Friday, April 11, 2008

Zhou Fengsuo Harassed During the San Francisco Torch Relay

Fueled by the unrest and crackdown in Tibet, the Tibet Independence crowd has been the main force behind the protest against the Beijing Olympic torch relay in London, Paris, and San Francisco. Their voice and action has overshadowed many other concerns, including the human rights situation in China (besides Tibet), especially with the jailing of Hu Jia.

Perhaps bowing to the extreme nationalist sentiment, most Chinese dissidents in exile are in support of Beijing Olympics, with only few noted exceptions. They are also noticeably absent in any protest or support rallies during the Olympic torch relay.

But not for Zhou Fengsuo (周锋锁), one of the 21 Most Wanted student leaders after the 1989 massacre. A web site reported that Zhou was in San Francisco, attempting to protest the human rights and the Hu Jia case during the torch relay. But he and his friends were harassed and even beaten by the large pro-China crowd.

According to Zhou himself, they were near the AT&T park in the early morning. After they put on T-shirts with Hu Jia's picture and the words "Don't Forget June 4", they were quickly spotted by the crowd. He heard people asking each other: Are they "their people"?

They tried to talk about human rights issues on the crowd, but they were shouted down and separated. The crowd took away their flags and banners, which were made for the Tiananmen Massacre. One of them was hit at the back of head so hard that he is left bloody. There were police nearby but they chose not to interfere.

During the mayhem, Zhou also saw a few other people were beaten as well. One of them wore a white T-shirt and carried a black flag with the word "For Justice" on it. Zhou went to help him and learned his name is Leo.

Zhou recalled that he felt like he was in one of those crazy and violent mass abuse sessions during the Culture Revolution when he was constantly harassed, cursed, and pushed by the crowd.

1 comment:

Ron Wagner said...

The policemen ,who were too cowardly to do their job, should be investigated and fired. Of course given that this is San Francisco, we know that this will not be likely to happen. It is time for all freedom loving people to oppose communism and totalitarianism of any kind. Chinese communists persecute Tibetan Buddhists,Falun Gong, Christians, and all those who oppose them.