Berlin 36 Beijing 08
I was at the pro-China rally in Aotea Square yesterday... observing. They had their banners and placards out, but here's what I was thinking in bold:
One World - One Dream - One China
Ein Welt - Ein Traum - Ein Deutschland
Tibet is was and always will be Chinese
Austria is was and always will be German
Don't trust the Dalai Llama
Don't trust the Poles
Taiwan supports China
Czechoslovakia supports Germany
And the Sky kiwi tent (Der Stürmer tent) helping to whip up patriotic fervour was up front and the Chinese government agents (Nazi agents) were no doubt lurking in the crowd. That's what I saw.
The rallying masses were predominantly younger Chinese, most likely students, with a few families groups as well. Given I only saw a single person smoking during the whole torrid event I would also say they were the educated upper echelons rather than of the peasant type Chinese classes. The majority were not overtly political, or I thought, even aware of the political overtones of their demonstration - they were naive patriots by and large. Reactionary and defensive it was, but that was not the feeling of the crowd, and despite the negative tone of some of the messages, and despite the thousands of ethnic Chinese in the middle of my home town being rabidly, fervently, nationalistically Chinese, I never felt threatened or alarmed. Just disappointed really. Others however will feel very differently. All of those negative signs were in English so that we could read them let us not forget. This rally was also for our benefit.
If you had grown up under a one party state where your politically-connected parents have grown wealthy through that system so they could afford to send you to Auckland to study commerce then you would probably think the regime's a benevolent or at least necessary force too. And like foreign cultures in our midst sometimes they do things collectively that are completely inappropriate or baffling. The Chinese are utterly unaware of their public relations disaster. It may be normal in China to stage these rallies, but in this country - when you are a guest in someone else's country that is to say - you don't mass in the main square of the biggest city and proclaim that your regime of infamous brutality is misunderstood and that the opposition elements and non-regime media are all evil liars.
The funniest sign was "Stop politicising the Olympics" Yeah, because a mass pro-China rally where angry messages against the enemies of the Chinese Communist regime are displayed isn't political is it? Only in the Chinese mind it seems. Like patriotic Germans who may have done the same thing in '36, they are deluded. They are victims, they are pawns, they are the fortunate few of the would-be ruling classes.
Ben Thomas will post some pictures he took soon.
Skykiwi article on the rally with pictures:
overseas Chinese students from New Zealand initiated the support of the Beijing Olympic
Although this is the form of assembly, but many people take part in spontaneous demonstrations in the square, shouting "China Come on!" Slogans, the crowd in the square in a while and set off a while the "human wave", the Aotea Square, support for China's support Ciqibila the voice of the Olympics, has never stopped, a conservative estimate, the presence of the highest number could reach 5,000 people.
Typically unselfconscious reportage from a sponsoring website.