Tibet Will Be Free (the SFT Blog!)

WELCOME TO THE STUDENTS FOR A FREE TIBET BLOG--------> This is the weblog of the SFT Headquarters. Here you can peek into the minds (not to mention actions, events, trainings, brainstorms, parties...) of the SFT staff, board members, volunteers, friends and fellow activists. Tibet will be free.

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Tibet Will Be Free has moved off of this site because Blogger is owned by Google. Visit the new TIBET WILL BE FREE at blog.studentsforafreetibet.org

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Your search - "Tibet" and "Freedom" - did not match any documents....


It became clear pretty early this morning that the Bay Area SFT crew was going to be responsible for representing what has become, by most accounts, a sea of outrage directed toward Google for it's collusion with the Chinese Government's internet censorship project.

By 11am or so we had placards, a couple of media lists, three cars, a bunch of sharpie markers, handcuffs, and a bunch of junked computer keyboards and other parts from the late 90's. The idea was to help Google headquarters in Mountain View, CA along with an accurate visual depiction of what they will be doing to the 1 billion Chinese users who will rely on the search engine to provide them with information on the things that matter to their lives (things like free speech, forming unions and worker cooperatives, etc.).

We decided that handcuffs were really the catch all symbol of the day. On the one hand, you will be "handcuffed" in your search for information. You will visit a web page who's very mission statement involves "the free flow of information" and "accuracy" only to get back a bunch of crap generated by the CCP propaganda dept. when you type in anything having to do with human rights and political reform. On the other hand, having a company with the capicity to gather as much information on indivudual users as Google has makes you suspect that people are going to end up in actual handcuffs at some point. As the Boston Globe reported today, we can't have a company that's in charge of this much information sell out this quickly without being really worried.

The turnout at the protest was awesome for a few hours notice. All the ABC and NBC local affiliates were there, and Yangchen, an SFTer from Stanford, stepped to the mic and did a phenomenal job as spokeswoman. Alma just called to say that she ended up all over the 10 o'clock news looking all proffessional and articulate. According to the reporting, the "protestors sounded angry and betrayed."
Indeed...

We''ll check the papers tomorrow morning and post any print stories and video that we find. For now, good night and many thanks to all the dedicated young Tibetans in the Bay Area.

Chris
Tibet Justice Center

18 Comments:

  • At 2:14 AM, Anonymous RangzenRoblang said…

    Great job, guys.

     
  • At 2:39 AM, Anonymous alma said…

    You guys rocked the local news - Great job. Yangchen was fantastic as spokesperson and the demo looked great. Hurray for SFT! Boooo for Google.

     
  • At 9:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I agree entirely with your goal and sometimes partake in your online campaigns, but I can't help wonder if this particular campaign was a bit misaimed..

    From what I can find out using google in China was already a severely crippled experiance, see
    http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=10761
    from reporters without borders. Using sensitive search terms would stop you from using google entirely for half an hour (thanks to China gov filtering, not google).
    Now from what I understand at least the search engine will continue working, and even tell you that some results have been blocked by a government policy. Neither Yahoo or MSN tells you this in their filtered results and it's most important as it lets users know "there's some truth missing here", which they might then try to access using anonymous proxys etc..

    Also don't forget the greater evils committed by the alternatives to Google previously - Yahoo helping prison the journalist Shi Tao and Microsoft closing blogs..
    Suppose Yahoo or Microsoft would be at least as good targets for a protest.. Or perhaps Cisco, which provides the "great firewall" hardware..

    Anyway, I hope the protest served to remind Google about their motto so that their google-filtered china search engine will hopefully be a better alternative than what was previously available inside the "great firewall".

    Some more explanations from one of Google's founders..
    http://money.cnn.com/2006/01/25/news/international/davos_fortune/?cnn=yes

    David

     
  • At 10:24 AM, Blogger Philo said…

    Great work crew! Fantastic signs, theatre, props, visuals. How was the response from Google employees passing by?

