Archive for Peaceful Protests

Fierce On Their People, Meek To Their Enemies

Posted in IV. Columns, Politics, Society with tags , , , , , , , , on July 20, 2012 by Ian Pham

A brief protest took place on July 1, 2012 before being cracked down by Communist police.

The much anticipated anti-China protest slated for the 1st of July never took place, at least not to the scale that we all expected.  Much of this is due to the quick work of the Communist police network, who swiftly barricaded, detained, and blocked many areas and leaders key to the operation.  As a result, small scale demonstrations did take place before also being put to bed by the Communist police.

The following Sunday however, July 8, 2012, a modestly sized protest did take place in Ho Chi Minh City.  That protest too was suppressed by the Communist police in Vietnam.  Vietnamese authorities have been on high alert and placing heavy surveillance on its citizen, especially bloggers and writers.  The possibility of large scale anti-China demonstrations keep the Communist Party in a state of fear and paranoia.

In Vietnam, expressing patriotism and love of one’s country is grounds for imprisonment and government retribution.  The Vietnamese Communist Party would rather have a safe and cosy relationship with the PRC than its own people.  Fears of an angry China have prompted the government in Vietnam to constantly suppress and crackdown on their own people.

There is a saying associated with the Vietnamese Communist Party, “fierce to its people, but meek to the Chinese.”  It is quite self explanatory.  The Vietnamese Communist Party uses excessive force and expends heavy resources all with the goal of suppressing the Vietnamese population.  At the same time, they won’t hesitate to lower themselves to the Chinese Communist Party, for fear of an angry China.

Relations between the U.S. and Vietnam have developed substantially in recent years, though human rights remains an issue in Vietnam.

This can all be demonstreated by the VCP’s constant crackdowns of Vietnamese bloggers, writers, and protest organizers.  These individuals have not even expressed anti-Party sentiments.  All they’ve done is express love for the motherland and tried to defend her from the invading Chinese.

It is true that the Vietnamese government has passed a law laying claim to Paracel and Spratly, and greatly angering the Chinese.  However, the very same government continues to be submissive and dove-like when dealing with China’s assertive claims to the southeastern sea.

When compared to the Phillipines’ government, the Vietnamese Communist Party does not measure up.  President Benjamin Aquino III has handled the Phillipines’ situation with China promptly and assertively.  Though the military and naval strength of the Phillipines is not up to par with China’s, or even Vietnam’s, the country has shown that they are a force to be reackoned with.  As a result, the Filipino citizens are fully in support of their government, with the world also nodding with approval.

The VCP should take a lesson from the Philippines and start standing up to China more sternly.  It is true that their strategy of bringing in the U.S. to the matter brings great benefits.  However, their constant abuse of human rights and continued spineless approach in dealing with the PRC’s aggression continues to impede the country’s growth.  The Vietnamese should take a tougher stance on China, and a more respectable approach in dealing with its own citizens.  Only then will true progress be achieved.

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Major Anti-China Protest Planned for Sunday

Posted in Politics, Society with tags , , , , on June 28, 2012 by Ian Pham

Word has been spreading that the people in Vietnam are ready to stage a major demonstration this Sunday to protest China’s latest act of aggression in the Southeast Asia Sea.  The People’s Republic of China has recently offered bids to foreign oil companies to start operating in areas deep within Vietnam’s Exclusive Economic Zone.  The Vietnamese government has declared these actions illegal, and in strict violation of Vietnam’s law and sovereignty.  Beijing responded by claiming that what they are doing is “normal business activity” and warned Vietnam not to further escalate the situation.

Hanoi cites UNCLOS as evidence against China’s “indisputable” claims of control over the entire Southeast Asia Sea, which Vietnam calls the East Sea.  According to Vietnam, the nine offshore oil blocks that China plans to open to foreign firms is well within Vietnam’s EEZ, violating both international law and Vietnamese law.  This dispute comes as part of a long standing tension building in the Southeast Asia Sea.

After much silence and hesitation on this issue, Hanoi has finally raised its voice, prompting the country’s National Assembly to pass a law claiming official ownership of the Paracel and Spratly islands.  These islands are prominently situated in the Southeast Asia Sea, and have been under Vietnam’s control since the Nguyen Dynasty in the 19th century.  China disregards both Vietnam’s historical claims and its claims based on international law.  The Asian giant continues to assert its claims over the sea in its entirety, putting the country into conflicts with its many neighbors.

The people of Vietnam came out to protest Red China in the summer of 2011.  The weekly demonstrations were permitted by the Vietnamese government for a while, but were formally and forcefully suppressed on the 11th week.

In reaction to the assertions of Red China, the people of Vietnam have come together in preparation for the large demonstration slated for this Sunday.  Protests are set to kick off in two of Vietnam’s major cities, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh (Saigon).  This is reminiscent of protests in Vietnam last summer, which were permitted by the government for a time before being forcibly subdued by Communist police.  Though it is difficult to predict what the protests will yield, it will become clear on Sunday morning.

