political act that we must support. Secondly, these Olympic Games are going to take place. Forty years ago, African Americans gave the clenched-fist salute and if today an African American is perhaps going to become the President of the United States it is partly thanks to these actions at the Olympic Games. That has to be recognised. I therefore say ‘yes’ to civic sportsmen and sportswomen: they should be allowed to say what they want at the Olympic Games. I say ‘yes’ to civic journalists: they should watch the athletes jumping, running, swimming, but also, with white, red, black and any other banners, they should make Tiananmen Square a place of freedom, where people can say what they choose. Thirdly, the spectators must be civic spectators: they must go to the Olympic Games to watch their countries’ athletes running, jumping and swimming, but at the same time without wanting to see gold medals hanging round their necks and blood on their shoes. That is the reality of Beijing today! Today it is Tibet’s turn and not just human rights activists, but also environmental activists. Tomorrow or the day after there will be the ruling on Hu Jia, and who knows what sentence he will receive. Why? Because he was a human rights activist and an environmental activist. Because order reigns in Beijing. There are hundreds and hundreds of arrests there. As Greens, what we want is for everyone who goes to Beijing – I am saying this as it was said 40 years ago – to create havoc there, to speak, to say ‘yes’ to the Olympics but also ‘yes’ to freedom, and to say that the Chinese must understand or they will regret ever wanting to host the Olympics. If order reigns in Beijing, if everyone stays silent, if the whole world acts like the International Olympic Committees, that will be a victory for the dictatorship in Beijing and in Tibet. If the people speak, if we allow uncensored access to the Internet, I can tell you that it will be a great moment for the Olympic Games, for sport and for democracy, because sport and democracy must go hand in hand; otherwise, there is no point jumping, running or swimming."@en1

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