Pro-Tibet Protesters Speak Out

Ginger Cassady and Alice Speller, members of Students for a Free Tibet, spoke at a press conference in Beijing Friday. The grassroots activist group has managed to pull off eight separate demonstrations since Aug. 6.

Cassady, 30, from San Francisco, works for a forest conservation organization. Speller, 25, is a law student from Great Britain.

Our news assistant Crissie Ding and I joined other journalists in talking to them about their feelings about China, Tibet and the Olympics.

The activists confirmed that the six Americans being held by Beijing police on a 10-day detention charge are from their organization. Cassady said she has not heard from the men and women since their capture and that she hopes for their safe and speedy return to the U.S.

Speller said she believes the group's protests have been successful in bringing the Tibet issue to the attention of the world.

China says it liberated Tibet in 1950 from feudal serfdom. Critics like Students for a Free Tibet say that China is illegally occupying Tibet.

"When China was awarded the Beijing Olympics, protest was inevitable," Speller said.

She added: "It's very clear that China is using the Beijing Olympics as a propaganda tool to legitimize its occupation of Tibet."

A police sedan, a van and about a 10 police in uniform and more in plainclothes came to observe the gathering, which took place just outside one of Beijing's diplomatic compounds. But Chinese security forces did not stop the women from speaking and did not detain them--at least not during the press conference.

By evening, Cassady's mobile phone was disconnected and the two women could not be reached.

--Ariana Eunjung Cha

August 22, 2008; 10:30 AM ET  | Category:  Postmark Beijing
Previous: U.S. Tourist Attacked Aug. 9 in Beijing Now in "Good" Condition | Next: Grandmothers Sentenced to Reeducation Labor Camp Say They Are Not Afraid

Comments

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They should go to Saudi and Egypt to protest and raise awareness about the oppressive treatment of women in these countries. Do women in these countries deserve better than lips service? While they are in M.E., why not stop by Iraq too.

Posted by: how about the Saudi and Egypt | August 22, 2008 5:29 PM

Olympics is neither the time nor the Venue for Protests. Although the Olympics appear to have been userped by various governments with some sort of political idealism, the Olympic is and should always be about sports and nothing else.

I don't know what all the Olympic categories are, but how did that Beach Volleyball (a game for fun in the beach) become a world event? The regular Six member volleyball is, of course, and should be the only volleyball event in the Olympics.

Is there Professional Olympic sports? I've always thought (in my naivete) that the Olympic Sports should never be played by Professionals. Afterall, Aren't there Professional Sports in most of the Countries?

Do you think, maybe in the future, there would be an accepted event where kill or be killed is the only way to decide who gets the Gold?

Isn't Tibet a Part of China? Wasn't it a Religious province of sort where many Chinese in the Past went to pray and replenish their minds?

AGAIN, Olympics is not the Time nor the Venue for Protest in any Country.

Posted by: JL | August 22, 2008 5:45 PM

Olympics is neither the time nor the Venue for Protests. Although the Olympics appear to have been userped by various governments with some sort of political idealism, the Olympic is and should always be about sports and nothing else.

I don't know what all the Olympic categories are, but how did that Beach Volleyball (a game for fun in the beach) become a world event? The regular Six member volleyball is, of course, and should be the only volleyball event in the Olympics.

Is there Professional Olympic sports? I've always thought (in my naivete) that the Olympic Sports should never be played by Professionals. Afterall, Aren't there Professional Sports in most of the Countries?

Do you think, maybe in the future, there would be an accepted event where kill or be killed is the only way to decide who gets the Gold?

Isn't Tibet a Part of China? Wasn't it a Religious province of sort where many Chinese in the Past went to pray and replenish their minds?

AGAIN, Olympics is neither the Time nor the Venue for Protest in any Country.

Posted by: JL | August 22, 2008 5:48 PM

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