URGENT ACTION: Please join us
FOR Monday, December 15, 2008
WHAT: Protest China's detention of Human Rights Activist Liu Xiaobo
WHERE: Pasadena City Council, 100 N. Garfield Ave, Pasadena 91109
WHEN: 6:00 p.m. Monday, December 15, 2008
ACTION: This past Wednesday, December 10, 2008, Mayor Bill Bogaard officiated the first city sponsored celebration of the anniversary of the signing of Universal Declaration of Human Rights. From someone who only discovered this important document a year ago, Mayor Bogaard's Wednesday's statements expressing his support for the Declaration was truly welcomed. However, words without action would mean only empty words. Mayor Bogaard's challenge could not have come at a more appropriate time. As the City of Pasadena was about to celebrate the 60the anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of human rights, Liu Xiaobo, one of China’s most prominent human rights activist was arrested in his home in Beijing. His telephone and internet lines were cut, and his personal papers, books and computers were seized. The day before the anniversary, a document called Charter 08 was released to the world. Charter 08 was based on Charter 77, a human rights manifesto, which challenged Soviet rule and was originally signed by about two hundred writers and intellectuals in Czechoslovakia in 1977. One of the signers of Charter 77 was playwright Vaclav Havel who later became the first President of democratic Czechoslovakia after the 1989 "velvet revolution". Charter 08 reiterated many of the rights as set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It calls for democratic reform in China and it calls for change in 19 areas, including a new constitution, an independent judiciary, freedom of assembly, election of public officials and stronger guarantees for personal freedoms; it expresses a sense of urgency for the future and destiny of China. The document was signed by more than 300 Chinese intellectuals and human rights activists in China including lawyers, journalists, dissidents, artists and rural leaders, from every corner of the country. One of the signers of Charter 08 was Liu Xiaobo who is also suspected by the government as the initiator of the document. The Mayor who had expressed his support for the rights as set forth in the UDHR, will be challenged to put his words into action.
FOR INFORMATION: Ann Lau, Visual Artists Guild, 310-539-0234, cell 310-433-0697 * * * *