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Chinese rally in Chicago to show support for Olympics in Beijing|
By Kristen Kridel
10:25 PM CDT, April 24, 2008
Following recent protests about holding the summer Olympic Games in Beijing, at least 500 people gathered outside Chicago's Dirksen U.S. Courthouse on Thursday to show support for China.
As a flowing dragon danced through the square above the heads of several people, , some advocates—many Chinese students—said political issues concerning Tibet, human rights and economic inequality shouldn't be factors in the sporting event.
Others denied the reports of human-rights violations in Tibet and other parts of China that have spurred demonstrations.
"The reasons they gave to not have it in China are not true. They're trying to use the Olympic Games for other political purposes," said Hanlu Zhao, 22, a student at Illinois Institute of Technology. As hundreds of red Chinese flags brightened the Loop, a woman quickly walked through the crowd, encouraging everyone to remember that China was responsible for the bloodshed of Beijing's Tiananmen Square in 1989. "Free Tibet!" she yelled.
But Heather Han, a Chinese citizen, said the people of China know better than anyone else how they are treated by the government. Han, who said her ethnicity makes her a minority in China, said she would not have been allowed to come to the United States if the government was oppressive.
She said the reports in the Western media have been distorted and said the Chinese people deserve an apology.
"China is our mother," Han said. "And our mother's reputation was destroyed."
Ann Liu, a Chinese lawyer , said she hoped the rally organized by more than 30 local Chinese organizations would serve to welcome Americans to China.
"We think the Olympics represent the spirit of peace and union," she said.
Copyright © 2008, Chicago Tribune
http://www.chicagotribune.com/ne ... olympics-rallyapr25,1,4352255.story
Chinese dragons were featured in downtown Chicago Thursday during a rally to support holding the summer Olympic Games in Beijing. (Tribune photo by Milbert O. Brown / April 24, 2008)