Blue Flower

Written by Pasadena Coalition   
Nov 05, 2007 at 12:00 AM

Statement of Pasadena Coalition in Support of Human Rights in China

Nov 4, 2007

It is part of our duty and responsibility as caring members of the human rights community to participate today at Pasadena's City Hall as we begin our March for Human Rights.  As we stand here in front of Pasadena City Hall and prepare to proceed to the Tournament of Roses Headquarters, we are reminded of our goal - to promote a solution to the Tournament of Roses Association's insistence on welcoming an Avery-Dennison sponsored Rose Parade float celebrating the 2008 Beijing Olympics.


Sadly, this corporate-sponsored float will serve to merely entertain Americans.  The Beijing float will divert attention from China's continued repression of religious freedom and basic human rights for the common people in China and Tibet, and ignore the role China plays in the atrocities in Sudan, Zimbabwe, North Korea and Burma.

On Monday, October 29th, Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard and the Pasadena City Council voted 6-2 against the recommendations of the Pasadena Human Rights Commission.
We heard public testimony by Tseten Phanucharas, President of Los Angeles Friends of Tibet, who represents more than 100,000 Tibetans who have escaped into exile, John Li, President of Caltech Falun Gong Club, Shizong Chen, The Conscience Foundation, Ann Lau and Yosh Yamanaka of Visual Artists Guild, Maxine Russell of Justice for American Victims in China, Yaning Liu, Felipe Infante, Bei Ling, Teresa Moreau on behalf of Benedictine Monk Brother Peter, George Mo, Bob McCloskey, and many others.  These men and women shared their personal testimony before the Pasadena City Council.


We did not hear personal testimony from the Tournament of Roses - only parts of a letter read by the Mayor.  Other letters which were sent to the Mayor and Council Members for consideration of this matter and were not read aloud at the meeting.


We applaud Council Member Chris Holden and Council Member Jacque Robinson for their integrity and political courage in supporting the H.R. Commission's report.   We applaud the Pasadena Human Relations Commission and Commissioner Kenneth Hardy for their excellent work and their courage in submitting and defending their incisive report which the City Council called "extraordinary".
This March for Human Rights is intended to educate the Pasadena City Council, the Tournament of Roses Association and the Beijing Olympic Committee of the importance of human rights and the need for China to keep its promise to the IOC.  We are reviewing the possibility of hosting a Human Rights Parade in Pasadena in the near future to further promote these goals.

We are honored that we have received some very important endorsements for our efforts from Pasadena's leaders.  These include Joe Brown, President of the Pasadena NAACP Chapter; Bob McCloskey, long time labor activist; Father Gerard O'Brien, Pastor of Assumption Catholic Church; Pasadena Former Mayor Bill Paparian; China Ministries International; and many others.
We have received a strong letter of support from New York City Council Member Simcha Felder to support our efforts and hope that our initiative serves as inspiration to others throughout America to take similar action in doing our part to ensure that the Olympics really are about "One World, One Dream."

This March for Human Rights is only the beginning of our public efforts in Pasadena and beyond to bring this city's attention to the Pasadena Commission's recommendations and to put our acts of humanity before business and politics.