*DISCLAIMER: I am not anti-Chinese, I just want to make that very clear in case people take this blog post as such. I'm campaigning as much for the rights of the Chinese people as I am for Tibetans. Millions of Chinese have suffered and continue to suffer, and it's not right that the rest of the world turns a blind eye in return for trade favours. My incident involved a loud minority, and I do not judge all Chinese by the actions of a few. I'm a quiet, shy, peaceful guy in person, but this incident really shook me up. Thank you for understanding.
On my way to the football today, I walked past a march by pro-China nationalists through the Melbourne CBD. I didn't know the march was on, it took me by surprise. What really took me by surprise were the banners:
STOP TERRORISM IN TIBET!
STOP TIBETAN TERRORISTS!
STOP THE LIES ABOUT CHINA!
TELL THE TRUTH!
STOP MEDIA DISTORTION AND LIES ABOUT CHINA!
This wasn't a protest for peace and unity, it was unadulterated nationalism of the worst kind. I stopped and with an American couple, tried to engage a dialogue with several young Chinese, to ask them why they think the West is lying about Tibet and China. I didn't get the Americans names, but they were very calm and reasoned and knowledgeable, and the Chinese students didn't know what to say. As we were talking, we were screamed at and pushed from behind by protestors marching by. The heckling and yelling was so loud, we could hardly be heard by the Chinese students we were speaking with, and they could barely hear us.
I have to leave to meet people at the football, so I walk away and yell, "Support human rights in China and Tibet!", over the shouting of the Chinese nationalist marchers.
A large section of the 10'000 strong protesting crowd stop. Suddenly I'm surrounded by yelling Chinese shoving cameras in my face. I'm spat on, and I'm continually kicked from behind. When I turn around, the culprits duck their heads and pretend it wasn't them. And now that I have an angry face from getting spat on and kicked, more cameras are shoved in my face. Flashes on digital cameras go off, I have a video camera with a Chinese media logo shoved in my face with the cameraman yelling at me and laughing.
And no one stopped to help me. NO ONE. I don't blame them really, when there's several hundred Chinese yelling at me and spitting and kicking me behind my back. But still, it's bewildering that people hurried past with their heads down and didn't help me.
An uncontrollable urge to break heads hit me, like the Incredible Hulk. I spun around to look for the latest person who kicked me from behind and I was about to grab him by the hair and sink my knee into his face, I was grabbed from behind by a police officer.
To my surprise, they told me to walk away, that it wasn't worth getting into a fight with these people. The copper said they agreed with me, but starting a fight wasn't worth it and it would just give the Chinese nationalists satisfaction.
So I walked away, went to the football, and forgot about Tibet and China and human rights abuses with 80'000 other football fans.
I got home an hour ago, turn the tv on to watch the news, to see if they covered the Chinese propaganda march. They did, but what I saw shook me to my core and I am so angry, I can barely type this.
The news report didn't show the banners. Instead, they showed a group of people marching peacefully, and at the end of the report the news reporter briefly interviewed several young, affluent Chinese international students who calmly said the march was all about promoting "peace and unity".
It gets worse. The interviewees said that they support Tibet, and that the Chinese Government is doing its best to help Tibetans. The violence in Lhasa a couple of months ago is the fault of "terrorists".
I am so angry, I'm sure steam is coming out of my ears. Not because I was kicked and spat on and humiliated, but because of the blatant lying and deceiving and manipulative propaganda.... and no one cares. No one fucking cares.
And I'm sure my blonde-haired, blue-eyed evil racist face is being splashed across Chinese blogs and media right now. Too bad no one filmed me getting kicked and spat on and abused.