For those of us who are outside of Vietnam, there is really not much we can physically do.  However, it is important to let the Vietnamese within know that we support them, and that we are behind them in their efforts.  Regardless of what country we are originally from or currently live in, Vietnamese everywhere are fighting for the same cause.  To all the courageous Vietnamese coming out on Sunday, just know that we all support you.  God bless.

Weekly Protests Shutdown By Communist Government; U.S. Calls For Release Of Detainees

Posted in Politics, Society with tags , , , , , , , on August 23, 2011 by Ian Pham

The Vietnamese government has decided to put the weekly protests in Hanoi to a stop.  After 10 weeks of Sunday protests, the Communist Party has finally lost its nerve.  As the people in Vietnam prepared for their anti-China demonstration at Hoan Kiem Lake, a large group of both uniformed and plain-clothed police officers were already there waiting for them.  The policemen rounded up the protestors just as they were about to begin their patriotic chants, shoving many of them into a large bus that had pulled up to the scene.  At least 47 demonstrators were detained as a result, thus signifying that the Communist Party will no longer tolerate peaceful protests in the name of the country.

Prior to the arrests on Sunday, the Communist government in Vietnam had made a public order warning all the participants to stop with the weekly demonstrations.  Despite the prohibition announcement, protestors continued to gather at the lake of Hoan Kiem to rally against China’s expansionism in the Southeast Asia Sea.  That was then that the Communist Party felt it necessary to stop the protests for good.  They have become uneasy and wary of the people’s ongoing activism, fearing that it may turn into a revolutionary force that put their power in jeopardy.  As a result, the protests have been stopped for the week, though it is still unclear what will happen next Sunday.

The United States has called for the release of the detainees who took part in the protests, citing basic human rights and freedoms should be respected.  Since the arrests on Sunday, 39 of those detained have been released, though several are still held for investigation.  The U.S. and Vietnam have strengthened their relations greatly in the last few years, organizing conferences, visits, and military exercises.  However, Vietnam’s flagrant violations of human rights and freedoms continue to put a strain on this relationship.  The U.S. sees much potential in Vietnam, the strengthening of U.S.-Vietnam relations can bring many benefits to Vietnam, but this can only take place when Vietnam finally respects the basic rights and freedoms that the people deserve.

Vietnam Protest Update

Posted in Politics, Society with tags , , , , , on July 27, 2011 by Ian Pham

The protests in Vietnam are still going on, every sunday as a matter of fact.  Even now, the people in Vietnam continue their display of national unity against the PRC.  Paracel and Spratly are an integral part of Vietnam, something that the people will never let go without a fight.  The Chinese government think they can move in on these islands easily, but they are sadly mistaken.  The Vietnamese Communist Party may be afraid of the Chinese, but the people of Vietnam are not.

No one can tell how long these protests will go on for, either way, it is good for the country.  It is rare for the government to let the people come together for a peaceful demonstration, and I judge them for not letting the people express themselves to the fullest extent.  This patriotic display has the potential to spark some substantial change in Vietnam’s political landscape.  Furthermore, this fledgling movement has the potential to change this uneven relationship between Vietnam and the People’s Republic of China.  If the people of Vietnam were bred, nurtured, and utilized to build and defend the country, then this coming war with China may not be so inevitable after all.

The Communist Party in Vietnam are worried that if they were to utilize the strength of the Vietnamese people, it will ultimately lead to the fall of their autocratic rule.  That is one way of looking at it, but they should consider the positives.  Exiting in a peaceful and progressive manner would greatly reduce the amount of bloodshed that would surely come from a violent revolution.  There are numerous scenarios of how the Communists could fall in the near future, and doing so with the modest support, or at least the sympathy of the Vietnamese population is much better than being ripped to shreds by a revolutionary force that has lost all sense of emotion and mercy for this tired and spineless regime.

Vietnam’s Communist government is riddled with problems, both politically and economically.  The deplorable human rights record, double-digit inflation that is only getting worse, intimidation and aggression by the Chinese military, and discontent among the population back home.  This is just the tip of the iceberg, and any of these can act as a catalyst that sparks the eventual collapse of the Vietnamese Communist Party.  This is the situation and the Communist Party are presented a choice.  Either they get dragged out kicking and screaming by a bloody revolution (or worse yet, a Chinese invasion), or go respectfully (and I use that term loosely) and let the people decide peacefully.  It will take a tremendous amount of courage for them to do the right thing, but in the end it will save their lives.  They should think about that.

Suppressing Patriotism, What a Shame

Posted in IV. Columns, Politics, Society with tags , , , , , , , on June 28, 2011 by Ian Pham

Above is a photo snapped during the first of this series of sunday protests in Vietnam, on June 5, 2011.  This is an interesting photo, if one were to just take a look at some of the simple details in the picture, you will see what I mean.  On one side, we have the anger and passion in the eyes of the protesters, expressing their love for their country under attack.  On the other end, we have the Communist Police, looking down in shame because they realize that what they are doing is wrong.  In suppressing the protests in Vietnam, the Communist Police are only preventing their own people from protecting their country.  Thus, the Communist Police, through the orders of the Communist Party, are suppressing patriotism.

