Tag Archives: boycott China products

how does one stand up to evil?

On Christmas night I watched the movie 10 Questions for the Dalai Lama. The movie’s director appropriately called the Dalai Lama a “rock star for peace”. Nice.

One of the questions the Dalai Lama was asked was how does one continue to practice non-violence when faced with evil. A monk who was arrested and tortured by the Chinese told the director that when he was let out of jail he hated the Chinese. He said he told the Dalai Lama that his message of peace and non-violence is outdated, it does not work, and that the Tibetans must take up arms against the Chinese government. He said that after talking with His Holiness for two hours the monk was a changed man, that he returned to his Buddhist convictions of peace and ahimsa.

Unless you’re a jazz fan, you might not know who Oscar Peterson was. This jazz great died just the other day. He had this to say about peace:

…My vision of peace encompasses an awareness of the rights of our fellow man irrespective of race, color or creed. Words spoken and repeated many times on many occasions, political or otherwise, and by many individuals; but so often only used to fill spaces on paper. I believe that if mankind could honestly embrace the true embodiment of those misused words, the world would be much farther along the road to good health….

Pictures of the Dalai Lama are not allowed in Tibet. If I visited Tibet and wore my pendant containing the Dalai Lama’s likeness, any number of things could happen to me — if a Chinese guard or soldier saw it, it would be taken from me and that would be the easiest thing I would have to endure. Would my American passport protect me from a government that shoots Tibetans in the back when they try to cross the Himalayas into India?

When the Chinese army marched into Tibet, the Dalai Lama, then a young man, asked the US for help. The American government did nothing because there was nothing to be gained by helping a country that has no oil.

and so the genocide continues.

Where is the outrage over Tibet?

Why there’s blood on the Olympic rings

Boycott 2008 Olympics : Free Tibet & Darfur
http://lads.myspace.com/videos/vplayer.swf

what did I say about peace?

Sometimes one image is juxtaposed against another to bring home a point.

“Earth will be safe
when we feel in us enough safety.”
Thich Nhat Hanh — Vietnamese Buddhist monk, nominated in 1967 by Martin Luther King for the Nobel Peace Prize

This image is taken from ko htike’s blog who continues to write, post photos, and YouTube videos of the situation in Tibet*. There is also a link to Burmese Bloggers Without Borders if you want current information about the situation.

Thousands dead in massacre, bodies of monks dumped in the jungle
October 1, 2007

Yangon, Myanmar — Thousands of protesters are dead and the bodies of hundreds of executed monks have been dumped in the jungle, a former intelligence officer for Burma’s ruling junta has revealed….

Reports from other exiles along the frontier confirmed that hundreds of monks had simply ‘ disappeared’ as 20,000 troops swarmed around Rangoon yesterday to prevent further demonstrations by religious groups and civilians.

Word reaching dissidents hiding out on the border suggested that as well as executions, some 2,000 monks are being held in the notorious Insein Prison or in university rooms which have been turned into cells.

There were reports that many were savagely beaten at a sports ground on the outskirts of Rangoon, where they were heard crying for help.

Where are Myanmar’s monks?
October 2, 2007

Thousands of Buddhists have been arrested and scores killed, observers say, but no one can find them

BANGKOK, Thailand — After paying a heavy price for their uprising, Myanmar’s monks are nursing their wounds and hoping for international action against the military junta that crushed their peaceful protests with bullets and tear gas.

A new estimate by a well-connected dissident group has concluded that 138 people were killed and about 6,000 detained, including about 2,400 Buddhist monks, when the regime smashed the anti-government protests last week….

Another report said many of the arrested monks are being held at a former race course, where they were forced to give up their robes and change into civilian clothes.

Several monasteries, brutally raided by police and soldiers last week, are nearly empty now.

From the above story: “Monks in northern Burma who spoke to the Associated Press confirmed that many of their colleagues were killed or beaten and taken away by the military. But they predicted the monks would not give up.

“I want our demands to be fulfilled. I want peace,” said one. “The best thing is to have balance and equality and peace.”

Bush appeals to China to pressure Myanmar
September 27

President George W. Bush reached out to China to exert its influence on Myanmar on Thursday, an admission that new U.S. sanctions alone will not be enough to stop the ruling junta’s crackdown on protesters.

Trying to rally the international community against Myanmar’s generals, Bush met Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and asked Beijing “to help bring a peaceful transition to democracy in Burma,” the White House said….

A leading European Parliament lawmaker suggested that European countries should boycott the 2008 Beijing Olympics unless China does more to resolve the Myanmar crisis.

