foobar on computers, software and the rest of the world

Boycott these companies - they support human rights violations

, posted: 8-Aug-2008 08:04

Here is the link to the sponsors for this year's Olympic Games in Beijing. As I wrote before, if freedom and human rights mean anything to us, we owe it ourselves and to those who are suffering from censorship and oppression to do something - anything! - about it.

The one thing where it hurts these days is always the money. The games were given to China despite it's terrible human rights record purely for financial reasons. China gets away with what it does, because we let it - purely for financial reasons.

Thus, the one action we can take that will be noticed is to show our discontent with our wallets. Boycott Chinese products, and the sponsors of these games, who with their financial support and their good names end up supporting the regime in China.

Main sponsors with products in our markets:
  • Coca Cola
  • GE
  • Johnson&Johnson
  • Kodak
  • Lenovo
  • VW
  • Manulife
  • McDonalds
  • Adidas
  • Omega
  • Panasonic
  • Samsung
  • Visa
  • UPS
  • Haier
  • Budweiser
Boycotting the sponsors hopefully will send a message that this kind of support cannot be tolerated.

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Comment by Allan Kirk, on 8-Aug-2008 10:17

Yeah, let's stop the Olympics. Let's stop the Chinese people from meeting people from other countries and thus prevent them from having an opportunity to compare the way they live with the way people in other countries live.

Let's all isolate them. Just like we have isolated Burma and Zimbabwe. Trouble is, it doesn't work.

Isn't it strange that the thing the Burmese regime, for one, most fear is foreign aid - because their people might see that there is a better way of life?

You don't change a country by isolating it. You change it by the example of the way you live making the people of that country wanting to live like you.

So, strangely enough, exposing them to Visa, McDonalds, Coca Cola, Kodak etc may well achieve a lot more than you think. Which rather makes a boycott a bit of a silly move...

Author's note by foobar, on 8-Aug-2008 14:21

@Allan Kirk: I don't think that us buying products from those companies (and letting them know why) will stop them from doing business in China, honestly. I also don't think that not watching the games on TV will prevent any Chinese people from meeting foreigners.

I understand what you are saying, but I don't think that not saying anything and not making a statement at all is counter productive, since it gives absolutely no insentive for the Chinese government to change its ways. The only way in which common people can make their voice heard in these matters is to speak with their wallet, that's all we have.

Comment by Felix, on 8-Aug-2008 15:33

@Allan I don't think many of the people in downtown Beijing (Chinese or otherwise) really care about the people dying in Western Sudan (Dafur), killed with weapons illegally suppiied by the Chinese government...  I don't think anyone who has bothered to do a little research could stomach watching the Olympics.

I saw the BBC Panorama doco, just horrible! Human rights in China is one thing, but combined with Dafur, Tibet and the execution of innocent people to support international organ dealing businesses... I know I wont be supporting this public relations sham.

Comment by redroman23, on 9-Aug-2008 12:43

This is an idiotic post on so many levels.  Why not also list TV1 and all of their Olympic advertisers while you are at?

Author's note by foobar, on 10-Aug-2008 16:19

@redroman23: Thank you for sharing your insight. You have listed one of the levels on which my post is idiotic (thank you for the kind words): I should have listed TV1 and all its olympic advertisers as well. Right you are, I should have. Now, could you elaborate on all the other (many) levels on which the post is idiotic, please?

Thank you...

Comment by redroman23, on 10-Aug-2008 19:37

My main point was that you slammed these international companies yet you failed to mention any action in regards to companies associated with the Olympics here in New Zealand like TVNZ for example.  Also what about the athletes representing New Zealand?  Are you also going to chastise them for attending these Olympics?

Author's note by foobar, on 11-Aug-2008 05:59

@redroman23: I wouldn't blame the athletes at all for wanting to attent the Olympics. Nothing worse than training all your life, then being caught in a boycott situation (happened before) and thus losing your one shot at it all.

Nevertheless, the right position of the western world should have been to (a) never give the Olympics to a country with blatant human rights violations in the first place. (b) now that they have the games, actually try to use that as some sort of leverage against China (which wasn't even attempted in the smallest manner). (c) Since the officials of the IOC and polititians of the western world don't seem to have a spine, we as the ordinary people should still express what we feel about it by voting with our wallets.

Honestly, since we can't even agree on that, I don't see it making much of a difference. But I know that I can't in good conscience watch any of it on TV, or buy any of the sponsor's products any time soon.

Yes, you are right, I should have also mentioned the NZ advertisers. And in other countries, they should have theirs on the 'blacklist'.

Are there other levels on which my posting was idiotic?

foobar's profile

New Zealand

  • Who I am: Software developer and consultant.
  • What I do: System level programming, Linux/Unix. C, C++, Java, Python, and a long time ago even Assembler.
  • What I like: I'm a big fan of free and open source software. I'm Windows-free, running Ubuntu on my laptop. To a somewhat lesser degree, I also follow the SaaS industry.
  • Where I have been: Here and there, all over the place.

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