5 Americans Are Arrested for Protest in Beijing (Video Added)

Five Americans have been arrested in Beijing for staging another pro-Tibet protest. From the New York Times:

On Tuesday, five protesters hoisted a banner near the National Stadium, known as the Bird’s Nest, around 11 p.m. and projected their message in Chinese and English using blue lights. The display lasted just 20 seconds before the police intervened, organizers said. The arrested protesters were Amy Johnson, 33, Sam Corbin, 24, Liza Smith, 31, Jacob Blumenfeld, 26, and Lauren Valle, 21.

Less information was available about the other three detained protesters, who intended to use lasers to spell out “Free Tibet” on a Beijing landmark. Organizers said it was unclear which landmark was to have been used.

The project’s mastermind, James Powderly, 31, is a Brooklyn artist who recently showed his work at an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York entitled “Design and the Elastic Mind.” His wife, Michelle Kempner, said he had planned to show his work at the National Art Museum of China in Beijing but withdrew after learning the contents of the show would be subject to official approval.

In a related story, the Boston Globe has an interview with a protester who was deported from Beijing after participating in a similar protest:

Langer, 34, and five other demonstrators from his group were arrested and forced out of China on Friday after hanging a 375-square-foot “Free Tibet” sign from the façade of the headquarters of state-run China Central Television. The organization also protested at the Birds Nest Stadium, in Tiananmen Square, and at the Chinese Ethnic Culture Park.

“It was a little disconcerting,” Langer said of his arrest. “I was detained in Beijing for nine hours.”


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