The White House played down any prospect of the United States staying away from the games or Bush canceling plans to attend if China fails to put pressure on Myanmar. But Bush spokeswoman Dana Perino reiterated the president’s view the “world is going to be watching” in the run-up to the Olympics.

Tibet*
If you were paying attention in the first paragraph, you would have noticed that although I was thinking Burma I typed the word “Tibet.” That was an honest mistake, I’ve changed nothing except to add the asterik. I went back to proofread and saw that while I was writing about Burma, I was thinking about Tibet.

So what about Tibet? I was thinking of a pithy post to write about the similarities of Burma and Tibet when I saw this post on the Precious Metal blog. The similarities are striking when one thinks about how China marched into Tibet. Chinese soldiers raided and ransacked Buddhist temples in Tibet. Chinese soldiers jailed and killed Buddhist monks in Tibet. Buddhist monks are “reprogrammed” in Tibet, that is, made to listen to Chinese government propaganda in their temples.

And now Pres. Shrub is “appealing” to China to pressure Burma? Where is the outrage for Tibet?

Hollywood celebrities are speaking out about Burma. Where is the outrage for Tibet? Is Richard Gere the only actor who knows where Tibet is?

Don’t get me wrong — I am not saying one should be given precedence over the other, but do you see where I’m going with this?

Free Burma. Free Tibet. Free all beings from oppression.

Boycott the 2008 Olympics

aung san who?

Did you know that a Nobel Peace Prize winner has been held under house arrest for 11 years by her government? Did you know this woman is considered a modern day Gandhi? Did you know that Burma (also known as Myanmar), a country where the population is primarily Theravadan Buddhist, is ruled by a military regime?

Or is the only thing you know about Burma is that “The Bridge on the River Kwai” was built there?

Aung San Suu Kyi is the Asian Nelson Mandela. She has become an international symbol of heroic and peaceful resistance in the face of oppression.

Yeah, that’s Jim Carrey in the video, the guy from the movie “Dumb and Dumber” talking about political conditions in Burma, a country on the other side of the world from the USA. He doesn’t sound too dumb.

Why am I telling you about Aung San Suu Kyi? Because I believe that we as Americans need to be reminded more than occasionally about what goes on in the rest of the world — and be outraged by it. Like about what’s happening in Tibet and has been happening there since the Chinese marched in. Or about the only Nobel Peace Prize recipient who is imprisoned by her government. Or to be reminded that some of the athletic clothes you buy for your children are made by another mother’s child working a 15 hour shift. Think about your own child working in a sweatshop next time you buy the latest Nikes.

Soon we’ll be seeing clothes with the 2008 Olympics logo and people will be snapping those up right and left. From the CleanClothes.org website: “…the Yue Wong Cheong company’s Shenzen (China) facility, where 50 different items are produced under license for the 2008 Olympics, included paying workers 50% of the minimum wage, 13 hour days, health and safety problems, and using fake salary slips to hide violations from auditors sent to inspect conditions.”


Have we become so insular that we are afraid to look beyond our own comfortable backyards? We get our news in nightly soundbites from the talking heads and then move on to the next thing that captures our monkey minds for three seconds.

Or are we afraid that if we really investigated and examined what happens in the rest of the world on a daily basis it would be too horrible for us to comprehend?

This is a beggar girl and her pup that I ran into in Pondicherry, India. She’s holding the rupees that I gave her. I told her to also feed the pup, but I’m reasonably sure the pup is dead by now, and the girl is still living on the street. It’s just the way it is. Every day. I would rather be poor in America than anywhere else in the world.

To change the world we must first change ourselves.

Be the change that you want to see in the world.
Mohandas Gandhi

boycotting Chinese products

As if we needed another reason to boycott Chinese products — tainted toothpaste, pet food, and toys with lead paint just weren’t enough…

From the Tibetan news website:

Latest threat from China: Toxic Clothes?

Here’s a good reason to wash new clothes before putting them on infants and children: A New Zealand television station is reporting that “scientists found formaldehyde in woolen and cotton clothes at 500 times higher than is safe.”

UK trading standards are on alert after Chinese-made clothes in New Zealand were discovered to have up to 900 times the safe level of formaldehyde in them. Formaldehyde is used to protect clothes that have to be shipped great distances against mildew. However, long-term exposure to high levels can be harmful, causing problems ranging from minor skin rashes to some types of cancer.

The latest safety alert over cheap Chinese goods was sounded in New Zealand. It has been passed on to trading standards officials in Britain.

“Any consumer worried about harm caused by clothes they have bought should contact the retailer or report their concerns to trading standards,” a spokesman for the Government’s new department for business, enterprise and regulatory reform said.

