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        洛杉磯時報:華人共慶奧運花車 法輪功吃力不討好(中英對照)

        作者:David Pierson 李芬 張滌非(編譯) · 2008-01-02

          慶祝2008年北京奧運會的奧運花車參與美國加州帕薩迪納市的玫瑰游行,這項盛事得到全球華人的矚目,特別受到美國華人的熱烈支持,但個別別有用心的人一直企圖阻撓奧運花車?!堵迳即墪r報》12月30日報道指出,阻撓奧運花車事件的指使人是法輪功,但并未受到其他組織的支持。文章中稱法輪功為精神邪教組織,同時認為法輪功在美國華人社區普遍失去同情心,并在當地成為一個邊緣組織。

         

         

          【美國《洛杉磯時報》2007年12月30日,作者:David Pierson】慶祝2008年北京奧運會的奧運花車在美國加州帕薩迪納市阿蘇薩一個倉庫內,等待參加元旦玫瑰花車游行。

         
          在接下來的數小時內,奧運花車將圍繞在數以千計的康乃馨和玫瑰中,伴隨著煙花,由124名京劇演唱家、雜技表演者、傳統舞蹈家簇擁著,沿著科羅拉多大道一齊慶祝2008年新年到來。
         
          法輪功原想借助周二受全球關注的精美花車組成的玫瑰花車游行為由頭,以抗議中國的人權記錄。幾個月來,他們不斷組織新聞發布會和抗議活動,但卻始終未能改變巡游計劃,而且在加利福尼亞州南部廣大華人社區并未得到絲毫支持或關注。
         
          從圣蓋博山谷飛往北京、上?;驈V州僅花費12小時或稍長時間,因此該地擁有美國最大的華人社區。中美兩國之間的商業活動關系已在迅速穩步前進。雖然此間有很多人都認為中國需要改善其對人權的態度,但他們更加重視促進經濟以改善普通中國老百姓的生活。
         
          KAZN-AM (1300)電臺熱門華語脫口秀節目主持人Cat Chao在談及奧運花車時說:“大多數中國人認為,奧運會遠遠比人權問題重要。況且中國人權已經改善很多。他們寧可看到中國改善例如環境污染這樣的問題?!?
         
          洛杉磯當地同源會主席翁暉(Philip Young)說,他打算出席觀看玫瑰巡游。但他前往出席,是要向他那位隨同Arcadia高中樂隊參加巡游的兒子發出歡呼,而非歡迎或者鄙視北京奧運花車。
         
          “中國需要發展人權,但選擇玫瑰游行作為人權論壇是不適當的。我真的很厭煩?!彼a充:“作為一個華人,我對中國舉辦2008年奧運會感到非常驕傲,這是中國首次舉辦奧運會。經過二、三十年經濟發展,仍然有部分人視中國為威脅,而不是機會。這是他們的悲哀?!?
         
          阻撓奧運花車事件的指使人是法輪功,但并未受到其他組織的支持。甚至連當地很少錯過任何一個機會譴責中國政府,支持臺灣獨立的個別人,都對這個巡游辯論持觀望態度。一些臺灣的激進分子原本計劃在游行過程中分發傳單。但經過與社區領袖的多次辯論,他們認定批評奧運花車過于冒險,因為她在當地華人中間擁有如此廣泛的支持,而其中的一些人,是他們需要賴以支持的。
         
          “如果我們在公眾面前站出來抗議這輛花車,將會引起洛杉磯華人的眾怒?!碑數匾晃徊辉腹_姓名的臺灣激進分子領袖說:“他們認為,北京奧運會非常值得驕傲。我們不希望在洛杉磯華人之間發生戰爭?!?
         
          一群不相干的活躍分子糾集在一起企圖阻止奧運花車,但都失敗了。帕薩迪納市議會駁回人際關系委員會發出的對中國人權紀錄的批評建議。
         
          經過數周的談判,激進分子企圖與帕薩迪納警察達成協議,允許他們在玫瑰花車游行路線或者路線附近舉行對抗奧運花車的活動,但未能如愿。
         
          這些活動分子承認,要想在美國華人社區產生廣泛的支持不太可能。法輪功加州理工學院發言人李建中承認:“現在我看到越來越多的人來到這里(觀看奧運花車)?!?
         