It is a shame that in a country like Communist Vietnam, one can get arrested for showing love for one’s country.  Many of the dissidents detained in recent years are only guilty of one thing, if you can even call it guilt in the first place, loving their nation.  It is good that the VCP decided to let the people protest against China as of late, but even this has been long overdue.  The latest protests in Vietnam, happening only days ago, were not as big as they were supposed to be.  The security forces in Vietnam have become weary of the size of the demonstrations, which have been steadily growing in successive weeks.  As a result, they have taken measures to contain the size of these protests, making sure that the movement does not gain too much momentum.

This is unfortunate, Vietnam has so much strength and potential, yet the Communist Party refuses to acknowledge this.  They are afraid that if the movement gets too strong, it would ultimately lead to the fall of Communist rule in Vietnam.  For this reason, they are expending their energy controlling the population instead of using this energy to strengthen the country.  Right now, there are millions of people willing to give their lives to defend the nation.  They are brave, fearless, with undying love for their homeland.  Instead of  suppressing these people, the Communist Party should be embracing them.  Judging from the looks of things, even the Communist Police are feeling shame for holding down the patriotic movement in Vietnam.  If the Communist Party could summon the courage to accommodate the positive forces instead of fighting them, the end result will be much less painful for them.  Something they should think about.

Fighting For Vietnam

Posted in Politics, Society with tags , , , , , , , , on June 26, 2011 by Ian Pham

Protest is the word for Vietnam this weekend, as young Vietnamese people from all across the globe have risen to show their disgust for the crimes of Red China.  From Paris to Tokyo, the people of Vietnam have come together in unity, expressing their undying love for their homeland in the face of Chinese aggression.  The story however, is even bigger inside of Vietnam.  Hours from now, possibly even as we speak, large-scale demonstrations are set to take place in the cities of Hanoi and Saigon.

It is unclear how large these protests are going to be, or how long they will last.  Even more unpredictable however, is what will happen once these demonstrations actually take place.  The Communist Party in Vietnam has been extremely uncharacteristic as of late, allowing the people to protest against China, but even they have their limits.  Last week, as the third round of protests were underway, the Communist Police in Saigon surrounded the homes of all prominent protest leaders and prevented them from participating.  As a result, the scale of the protests in Saigon was dramatically reduced and quickly dispersed by the security forces of the VCP.

The protests set for today are supposed to be the biggest by far, calling upon everyone in Vietnam to stand up and rise against the tyrannies of Red China.  This can be a monumental event, but it can also have a terrible, violent outcome.  As mentioned in the past, the Communists are professional killers, specially trained and bred to eliminate any threat in the name of the Party.  A protest of this scale will almost definitely spark some type of Communist reaction.  It is possible that there may be patriots within the Party itself, but even so, experience and history reminds us that the VCP can never be trusted.

For now, the best we can do is support the people inside of Vietnam.  If a real change were to come, the people inside Vietnam will be the ones to lead the way.  We in the west too have the capacity to help the motherland, but for now, we are only on the outside looking in.  In order to understand what Vietnam truly needs, one must understand how brutal the regime truly is.  The people on the inside have shed blood, sweat, and tears through this regime every single day.  For this reason, they will be the ones to make a change.

There is no telling what will happen tonight, the only thing one can be sure of is that the people will not give up.  For too long, the people of Vietnam have been terrorized by the Party, living through their ruthless repression, and watching them sell out to China.  It is time the Party understood the determination of the Vietnamese people.  If the government cannot defend the country, the people surely will.  We will prevail.

Anti-China Protests in Hanoi and Saigon

Posted in Politics, Society with tags , , , , , , on June 5, 2011 by Ian Pham

The Vietnamese people have taken to the streets in reponse to the Chinese invasion of the Paracel and Spratly islands.  Earlier today, the people of Vietnam gathered outside of the Chinese Embassy in Hanoi to demonstrate against the recent acts of aggression of the PRC in the South China Sea.  Hundreds also met up in Ho Chi Minh City, aka Saigon, to protest against Communist China.

Wearing red t-shirts and carrying flags and banners, the protesters stood outside the embassy chanting slogans comdemning China for their expansionist and belligerent nature.  The police and security forces watched the demonstration take place for a time before dispersing the people and making them leave the protest areas.  In Hanoi, the protesters then marched towards Hoan Kiem Lake, a historical landmark of Le Loi and Nguyen Trai’s time, singing the national anthem and chanting anti-Chinese slogans.

From what has been shown so far, the Vietnamese government did not crush the demonstrations in a violent manner.  Though it is never certain, there is no coverage that the Communist police used many repressive tactics to hurt the protesters in Vietnam.  For once, it seems, the Communist Party is actually on the side of the people in regards to this China problem, within their own limits however. 

The future is always uncertain when it comes to the Communists.  One can only hope that similar events such as these occur more often.  What the Communists decide to do now will determine their fate in the near future.  They would be wise not to antagonize their people anymore.  Instead, they should try to make incremental changes to improve the country and better the lives of the people.  Doing so will significantly reduce the bloodshed and violence that will surely take place if this tyranny were to continue any longer.  Governments rise and fall, but the people are forever!