A group of students from Tibet protested at the Swiss headquarters of the International Olympic Committee on Saturday, calling for a global boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics slated for February.
The Tibetans demonstrated inside the lobby as Olympic officials met inside the building, and a pair of them chained themselves to the Olympic rings to protest the “Genocide Games.” Two other protesters unfurled banners inside the building while five other students sat down in the lobby as part of the protest.
Reportedly, the students were part of two groups: the Tibetan Youth Association and Students for a Free Tibet in Europe. Police began arresting the protesters after about three hours. Though the protests were peaceful, the IOC claims that one of its security guards was injured.
“Despite mounting international criticism of IOC and China, the Chinese regime’s human rights abuses in Tibet, East Turkestan and Hong Kong continue unabated,” Tenzing Dhokhar, TYAE Campaign Director, one of the protesters, told Reuters.
“By collaborating with China, the IOC is making itself an accomplice of the Chinese Communist Party’s crimes, which will be sports-washed by the Beijing Olympics.”
The Biden administration announced a “diplomatic boycott” of the Olympics earlier this week, which was a toothless move, because it doesn’t involve any actual boycotting, and Chinese officials claim that U.S. officials weren’t invited in the first place.
Tibetans have been some of the most vocal critics of China’s human rights abuses since the Chinese Communists invaded Tibet in 1950. The Communists have turned Tibet into one of the most restricted regions of the country.
A statement from the IOC noted that the organization “always listens to all the concerns that are directly related to the Olympics. We have engaged multiple times with peaceful protesters and explained our position, but we will not engage with violent protesters who used force to enter the building and injured a security guard by doing so.”
These protesters aren’t the only ones who have called the Chinese out recently over their human rights abuses in Tibet and Hong Kong, as well as their maneuvers that threaten Taiwan. NBA player and brand new American citizen Enes Kanter Freedom — yep, that’s his real name — has been outspoken about China for years, as has broadcasting legend Bob Costas. The Women’s Tennis Association even pulled its tournaments from China.
The run-up to the Olympics is shining an even brighter spotlight on China and its human rights abuses. It’s just too bad that the NBA, Nike, and their useful idiots like LeBron James and Colin Kaepernick won’t listen. And it’s a shame that the Biden administration won’t do more than a “diplomatic boycott” that’s just for show. Because without something more forceful, China won’t even notice that spotlight.
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