Celtic Diva's Blue Oasis: Tibetan protest in China--Chinese police "remove" an Anchorage-ite!

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Tibetan protest in China--Chinese police "remove" an Anchorage-ite!

A name familiar to Anchorage Democrats popped up in the news today--Matt Browner-Hamlin, On-line Campaign Coordinator for Mark Begich was...errr...asked to leave the Olympic Equestrian event in Hong Kong when he had the audacity to unfurl a Tibetan flag.

Protesters displayed the Tibetan flag and chanted pro-democracy slogans at an Olympic equestrian event in Hong Kong on Saturday, but were removed and banned from the venue.

Two American activists from the New York-based Students for a Free Tibet unfurled the Tibetan flag among the spectators at the equestrian stadium in Hong Kong's suburban Sha Tin district...

...A Students for a Free Tibet statement identified the Americans as Matthew Browner-Hamlin from Anchorage, Alaska and Brianna Cayo Cotter from San Francisco, California.

Security officers removed all six protesters. Leung, Chan and their two fellow demonstrators have been banned from the remaining equestrian competitions, event spokesman Mark Pinkstone said.

In a phone conversation with The Associated Press, Browner-Hamlin said he had not been informed if he had Cotter were also banned. Security officers and Pinkstone did not immediately return a reporter's calls seeking comment on the Americans.

Matt wrote about his upcoming protest in Huffington Post on Friday:

I've been involved with efforts by Students for a Free Tibet related to the Olympics for over eight years. When focus shifted to the 2008 bid, we were there. And once the International Olympic Committee awarded China these Olympics, we shifted our efforts in recognition of the opportunity that would be afforded to Tibetans while the whole world was watching the Games.

You see, no occupied people have ever had their occupier given such a prime stage for global attention in modern history. While the Chinese government will seek to focus the world's attention on the bright lights, new stadiums, and rising Chinese medal count in Beijing, Tibetans and their supporters are working to shift that spotlight onto China's brutal occupation of Tibet.

Matt's name is not just familiar to Alaska Dems, knowledge of his former job managing Chris Dodd's presidential run made many of us dance with glee when he chose to move to Anchorage to work for Mark Begich. His involvement in such a worthy cause as "Students for a Free Tibet" is not surprising...in talking to Matt it seems that his career in Progressive politics is a calling, not a job.

We salute you, Matt, and wish you a safe journey home.

(Go HERE for streaming video from FreeTibet 2008. Hat tip for the story to Dennis Zaki at AlaskaReport.com.)

(Headshot of Matt courtesy of Huffington Post)

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7 Comments:

Blogger Grimbles said...

Wooo! Wooooooo!

That is all.

8/09/2008 8:30 PM  
Blogger CelticDiva said...

Woot! The Kiwis approve, Matt!

8/09/2008 10:14 PM  
OpenID mudflats said...

That is awesome! Way to go, Matt.

8/09/2008 11:19 PM  
Blogger Grimbles said...

Kiwi, huh? Does that make you... Canadian? =p

8/11/2008 5:32 AM  
Blogger CelticDiva said...

I asked Josh to make sure cause I couldn't remember if you were Kiwi or Aussie.

He said he thought Kiwi.

I blame him...that's my story and I'm stickin' to it!

8/11/2008 8:12 AM  
Blogger Grimbles said...

I could say something about Americans and geography. But I think this is just Josh and memory. Or Josh and being a smart-arse.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand.

WOOOO!

The Chinese government is so obsessed with policing dissent they've apparently turned the Athlete's Village and surrounds into dullsville. Boringest. Olympics. Ever.

8/12/2008 10:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

a hat tip to akrpt ?

i'm the one who tipped HIM off !

haw haw.

8/18/2008 9:32 PM  

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