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Tibetan Rights Group Takes City to Task on Twitter, by Email

tibet-alamedaUpdate 1:00 p.m. – City of Alameda Councilmember Stewart Chen responded, deflecting questions to former councilmember Frank Matarrese, the current president of the Alameda Sister City Association.

A Tibetan rights group has begun a social media campaign against City of Alameda officials over a five-year old proclamation honoring the 58th anniversary of “National Day for the People’s Republic of China.”

Tibet was absorbed into the People’s Republic of China in 1951. The Tibetan rights group, acting anonymously through a website called Tibettruth.com, explains that it is a “not-for-profit network of individuals who support justice, human rights and independence for the peoples of Tibet and East Turkestan.”

A representative for the group did not respond to a request to identify him or herself through e-mail.

The group has become exercised in recent weeks over a 2007 proclamation by then-Mayor Beverly Johnson, honoring October 1st, 2007, as an anniversary for National Day for the People’s Republic of China, and inviting Alameda residents to participate in a flag raising ceremony in Oakland honoring the occasion.

Tibettruth has apparently interpreted this old proclamation to mean that the City of Alameda plans to raise the Chinese flag at Alameda City Hall this coming Tuesday, October 1st.

The proclamation also referenced the City of Alameda’s sister city relationship with Wuxi, China, which was the product of efforts by Stewart Chen, who now sits on Alameda City Council, but initiated the relationship back in 2005 when he was on the Alameda Social Service Human Relations Board.

Stewart Chen had not responded by press time to an e-mail asking for comment on Tibettruth’s complaints that the City of Alameda is effectively endorsing China’s record on human rights, “and its ongoing repression of Tibetans,” through the sister city arrangement, and the proclamation.

City of Alameda Deputy City Manager Alex Nguyen confirmed that the city has no plans to fly a Chinese flag at city hall next week.

He did say, however, that there will be flag-raising ceremony recognizing National Day at City Hall “sponsored by our local Sister City Association and the Alameda Wuxi Friendship Committee, who use their own portable flagpoles.”

In return, Tibettruth noted that the City of Alameda Social Service Human Relations Board had an agenda item this week appointing a board member as that body’s representative to the Sister City Associaiton.

4 comments to Tibetan Rights Group Takes City to Task on Twitter, by Email

  • Melanie Wilson

    This report is not entirely accurate in that is suggest to readers that this organization is opposing some historic event that no longer has any connection, support or endorsement from either Mayor Gilmore and City Council. That is simply not the case! Sure it maybe that no Chinese flag is being flown at City Hall, but that is not really the point, more so if behind the scenes Alameda Council is privately supporting that.

    Meanwhile, as far as I read it the action on this relates to the PRESENT intention to fly China’s flag in Almeda as part of a ceremony that honors the founding of communist China on October 1st and so is an endorsement of the Chinese regime. Everyone, apart from the leadership of Alameda knows that China’s government is soaked in the suffering and blood of countless numbers of people, so I totally understand why this anonymous collective is making noise on this. They are asking questions of Mayor Gilmore and City Hall, which are being ignored or evaded.

    Guess the big one is why there’s been no formal statement making clear that Alameda’s Mayor and Council do not support the raising of China’s flag and the associated endorsement of China’s oppressive government? I advise folks to visit the site http://www.tibettruth.com and read about what’s actually going down and pretty soon it becomes clear that while City of Alameda Deputy City Manager Alex Nguyen claims the planned event has nothing to do with City Hall, its an event started by the Mayor’s office back in 2007, while today City Hall has a representative working with one of the main organizers that is behind next weeks shameful celebration’

  • When a representative for Tibettruth first contacted us, I asked him/her for the documentation indicating there was a flag raising ceremony at City Hall this Tuesday, October 1st, 2013.

    He/she pointed to a 6 year old proclamation that referenced a ceremony in Oakland.

    To date, nobody from Tibettruth has provided a documented source for the current flag raising ceremony. However, Alex Nguyen did confirm it.