          法輪功是一個精神邪教組織,在美國華人社區普遍失去同情心,并在當地成為一個邊緣組織。
         
          陳颙(音),在加利福尼亞大學歐文分校教授歷史和亞裔美國人研究課程,他認為法輪功到處可見“是因為他們有專門的成員,但并不擁有大批追隨者。許多人認為,法輪功并不等同于人權?!?
         
          Cat Chao說得更直接:“許多中國人認為,法輪功是邪門巫術!”
         
          支持“奧運花車”的帕薩迪納市市長比爾·博加德先生(Bill Bogaard)希望通過奧運花車來促進中美雙方的相互了解。
         
          “美中之間的關系是如此密切。日常生活中每一件物品都是中國制造,同時又建議徹底譴責中國和中國政府。這太難了?!彼f:“我們每個人都承認中國是世界舞臺上的表演者?!保ㄍ辏?
         
        Los Angeles Times: Activists fail to stir opposition to China's float

        The shell of the Rose Parade float celebrating the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games sits in a sprawling warehouse complex in Azusa.

        In a matter of hours, it will be adorned with thousands of carnations and roses, outfitted with fireworks and accompanied by 124 costumed Beijing opera singers, acrobats, traditional dancers and plate spinners down Colorado Boulevard.
         
        Critics of China's communist government hoped to use the elaborate float and its worldwide stage at the Rose Parade on Tuesday as a rallying point for protests about the nation's human rights record.

        But despite months of news conferences and protests, China foes have done little to change the parade's plans and have generated little support -- or interest -- from Southern California's large Chinese American community.

        The lukewarm response underscores the increasingly close relationship Southern California shares with China. There may be no other time in which China has commanded as much influence and interest as it does today.

        The San Gabriel Valley is home to one of the largest Chinese American communities in the nation and a growing business class that has made Southern California the chief trading region with China in the United States. To many, the 12-hour or longer flight to Beijing, Shanghai or Guangzhou is more of a commute than a voyage.

        Business ties between the two countries forge quickly, and though many here believe China needs to improve its approach to human rights, more attention is paid to fueling the economy to improve the lot of ordinary Chinese.

        "We haven't talked about it," said Cat Chao, host of a popular Mandarin-language talk show on KAZN-AM (1300), about the Olympics float. "The majority of Chinese think the Olympics is bigger than human rights and that human rights are already improving. They'd rather see China improve on issues like pollution."

        Philip Young, president of the local Chinese American Citizens Alliance, said he planned to attend the Rose Parade. But he'll be there to cheer his teenage son and daughter in the Arcadia High School marching band, not to applaud or dismiss the Beijing float.

        "China needs to improve its human rights record like any country, but to pick the Rose Parade as the forum is inappropriate," Young said.

        "I'm really turned off. As a Chinese American, I'm proud China is having the Olympics. It's their coming-out party. After 20, 30 years of economic improvement, it's sad that some still see China as a threat and not an opportunity," he said.

        Even local supporters of independence for Taiwan -- who rarely miss a chance to condemn China's government -- have largely stayed out of the parade debate.

        Some Taiwan activists will hand out fliers at the parade. But after much debate among community leaders, they decided it was too risky to criticize the float because it had such broad backing among local Chinese, some of whom they rely on for support.

        "If we come out and protest this float in public, we may anger many Chinese people in L.A.," said a leading local Taiwanese activist who wanted to remain anonymous because of the sensitivity of the internal debate. "They consider the Beijing Olympics a point of pride. We don't want a war between the Chinese and Taiwanese in L.A."

        At the heart of the issue is a float celebrating China's first Olympic Games -- apropos, tournament officials say, because the upcoming parade's theme is "Passport to the World's Celebrations." Backers say China's government had no role in building the float, and that it was paid for by Pasadena-based label maker Avery Dennison Corp. and a coalition of Chinese American business people and philanthropists.

        Many of the donors, including Avery Dennison, have significant business interests in China, but through representatives they have denied that those relationships played a role in their decision to fund the float.