     
  • At 10:35 AM, Blogger natdefreitas said…

    If you're looking for a Google alternative for search and mail, try IceRocket at http://www.icerocket.com/

    They are new startup funded by Marc Cuban, who is generally brilliant and insane (http://www.blogmaverick.com/)

     
  • At 10:38 AM, Blogger natdefreitas said…

    For information search, you can also use Wikipedia (i.e. "Tibet" search on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tibet).

    Also, Amazon's A9 search engine is quite powerful, especially for "local" searches: http://www.a9.com

    In the Firefox browser, you can make any of these your default search engine, by clicking on the built-in search box drop-down menu, add selecting "Add Engines"

     
  • At 12:37 PM, Anonymous José Luis Morales said…

    Adelante! yo los apoyo desde la blogosfera

    Mira que utilizar los propios recursos de google (blogger) para manifestarse.

     
  • At 2:25 PM, Blogger tendor said…

    'Bravo' to everyone who took their day off or played hookey from school and work to represent the righteous indignation against Google's miserable kowtowing to the Chinese government. Google has let down the Tibetans, Google has let down the Taiwanese, Google has let down the Chinese, and the Americans, and the Californians, and freedom loving folks across the planet.

     
  • At 6:05 PM, Anonymous jochex said…

    Muy bien, a luchar contra la injusticia y la censura del gobierno chino.
    //
    very well, go and fight against the injusticie and censor of the chinese goverment!

     
  • At 3:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    way a go for making the SF Bay news! Keep up the pressure guys!

    It leaves me wondering, though, how few people understand the complexitiy and precendence that this sets.
    Particularly troubling is what this might mean some time down the road for print.google.com. From my understanding, this service essentially seeks to one day put every book that was ever written into digital information, making rare and unknown texts accessible to everyone, and perhaps even one day instantly translated into your language of choice, thus opening up information to everyone, even those without access to a world-class library in their vicinity. All you'd need would be an internet connection, et voila! This is something that might well fundamentally change how human beings understand one another, completely shattering deeply-rooted ideas of what constitutes canonical text. Rather than speaking of a civilizational narrative rooted in a canon, the emphasis might well shift to a humane discourse, rooted in universal artistic achievements. So long Samuel Huntington!

    But if google's willing to censor web-sites now, well, what does this mean for allowing people to access books that might be critical of regimes? Or worse, would google be willing to start removing texts critical of the Chinese government from western searches (a possibility, if China were to become a larger market than the West at some future point). The internet - intially promoted as a place where information would be able to flow at its freest, could instead end up being even more tyrannical than what came before it, a kind of viritual tyranny of the majority. Kind of distopic, isn't it?

     
  • At 6:39 PM, Blogger Alberto said…

    I hope Google would realize about it...

     
  • At 6:41 PM, Anonymous Microsano said…

    Let's see is Google change about this. It may change, Google has always defended that.

     
  • At 5:13 AM, Anonymous YoNoCompro said…

    Please go see our campaign http://google.boycott-online.info (in Spanish)

    We're very interested in finding an alternative search-engine we could recommend to our campaign's supporters.

     
  • At 6:40 AM, Blogger Manikandan said…

    I had my first headhunt in the curikudos job fair held in 2006. And now i think its time to switch over. Can some one let me know when the job fair starts again.

     
  • At 6:42 AM, Blogger Manikandan said…

    I had my first headhunt in the curikudos job fair held in 2006. And now i think its time to switch over. Can some one let me know when the job fair starts again.

     
  • At 12:09 AM, Anonymous Sydney Hotels said…

    Does google did something regarding this matter? I hope they can make action. Admire your courage....

     
  • At 12:55 AM, Anonymous cialis said…

    Hello, I do not agree with the previous commentator - not so simple

     
  • At 11:41 PM, Anonymous Cheap Flights said…

    I think everyone has the right to tell what they have in mind. Maybe they did this in order for them to achieve what they really wanted...Freedom!

     

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