  • Tom Paine

    Heads-up on misrepresentation! The info made available to David was the very same infor which was published by he Editors of http://tibettruth.com/2013/09/26/mayor-gilmore-citizens-of-alameda-value-human-rights-not-chinas-flag/

    That clearly made clear a direct link to the honoring of China’s government with a proclamation issued by a Mayor of Alameda to raise the Chinese flag in Alameda. So the reference above to Oakland is a sleight-of-hand.

    As to Alex he ONLY raised his head due to folks around planet earth lobby Mayor Gilmore directly, his comments of denial of City Hall accountability chose to ignore the significant reality that on the same day he issued an evasive claim of no link between Alameda’s authorities, that evening in City Hall a representative was appointed by officials to work with one of the two groups who are planning to fly the Chinese flag in Alameda on October. If it walks like a duck!!!!

  • I asked for a reference to support the ceremony planned for October 1st, 2013, and what TibetTruth submitted was documentation for a proclamation from 2007. (See the e-mail exchange below.)

    TibetTruth then followed-up with another e-mail, containing only a link to their blog and a copy of the 2007 proclamation. (Again, no documentation on the Oct. 1, 2013 event.)

    A six-year old proclamation is not news.

    You do your cause a disservice when you harp on the only publication to date that has published on your issue.

    Now, because you don’t know how to quit when you’re ahead, I’m closing the discussion on this article.

    ~~~
    From: Admin [mailto:mailtibettruth@[DELETED]]
    Sent: Thursday, September 26, 2013 3:38 AM
    To: newstips@action-alameda-news.com
    Subject: Update: Questions On Alameda Plan To Fly Communist China’s Flag

    http://tibettruth.com/2013/09/26/mayor-gilmore-citizens-of-alameda-value-human-rights-not-chinas-flag/

    ~~~
    From: Admin [mailto:mailtibettruth@[DELETED]]
    Sent: Thursday, September 26, 2013 1:37 AM
    To: David Howard
    Subject: Re: Breaking World Citizens Launch Appeal To Mayor Gilmore To Not Fly China’s Flag

    Hi David,

    Not sure there was a great deal of open consultation with the good folks of Alameda on this highly controversial matter. We understand it came about through a Proclamation issued 09/18/07O by then Mayor Beverley J Johnson.

    Interestingly the decision (reached apparently in an executive decision by the previous Mayor?) is an endorsement of and compliance with a political event authorized and demanded each October 1st, in celebration of the founding of Communist China. Take a careful look at the wording as appearing in the Alameda City Council minutes:

    3-A. Proclamation encouraging participation in Peoples Republic
    of China Flag raising ceremony in support of Wuxi, China Sister City activities. (Development Services)

    Were local folks given a chance to engage in informed discussion on that? Was the local community allowed to consider the ethical concerns of this proposal?

    In the scramble to become a sister City with Wuxi did no one at Alameda City Council spare even a minute examining the implications as regards how this would be understandably seen as an endorsement of China’s regime, with its dark record on human rights and oppression?

    We wonder if the following Clause agreed by Alameda City Council on 8/21/2007 (in a Memorandum Of Understanding MOU) explains what seems to be an absence of local participation in democratically discussing the subject

    4. As for other matters not mentioned in this MOU, the two governments will decide upon them though friendly consultation in the spirit of mutual understanding. This MOU is written in both English and Chinese in two duplicates. Both copies are equally authentic and are valid upon the signing by representatives of each party.
    (Emphasis Added)

    Hope that helps.

    Tibettruth

    25/09/2013 19:36, David Howard wrote:
    Which city council meeting was this discussed at? which date?

    thanks,

    David Howard
    Action Alameda News

    ________________________________________
    From: Admin
    To: newstips@action-alameda-news.com
    Sent: Wednesday, September 25, 2013 11:24 AM
    Subject: Breaking World Citizens Launch Appeal To Mayor Gilmore To Not Fly China’s Flag

    Breaking World Citizens Launch Appeal To Mayor Gilmore To Not Fly
    China’s Flag

    http://tibettruth.com/2013/09/25/asking-the-mayor-of-alameda-not-to-fly-chinas-flag/

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