Letter to the Editor of Pasadena Weekly
July 22, 2007
Your report "Roses are Red" shows clearly that international organizations such as Amnesty International based in London, Human Rights Watch based in New York, and Reporters Without Borders based in Paris are watching the issue of Pasadena's Beijing Olympics float quite closely. It shows that Pasadena is an international city that merits world attention just as London, New York and Paris. How the Tournament of Roses Association, Mayor Bill Bogaard, and members of the City Council of Pasadena respond to the Beijing float issue will reverberate across the globe.
In April, 2001, Mr. Liu Jing Min, current Vice Mayor of Beijing and Executive Vice President of the Beijing Organizing Committee, was a Vice President of the Beijing Olympic Games Bid Committee. At that time, Mr. Liu assured the International Olympics Committee, "By allowing Beijing to host the Games, you will help the development of human rights." The Bid Committee's statement was an acknowledgement of the link between human rights and the Olympics Games.
The promise of human rights improvement was a major factor behind Beijing being awarded the 2008 Games. This was the expressed goal of both the Beijing Olympic Bid Committee as well as the IOC. The City of Pasadena and the Tournament of Roses Association should therefore look at any Olympics Tournament of Roses float as a reflection of progress made toward improved human rights.
Your cover design which showed a lone man standing in front of a floral float of military tanks decorated with the Olympics logo may well be a solution for the Tournament of Roses Association's current dilemma. A float design depicting the iconic symbol of one man's stand for freedom in the face of tyranny would reflect positively on the City of Pasadena and would be a perfect fit for the Tournament's 2008 theme of "Passport to the World's Celebrations". Indeed, the people in China will certainly celebrate when they receive their passports to their human rights.
Chair, Visual Artists Guild
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