For more information you can visit the No More Made in China website

http://www.nomoremadeinchina.com/xn_resources/widgets/photo/slideshowplayer/slideshowplayer.swf
Find more photos like this on No More Made in China

and

Not China Made.net has a list of China-free shopping:

* American Apparel
* American Plastics Toys
* Blessed Nest
* Born Free Baby Products
* Buy American.com
* Corelle (Kitchen-ware)
* Crayola Crayons
* Holgatetoy
* ImagiPlay
* Justice Clothing
* Made In USA Products
* Maple and Mark
* Shop for America
* Still Made In USA .com
* Story Board Toys
* Toys Made In America
* Uncle Goose Toys
* US Made Toys
* Whittle Shortline Railroad
* Zebulon USA
* Zebulon USA- Toys

My reason for boycotting Chinese products is purely political — I support a free Tibet. Mommy Zabs, who started Not China Made.net, says, “Not everyone may feel led to ban or boycott China. But I am asking you to be aware, read labels, pay attention to just how much we as parents buy from China. It’s alarming.” I don’t have children, but do it for yours.

I have always said, BE AWARE, READ LABELS, LIVE MINDFULLY. If you think one person can not affect change, you are wrong, and I will write about that at a later date.

So, yes, it IS possible not to buy products made in China if one shops mindfully and not automatically. Don’t mindlessly hop over to Wal-Mart — #3 on the Top Ten Corporate Villians of the Planet list — just because it’s “easy” or “cheap.”

i’m not the only one

Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while know that I try not to buy things made in China as a one-person protest of China’s occupation of Tibet. I’ve also written about Mindful Shopping (what a concept!) here and about how difficult it is to find things that are not made in China.

So it did my heart good today to read this story in the Chicago Tribune about another woman who tried to stop buying things made in China — for a different reason, but it is her protest just the same. I thought I was the only one who diligently read labels!

A family tries 12 months without ‘Made in China’

Strike China from the shopping list? Good luck. One experiment highlights how much U.S. consumers rely on those imports.

By Mary Ellen Podmolik | Special to the Tribune
August 19, 2007

Is it possible to live without Chinese-made goods?

That’s what Sara Bongiorni wanted to know, and after a year of a self-imposed embargo, she said she’s thankful her telephone didn’t break because she fears she might have broken down herself and bought a replacement made in China.

The Baton Rouge, La., mom and her family did make do, however, without a coffeepot, a blender, birthday candles and a lot of toys.

“We knew it would be difficult but until we did this, we really didn’t know how much we rely on imports for everyday things,” Bongiorni said….

The story gives tips on boycotting Chinese goods:

– Don’t expect friends and family to join in.

– Be prepared to go without convenience items, like an inexpensive coffeemaker.

– Get out your magnifying glass to look at tiny print on boxes and labels.

– When ordering from catalogs and Web sites, be prepared to make phone calls asking for the item’s country of origin.

– Dig deeper. Some toys from Danish firm Lego, for example, are made in China.

– Brush up on geography. You’ll have to decide whether Hong Kong and Macau are part of the boycott.

On the Students for a Free Tibet website it says that “in December 2002, a worldwide coalition of Tibetan and Chinese organizations and human rights and labor advocates launched an international Boycott Made in China campaign designed to level economic pressure on the Chinese government to end its occupation of Tibet. In a coordinated effort to urge people to stop buying goods made in China, activists throughout Canada, the United States, New Zealand, Europe and India, are educating consumers about what their money is supporting when they buy ‘Made in China.’

The Boycott Made in China campaign, representing a worldwide coalition of Tibetan and Chinese organizations and human rights and labour advocates, plans to put the brakes on China’s crimes through the power of the individual consumer. Campaign organizers believe that, more than any other force that could be bought to bear against China, the latent power of the free, informed and responsible consumer can pressure the world’s last surviving giant Communist dictatorship to allow the Tibetan nation and the Chinese people the freedom they have been long denied.”

Tucked away comfortably in our small towns or suburban subdivisions, ALL of us are a part of the bigger global picture. Our choices DO affect change, one person at a time.

Sorry if this sounds judgmental, but THINK, PEOPLE! Mindfulness is a life practice. Mindfulness is a choice. THINK about where your food comes from. THINK about where your clothes come from — are they made by companies in foreign sweatshops that employ child labor? The three biggest corporate villains for clothing are Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club, and Dilliards. THINK about whether the cosmetics you buy are tested on animals. The biggest corporate villains for cosmetics insofar as animal testing and using known carcinogens are Maybelline, L’Oreal, Almay, and Revlon.

Think outside the box. Think mindfulness. Be mindfulness. Be aware.

JUST THINK.