Urgent Attention Of:
Dear Ms Gilmore,
We are contacting your office in response to the widespread concern expressed by our international subscribers, followers and friends, who are deeply concerned by a report that your City Council has suggested raising on October 1 the flag of the People’s Republic of China. An action which honors communist China’s regime
Naturally people are very disappointed why this has been suggested and are asking why a City Council representing a community that values democratic freedoms and principles of justice and human rights would display a national emblem that represents tyranny, oppression, censorship and human rights violations of a harrowing magnitude. As you may imagine this issue is generating considerable attention, media reportage and a genuine sense of unease from within your community and beyond. In light of the scale and nature of the reaction we are seeing and being committed to informing our state, national and global audience, we have published this as an open communication. Note also that as a courtesy we have made copies of this appeal to your fellow Council members.
The central question we are being asked via emails and discussions on Twitter is why the good City of Alameda would seek to associate its community and name with a regime notorious for its oppression and inflicting a range of human rights violations upon the people of China and waging a genocidal assault upon the culture and people of Tibet and other occupied lands such as East Turkestan and Southern Mongolia.
No doubt the proposal was reached via formal procedure of the City Council, unfortunately democratic process in itself does not always serve a just result and this case is one such example. May we for example ask if you genuinely are satisfied that your community has been granted full, informed and due notice on the issue? Have they been invited to make presentations and been furnished with information detailing the serious ethical questions involved with endorsing a regime such as China’s? If not then we would hope you may agree that any participation in a decision making debate would have been disadvantaged, with community members unable to reach an informed or balanced position.
It is often the case that the Mayoral office retains an option of suspension on subsequent actions arising from such a vote, we therefore urgently appeal that such a postponement is applied to you to allow the community of Alameda the important opportunity to be better informed and resourced. This would then facilitate a more just and educated participation in further discussions on the proposal. It may have come to your attention that the Mayor of San Leandro recently took such a decision and was rightly applauded by his fellow townsfolk and indeed received support from around the world.
We would suppose that those who advocate flying China’s flag at City Hall argue it to be an apolitical action (rather like suggesting that wetness is nothing to do with water) but an event to respect and promote China’s culture and acknowledging the contributions of Chinese Americans in your community. Others may suggest that such an action would assist in promoting commercial links with Chinese business. Is it not possible to and within reason to realize such an objective, without however the odious political overtones which China’s national flag represents?
Such a question we hope you may agree deserves to be at the heart of any informed discussion on this matter, yet we wonder if either the local community and or the Council itself has had the opportunity to fully explore possible options, or indeed allowed the voice of Alameda to reach a more consensual and informed decision. That could only be possible if your office issues a postponement relating to any further action on the proposal. It is our sincere hope that you may implement a suspension to address the reasonable points we raise.
Thank you for your patience in considering this appeal and for your commitment to democratic freedom and human rights.