Busted in Beijing

Vanity Fair interviews two American activists who were arrested in Beijing after participating in pro-Tibet protests during the Olympics:

For years, Watterberg has lived a double life. By trade, he’s a bartender and rocker in Manhattan and Brooklyn. By calling, the 30-year-old Eagle Scout and son of an Air Force bomber pilot is an underground “sleeper cell,” a mercenary of sorts, for the pro-environment, human-rights activist set.

Six months earlier, Watterberg had been tapped to perform the grand finale in what organizers with Students for a Free Tibet, the umbrella group orchestrating protests at the 2008 Summer Olympics, hoped would be one of the largest coordinated nonviolent demonstrations in history.

“If we get in, if we succeed, it will be the highest honor of my life,” Watterberg told me.

Read also an interview with artist activist James Powderly about his experience in Beijing including a stint in prison.


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