Chinese Traffic Police sponsored by McDonald’s?
It’s Chinese new year on Monday 23rd January 2012. And while I thought putting up a festival like photograph would be nice, I feel considering this past week this would be better.
It’s been a week of upheaval around the world as we witnessed the largest global internet protest in history against censorship of the internet.
Facts from behind the lens of this photograph:
The Story behind the photograph
Xi’an was the first mainland Chinese city I visited after leaving Tibet during the riots in 2008.
It was staggering to see the Chinese media in mainland China stating that there was only a minor disturbance in Lhasa, yet only a few days beforehand I had personally witnessed violent riots.
As such during a walk around Xi’an someone pointed out this humorous scene of a traffic policeman standing at an intersection under the shelter of a McDonald’s umbrella which read “I’m Lovin’it”.
Linking worldwide events together
On January 18th 2012 the world witnessed the largest protest in internet history.
Two U.S. bills were going before the senate, and if passed would give the U.S. government control to censor the internet via these very badly written laws.
The SOPA/PIPA bills have been pushed heavily, with further allegations of political funding by large multinational corporations within the film and music industry to speed up the process.
The information is online to read about both bills and the ensuing fight between technology firms and the film/music industries with Government standing in the middle and gaining financially.
If you’d like further information about this and what I did during this protest, along with many other sites such as Wikipedia and Google I’ve written a page about it here The SOPA/PIPA protests of January 2012.
Much like the great Chinese firewall that censors many free speech, personal and news media websites in China, passing such a law in the U.S. would have had a similar effect across the globe today.
Why? Because there’s a corporate logo being shown. If the SOPA/PIPA laws were passed and a corporation objected to a website showing their logo they could effectively, and without due process, have a website shut down.
As people celebrate the forthcoming new year in China and in communities across the world, I look back on the tragedy’s of the past with a hope for the future. Lessons should be learned.
On Monday the 23rd it’s Chinese New Year. The year of the dragon. It was also when U.S. Senators were to return to discuss PIPA. But due to the mass online protests the bills have been suspended. While now there is a majority against SOPA, there is still a majority for PIPA. So, it’s not over yet.
How can people help? Reading up about both bills, and call a senator to voice an opinion. There’s a lot more information on the website Americancensorship.org.
As you can see this photograph links many things together for me. From censorship, to government & corporate power to the unrestricted control over our freedom.
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This is an additional photograph feature from my world travel photography gallery, documenting the story behind the picture
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