On 23 June, Olympic Day, campaigners from all over the world took part in a Global Day of Action to protest against Beijing being the host of the 2022 Winter Olympics.
In London, a coalition of campaign groups, including Free Tibet, pushed the No Beijing 2022 campaign by dropping a 20-metre banner from Westminster Bridge calling on the MPs in the Palace of Westminster to support a boycott of Beijing 2022. They then gathered at Parliament Square.
The action generated significant attention with several members of the public approaching to ask about the campaign and how they could support it.
This evening, protesters will gather outside Downing Street to call on the Prime Minister to show leadership, demanding that he does not attend the Winter Games and that he encourages the British Olympic Association not to send a team to Beijing. A growing number of MPs have called on the UK to carry out either a diplomatic or full boycott of next year’s Winter Games.
In February 2022, Beijing will become the first city in the world to have hosted both the Summer and Winter Olympics. When Tibetans protested during the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, when China previously hosted the Olympics, they were brutally put down. Since then more than 1 million Tibetans have been entered into coercive labour and relocation programmes designed to disrupt traditional ways of life. Over a million Uyghur people have been detained in concentration camps and up to 500,000 are being forced to pick cotton.
A boycott is already supported by politicians from the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat parties, as well as the Czech senate, and US politicians Nancy Pelosi and Mitt Romney.
The Global Day of Action kicked off in Australia and will see campaigners in several countries, including Japan, several European countries and across the Americas, carry out actions ranging from banner drops, protests and digital actions, as COVID-19 restrictions continue in certain parts of the world. These actions are being coordinated with Tibet, Uyghur, Southern Mongolian, Taiwanese, Chinese and Hong Kong groups around the world today.