Wasington, D.C. August 25, 2010–Victims of forced evictions by the Chinese government and their supporters will stage a sit-in at 11:00 am at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on Tuesday, August 31, 2010. A press conference will follow the sit-in at 1:00 pm in Ralph Bunche Park at 1st Ave., E. 42 St., directly opposite UN Headquarters
Under the banner of the Sparrow Initiative, Chinese citizens have banded together to protest the forced eviction of more than 18,000 families in Shanghai to clear land for the Shanghai World Expo, which opened on May 1st. “The Chinese government gave a Pavilion to the UN for Free”, said Dr. Yang Jianli, Sparrow Initiative organizer and President of the citizen’s movement, Initiatives for China. “However it was not free. It was paid for by homes of 18,000 families who were evicted with virtually no due process or fair compensation.” continued Dr. Yang.
The Under Secretary General and the Director of UN-HABITAT, Dr. Anna Kajumulo Tibaijuka, has failed to respond to two formal requests from members of the Sparrow Initiative for a meeting to address their situation. “It is disappointing and astounding that Dr. Tibaijuka accepted a ‘free Pavilion’ from the Chinese government and flew to Shanghai to speak there at the opening of the Expo, but cannot find the time to speak with the very people whose forced sacrifice made the Expo possible and who UN HABITAT is charged with protecting.” remarked Dr. Yang.