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The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    Calling all Activists!

    Volleyball, swimming, track and field, basketball and mass genocide. This list should make everyone think of one thing: the 2008 Olympic Games being held in Beijing.

    The fact that this comes to mind is very reason why the Olympics in China should be boycotted.

    Doesn’t make any sense? Here is some clarification.

    China gets much of the oil it imports from Darfur, where more than 300,000 people have died, and almost two million people have been displaced since 2003.

    Even though genocide and inhumane atrocities, including the use of adolescent male soldiers and the rape and torture of women, occur throughout the region, substantial aid from the United Nations has yet to be sent to Darfur.

    China is to blame.

    China, along with Russia, the United Kingdom, France and the United States, sits as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, according to the U.N. website.

    Permanent members of the U.N. Security Council have the power of veto over all resolutions and since 2003, China has vetoed or abstained from votes on resolutions to grant aid to Darfur.

    As a result, even celebrities have spoken out about China’s behavior.

    Jane Fonda has asked that people boycott the Olympics, and Steven Spielberg, who helped direct the opening ceremony has demanded that his name be removed from anything pertaining to the Olympics until China assists in granting aid to Darfur.

    China’s efforts to provide security for the Olympics has also sparked controversy about the Olympics and provide more reason for a boycott.

    China has called upon companies around the world to create surveillance systems with face-recognition software, which the government may use to “identify religious and political dissidents,” according to a New York Times article.

    According to another Times article, companies that have bid on the chance to create these surveillance systems include Honeywell, General Electric, IBM and United Technologies.

    The article goes on to state that security industry experts say that the surveillance systems will remain long after the Olympics are over.

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