Steve Watson – “Bush Lectures Chinese Government As It Apes His Own ‘Free Speech Zone’ Policy”

Bush Lectures Chinese Government As It Apes His Own “Free Speech Zone” Policy
Says he stands in opposition to Communist regime’s actions as it mirrors his own Administration’s

Steve Watson | August 7, 2008

In a scenario resembling that of the pot calling the kettle black, President Bush has hit out at the Chinese government for its crackdown on dissent during the Olympics, while the Communist regime is aping a “free speech zone” policy created by Bush’s own administration.

In a speech from Seoul yesterday Bush stated:

“The United States believes the people of China deserve the fundamental liberty that is the natural right of all human beings.

America stands in firm opposition to China’s detention of political dissidents, human rights advocates and religious activists.

We speak out for a free press, freedom of assembly, and labour rights not to antagonize China’s leaders, but because trusting its people with greater freedom is the only way for China to develop its full potential.”

Bush made the remarks hours before he left for Beijing to attend tonight’s Games opening ceremony. Critics have suggested that his presence as the first US president to attend an Olympics abroad, is providing legitimacy to the ruling Communist Party’s crackdown on freedom-of-speech advocates.

The ultimate irony of course is that the Chinese Government, in designating three secluded parks in Beijing as official Olympic demonstration zones, is aping a policy created by the Bush administration which introduced and expanded the concept of “first amendment areas”.

These Orwellian “free speech zones” were most notably used in 2004 during the Democratic and Republican National Conventions. The areas close to the DNC in Boston consisted of concrete walls, barriers and metal cages with barbed wire.

The areas were invisible to the Fleet Center where the convention was held and were referred to as “Boston’s Camp X-Ray”. At the time protesters converted the zone into a mock prison camp by donning hoods and marching in the cage with their hands behind their backs.

At the 2004 RNC in New York the zones were also employed as protestors and innocent people were swept up in mass arrests and transferred to then-recently closed Hudson Pier Depot at Pier 57 on the Hudson River in Manhattan. The facility was quickly dubbed “Guantanamo on the Hudson” as thousands were bound and paraded into a large warehouse area behind steel caging.

More recently the power to declare “free speech zones” has been declared by the Secret Service, who scout locations where the U.S. president is scheduled to speak, or pass through, target those who carry anti-Bush signs and escort them to the free speech zones prior to and during the event.

Inevitably the zones are far away from the event location and well away from any media spotlight.

The protest pens will once again be used at both national party conventions later this year with local law enforcement working with the secret service to designate the areas in Minneapolis for the RNC and in Denver for the DNC.

So when you hear President Bush vehemently criticizing the Chinese for restricting protest, and being praised by the corporate media for doing so, it is understandable that the natural reaction is an immediate need to vomit profusely.


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