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Olympic Sponsors Responsible for Human Rights Violations?

Pro-Tibet groups are joining together to call out the corporate sponsors of the Beijing Olympics. The groups say that unless the companies use their influence to pressure China, they are complicit in a humanitarian disaster.

Twelve global sponsors, including Coca Cola, General Electric, McDonald's, Visa, Johnson & Johnson and Omega have paid a combined $80 million for the four year exclusive sponsorship deal. Activists explain that together these companies have a GDP equal to Canada's, the world's eighth largest economy. Thus, they can wield a lot of influence.

Do you expect sponsors to get involved in global politics, considering they work with governments, employ lobbying firms, and maintain international presences?

Are human rights more than politics, therefore giving everyone an obligation to pressure China, including corporations and consumers? Or, should the sponsors be commended for supporting the Olympic movement, which would be impossible without them?

Source

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popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 9 years
That was quite possibly the most amusing exchange I've seen on this site. Excellent work. I don't think that boycotting the sponsors is the answer to this. The mistake, if there was one, was made when the committee selected China to host the games. No going back now.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
I don't even know what to say after all that mess. For once I'm speechless. Quiet cabaker27. I have to agree with NYFashinsta. The Olympics is a time to lay down arms and come together in at very a least a symbolic comradery. Look at the Olympics of 32 in Berlin. yesteryear: As for our economic relationship with China you started off all right but then you derailed like the 4:00 into Calcutta.
stephley stephley 9 years
It was the best part of the day.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
LOL!!! I'm sorry I'm reading these comments and LMAO because I'm picturing this wrinkly faced old women with a cig. hanging out of her mouth argueing with a racoon. Sorry I was board.
jennifer76 jennifer76 9 years
Oh, and for the record I generally agree with these same activitists. I do try to boycott China. I do support Tibetan independence efforts. I do think China's human rights record at home and abroad is abysmal. My only issue is interfering with what is supposed to be a peaceful, non-political International event.
jennifer76 jennifer76 9 years
These companies probably all do significantly more than $80 million in business with China on a regular basis. Not sure why their sponsorship of the Olympics would make them responsible for human rights violations while their continued relationships with China don't. :? One of the main reasons the Olympic games were revived and made into an International competition was to bring the world together in peace, acknowledging differences but setting aside disagreements. It doesn't sit well with me to use that platform for politics.
megnmac megnmac 9 years
Stephly, oh, ultimately I agree. Bad syntax - the point IS to make change... by getting others to agree, and, if they do, using that agreement to guilt them into action to get a bigger voice and effect that change. Ultimately, we're all accountable to ourselves, and I really hope everyone asks themselves if they can be a better person... and not judge others.
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
"this site prevents me from hanging myself each day as i sit at work" Yeah, me too.
yesteryear yesteryear 9 years
i was having fun with raciccarone becuase he/she seems like a smart person... but in all honesty my first remark was what i really think. i dont see the point in boycotting the olympics when its the corporations who are at fault. i'm a little ashamed of all the people on my side of the fence (liberal-ish) who were bashing the entire idea of the olympics - it's one of the oldest traditions we've got. it's changed over the years (i wonder who sponsored the first one? the bread bakers' union??), but it's an important part of global relations. sorry if i freaked anyone out. and no, i do not know rac or any of the sugar folks personally. wish i did though! this site prevents me from hanging myself each day as i sit at work. :)
stephley stephley 9 years
Megm, I'm with you on the Coke and Pepsi thing, and I'm the kind of Coke drinker who gets a headache unless I have one. I don't think you boycott to make people feel bad, the point is to inspire change in behavior. So, you cut back on Coke and you write to the company and say 'I'm cutting back because I don't like supporting (whatever thing is ticking you off). I like you and hope you change soon so I can drink more Coke.' I think you don't cross picket lines to show your support for the people on strike - again, Dear Company, I'm not crossing your workers until...' The trouble is a lot of times we get so passionate about an issue we become scolds (myself included) and then it does end up becoming a who's a better person contest.
megnmac megnmac 9 years
Isn't the point of the boycott to make people that don't feel bad? I eat animals, and have also worn some, and I know that part of me feels bad. Not enough to change, but somewhat bad. If the point weren't to make others guilty, I would have walked through the picket line into the grocery store by my house in college, and my mom would have eaten grapes in the 60s. Without the guilt, without the outcry, the effect wouldn't be as great! btw - short of them endorsing the new Hitler doll, I'm never giving up my Coke products... I'm an anti Pepsi addict.
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
you two must at least know each other! maybe yesteryear is liberty or citizen's alter ego, so they can say salacious things anonymously!
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
ok... now this just aint right!
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
:ponder:
yesteryear yesteryear 9 years
HOW DARE YOU
raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
Wouldn't that be sad? Commenting with yourself? No, I have free time, but not that much free time. I am afraid that yesteryear is another product of a broken educational system and probably abusive parents.
stephley stephley 9 years
Or else there's one brain between them
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
are you guys the same person? i feel like yesteryear is a product of racc's mind...
raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
Yesteryear, you have hoisted yourself on your own pitard. Good day, Madam. Good day!
yesteryear yesteryear 9 years
raciccarone, though i do appreciate your sincere offering of yourself in place of the kind and gentle ice kings of that northern land, i regret to inform you that you are not mine for the taking, nor are you yours for the offering. your kind and creed is of such a low and filthy station it would be beneath me to even empty my bowels on your finest china service. please refrain from any additional attacks against my personage, as i am off to deliver a message of hope and redemption to the people of East LA's Chinatown. tomorrow is a brighter day, raciccarone, and your misguided and malignant hatred will never serve to cast a shadow on the hope of a people.
raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
Yesteryear, one statement is all I need to decode your ensyphilitic ramblings regarding China's trade practices, merry-go-rounds and Iceland. This is between you and me, leave those golden, fruitful people of the North out of this. They have done you now wrong! They subsist on halibut, sheep and their own Norse cunning. Take me! Take ME!
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
:ROTFL:
yesteryear yesteryear 9 years
raciccarone, boycotting may not be the american way, but it is my way. i am disheartened by your ability to take one statement of mine (i refer to my brazen and spirited call to arms against poor, disenfranchised chinese workers) and somehow connect it to your own rastafarian and icelandic ancestral line. you may want to live your life like a pony on a merry-go-round, but let me tell you, when lightening strikes you for your many logical indiscretions and stereotypes, it will burn a hole through your forehead so large i will be able to stick my foot through it. it is on that solemn and magical day that i will put down my blade in a peace offering to your people. no sooner.
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
"boycott the chinese workers!" I would like to see a solution that wouldn't directly harm the livelihoods of billions of people just doing their jobs to survive. Sending a message to corporate leaders is fine, but not at the expense of the workers. This country is supported on the backs of plenty of people all over the world, including in the United States itself, by the way.
raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
Yesteryear, I can not tell you how offensive that last statement was. My people, Russian Jews and Italian Catholics also built this country up from the depths of its rancid, putrid scummy bottom to the glittering heights you so enjoy today. I agree, the Chinese did do their part, but not the only part. There were the starving Irish peasants, the African-Americans (such as yourself), the angry and unclean French. We are all Americans and to boycott anyone is simply not our way. So my call to action to you, Yesteryear is to swallow your Coke and wear your foreign-made clothes with the pride of a people who long ago made America great.
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