Despite China winning the nomination to host the 2008 Olympics, promises to improve its human rights policy have fallen short.
In a report from news channel 4 in London, journalist Aiden Hartley documented the changes that China is undergoing in preparation for the Olympics.
Human Rights Watch, an organization that recommends policies to defend individual freedoms, reports at least 5,000 neighborhoods have been bulldozed to make way for high rises and up to 1.5 million people have been forced out of their homes.
Many people have been beaten, threatened and intimidated by developers and government officials to move out of their homes.
Even though people are being paid for this inconvenience it still isn’t enough. The people of Beijing are hitting the streets in protest.
Protesters are being arrested and put into what they call “black jails,” which exist entirely outside Chinese law but are run with the collusion of the state. Hartley and producer Andrew Carter filmed inside one of Beijing’s ‘black jails’ – which the authorities deny exist – filled with ordinary people suffering the consequences of fighting eviction to make way for Olympic infrastructure.
The Olympic games always heighten competitive nature. To get their team to the top people will do anything.
How would anyone feel if his or her whole neighborhood was being torn down just to make way for an event that takes place once every four years? It’s not fair to these people, even if the Olympics bring in a lot of money to the country and the city.
These aren’t the only changes China is trying to make for the 2008 Olympics.
Since there is no roof on the Bird’s Nest Stadium where the games will be held, channel 4 said the Beijing Meteorological Bureau has been attempting to manipulate the weather so the Olympic showcase will go off without any rain.
They are using different strategies to stop rain on different types of clouds that won’t have an effect on the environment. Even though China has been using this method of weather manipulation to increase rainfall for harvest, it’s not natural.
As an athlete I understand that if you don’t win, you must face losing along with higher authorities breathing down your neck.
But manipulating situations and putting people out may be taking things a little too far. Consequences and outcomes will always be there no matter how much we ignore them.
This is one of those situations where making money takes priority over everything.
Marrita Royster-Crockett is a junior broadcast journalism student from Tallahassee. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.