Saturday, April 12, 2008

Wangari Maathai Will Not Carry Olympic Torch, In "Solidarity with Other People on the Issues of Human Rights in ... Darfur, Tibet & Burma ..."

Wangari Maathai

Wangari Maathai Will Not Carry Olympic Torch, In "Solidarity with Other People on the Issues of Human Rights in ... Darfur, Tibet & Burma ..."; Meanwhile, Leading Marketers are Getting Very Concerned

By Richard Power

Like Al Gore and the IPCC scientists who won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, the 2004 Nobel laureate, Wangari Maathai, received the award for working to save the environmment of the planet.

Like Gore and the IPCC, Maathai understands that in the 21st Century, human rights and environmental security are interdependent, and that you cannot achieve peace without the cultivation of both.

Kenya's Nobel Peace laureate Wangari Maathai told AFP Thursday she had pulled out from the Olympic torch relay in which she was due to take part over the weekend in Tanzania, citing concerns for worldwide human rights.
"Yes, I have pulled out," Maathai told AFP by telephone from the Tanzanian commercial capital Dar es Salaam.
"I have decided to show solidarity with other people on the issues of human rights in Sudan's Darfur region, Tibet and Burma." ...
The torch's relay has been dogged by protests in London and Paris, and in San Francisco where on Wednesday a massive police presence and sudden route change made the torch all but invisible to the public. ..
"China has tried to address these issues of human rights. But these issues, especially the situation in Tibet, seem to be escalating even though the Dalai Lama has offered to talk," she said.
Agence France Press, 4-11-08

Meanwhile, Mia Farrow reports that the business community has good reason to be concerned -- there is no doubt that sponsors will suffer in the marketplace:

Tony Chapman, Founder and CEO of Capital C, one of Canada's leading marketing firms, today cautioned Canadian marketers to carefully consider the dangers in fulfilling their Beijing Olympic marketing programs, noting, "Olympic sponsors are getting caught in an ever tightening vice from which there may be no escape."
Chapman believes that despite the enormous market potential the Beijing Olympics opened up to sponsors, the impact and dominance of consumer driven, viral campaigns and their ability to affect global consumer behaviours far outweigh the market burst which sponsors expected from their Olympic sponsorship.
"Indeed," says Chapman, "the Tibet controversy currently interrupting the torch journey is inspiring a reaction of global proportions. It is becoming deafening as it is digitally enabled and swirls around the world, collecting images, commentary, evidence and an ever growing community of supporters.
"Conversations which started with Tibet and Darfur will cross over to China's environmental record, its treatment of workers, its foreign policy and every other cause imaginable, ultimately becoming an unstoppable force impenetrable
by spin doctors, brand managers, or even the most elaborate marketing
CNW, 4-10-08

See also Why Protecting the People of Darfur, Tibet & Burma is in Our Own Self-Interest; & What These Crises Tell Us about Our Own Slide into the Pit.

I encourage you to follow events in Darfur on Mia Farrow's site, it is the real-time journal of a humanitarian at work; the content is compelling, insightful and fiercely independent.

Click here to sign the TURN OFF/TUNE IN Pledge.

For a Words of Power Archive of posts on the Crisis in Darfur, click here.

Here are other sites of importance:

Dream for Darfur

Enough: The Project to End Genocide and Mass Atrocities

Genocide Intervention Network

Divest for Darfur.

Save Darfur!

For a directory of Words of Power Human Rights Updates, click here.

For Words of Power's archive of posts on Corporate News Media Complicity, Power of Alternative Media, Propaganda & Freedom, click here.

Some Tibet-Related Words of Power Posts

How About Making Hypocrisy An Olympic Competition?

Human Rights Update: H.H. Dalai Lama to the World -- "Please investigate ... cultural genocide is taking place"

Human Rights Update: H.H. Dalai Lama to the Chinese -- "address the long-simmering resentment of the Tibetan people"

Global Press Freedom Update: China Tightens Screws on Press in Preparation for 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing; Take A Look At Your Future

Words of Power #29: The Dalai Lama and The Blade Runner, Spiritual Challenges of the 21st Century Security Crisis, Part III

GS(3) Thunderbolt: Statement of His Holiness the Dalai Lama on the Forty-Eighth Anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising Day

Words of Power #20: Cusco, Kyoto and The Yellow Sand Storm

Some Burma-Related Words of Power Posts

Burma Crisis Update: Non-Violent, Democratic Resistance of Burmese People Offers Stark Contrast to US Political Scene

Burma Crisis Update: Talk is Cheap, Business as Usual; On Martin Luther King Day -- Remember Aung San Suu Kyi

In Burma & Sudan, Business As Usual -- What Must & Can Be Done Now!

Burma Crisis Update 11-10-07: Amnesty International on "Grave & Ongoing Human Rights Violations"; Alternate Media Vital to Resistance

Burma Crisis Update: An Open Letter to the Executives of Chevron

Burma Crisis Update: Two Weeks Into the Crackdown, China Has Not Tempered the Thugocracy's Hand; Chevron Has Not Even Slapped Its Wrist

Human Rights Update 10-6-07: Chevron, Condoleeza Rice & the Burmese Thugocracy

Human Rights Update: Blackwater, Burma, Darfur & You

Human Rights Watch to Business: "Keeping quiet while monks & other peaceful protesters are murdered & jailed is not ... constructive engagement."

Human Rights Update: Blackwater, Burma, Darfur & You

Hard Rain Journal 9-27-07: Aung San Suu Kyi was Elected in 1990, Al Gore was Elected in 2000 -- Consider What Has Befallen Both Countries Since

For a directory of Words of Power Human Rights Updates, click here.

Richard Power's Left-Handed Security: Overcoming Fear, Greed & Ignorance in This Era of Global Crisis is available now! Click here for more information.

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