#ChinaRightsNow Rally in DC
On September 25, 2015, the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation joined hundreds of protesters at a rally in front of the White House today calling on the Obama administration to press the Peoples’ Republic of China and its ruling Communist Party, to respect human rights in China while President Xi Jinping was visiting Washington.
“It’s not an undiplomatic thing for the United States to bring up human rights. The United States, since 1789 has traded with other countries, we have pursued our national interest, but we have always stood for the rule of law, liberty, justice, democratic values, not only for us but for peoples around the world.” – said Marion Smith, Executive Director of VOC.
The rally was jointly organized by the International Campaign for Tibet, Initiatives for China, Amnesty International, China Aid, Formosan Association for Public Affairs, and the Uyghur American Association.
Click here to watch video of Marion’s remarks.
Members of the VOC team wore “T.S. 1989” sweatshirts, courtesy of Taylor Swift (born in 1989). Swift’s clothing line was censored in China since it can be interpreted as referencing the Tiananmen Square massacre of 1989—an event that the Chinese Communist Party denies until this very day.
“T.S. 1989 is banned in China, that’s how insecure, that’s how illegitimate the government is. So we are here to stand with the people of China, not the Communist Party,”
Smith said in his comments to those demonstrating in front of the White House while President Obama and PRC President Xi Jinping gave a joint press conference in the Rose Garden.
Click here to view the photo gallery of the event.
The front entrance of the White House was screened off, blocking the sight of the hundreds of protesters outside on Lafayette Square who called for the Chinese Communist Party to release its political prisoners, prisoners of conscience, and for China’s government to respect freedom of association, freedom of religion, and basic human rights of the Chinese people.
Earlier today, the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, China Aid, Human Rights Watch, Freedom House, Initiatives for China, the International Campaign for Tibet, Project 2049 Institute, Reporters Sans Frontieres, World Uyghur Congress, and the Uyghur American Association co-hosted a “Stateless Breakfast” in the Capitol Visitors’ Center. At the breakfast, Chinese dissidents, jailed priests, and human rights lawyers not invited to tonight’s glitzy state dinner at the White House were remembered and toasted. Senator Marco Rubio, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Rep. Jim McGovern, Rep. Joe Pitts, and Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee gave remarks honoring those who stand for human rights and justice, facing the ruthless oppression of the communist regime (represented by the Empty Chair).
For more information or to schedule a press interview please contact Ayla Ybarra at [email protected] or (202) 629-9500.