        A disparate group of activists banded together to block the float but failed. The Pasadena City Council dismissed the recommendations of its own human relations commission to issue critical remarks on China's human rights record.

        And after weeks of negotiations, activists failed to reach an agreement with Pasadena police to allow an event on or near the parade route to counter the Olympics float.

        Left with no other option, protesters have pledged to turn their backs on the float when it passes them along the parade route on New Year's Day.

        The activists acknowledged that they have struggled to generate widespread support in the Chinese American community. But they believe their failure comes less from support of the float than out of fear.

        "Most Chinese don't dare to speak out against the Chinese Communist Party," said John Li, president of the Caltech Falun Gong Club, one of the original critics of the float. "They worry their business [with China] can be influenced if America puts pressure on China's human rights record."

        Li said he's tried to persuade fellow Chinese on the Caltech campus to join him, but he said the fear of government retribution drives them to silence.
        "I ask them if they want their children to be persecuted for having different beliefs" when they return to China, Li said. "Our job is to wake them up. I feel more and more are waking up. For example, in the past the Chinese media kept silent reporting on human rights. But now I see more and more of them coming here."

        Part of the problem may be who's delivering the message. Though the protesters represent a variety of interests -- including those for Tibetan independence and critics of China's hand in Myanmar, also known as Burma -- no group has had a more polarizing effect than the Falun Gong, which has been the chief instigator behind the opposition in Pasadena.

        The group, which is loosely bonded by a belief in Chinese breathing exercises, is outlawed in China as a spiritual cult.

        Adherents have been imprisoned and tortured by Chinese authorities who deem the group a threat to their ideological hegemony.

        Despite evidence of their mistreatment, they have failed to generate lasting sympathy from the Chinese American community at large, where some label the Falun Gong as a fringe group.

        "They're visible because they have devoted members, but they don't have a large following," said Yong Chen, who teaches history and Asian American studies at UC Irvine. "The perception among many people is that the Falun Gong is not equivalent to human rights."

        Chao was more blunt. "A lot of Chinese think it's voodoo stuff," she said.

        Adherents admit their toughest skeptics are fellow Chinese. But winning them over isn't necessarily crucial. Latching on to an event as widely viewed as the Rose Parade has already proved beneficial, they say.

        "All the human rights activists know the first and most difficult step in stopping persecution is to get exposure," said Shizhong Chen, a Falun Gong practitioner heavily involved in the opposition campaign. "What happens in Pasadena adds to the exposure. Leading up to the Olympics, such opportunities will [arise] more and more . . . This serves as a kickoff event for human rights causes."

        Reporters Without Borders recently unveiled a billboard on the corner of Arroyo Parkway and Del Mar Boulevard in Pasadena that depicts the Olympic interlocking rings made of handcuffs. Underneath, it reads "Beijing 2008."

        At one point, a caravan of supporters protested outside the house of Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard, who has been accused of engineering the idea for a Beijing Olympics float and led the City Council's refusal to issue a resolution expressing concern over China's human rights record.

        Since the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown on student demonstrators, human rights groups have accused China of mistreating those who oppose the ruling Communist Party. They charge Beijing with a litany of abuses, including imprisonment without proper trial, torture and the harvesting of organs from executed prisoners.

        Earlier this year, Amnesty International released a report saying China had failed to live up to its promises to improve human rights in the lead-up to the Olympics by detaining activists, stifling domestic journalism and clearing the streets of Beijing of petty criminals and vagrants in preparation for the Summer Games.

        But defenders of the float have argued that the entry represents the athletic spirit of the Olympic Games, not China's government.

        Riding several entries behind the Olympic float in a 1911 Pope-Hartford touring car will be the mayor, who hopes the float will bring greater mutual understanding between the United States and China.

        "Relations between the U.S. and China are so numerous and so substantial that people find it difficult to engage in daily life -- where every other product in your hand is made in China -- and at the same time suggest that there should be total condemnation of China and the Chinese government," he said.

        "We all recognize that China is a player on the world scene."

        (Los Angeles Times, December 30, 2007)

        Original text from: http://www.latimes.comews/local/la-me-chinarose30dec30,0,4220803.story?page=1&coll=la-home-center

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