The Chinese Democracy Movement "Unity Meeting" Washington DC, June 4-6,
Dear Free China Movement Supporter,
You are cordially invited to attend the Free China Movement "Unity Meeting" on June 4-6, 1998, in Washington DC at George Washington University, and on Capitol Hill. The conference will begin Thursday morning, 9:00am, June 4th, 1998 at the GW Marvin Center, room 405.
This historical event is being sponsored by the Program on "Transitions To Democracy at George Washington University, the Free China Forum, Americans For A Free China, and several prominent Chinese exiles. Several U. S. Congressmen, including Christopher Cox and Tom Lantos are co-sponsoring a meeting on Capitol Hill regarding US policy towards China as part of the Unity Conference. They have asked several Chinese exiles to speak about human rights violations, and other conditions that are negatively impacting the Chinese people.
There will also be a press conference sponsored by the "Free China Forum," and "American For A Free China" on Thursday, June 4, 1998, 1:30pm at the National Press Club. Several prominent Chinese exiles including Wang Dan and Shengde Lian will join American Congressmen, scholars, human rights and religious freedom activists to call for democratic reforms in China, and the release of political and religious political prisoners of conscience.
The purpose of the "Unity Meeting" is to begin the discussion of how the Chinese Democracy Movement can become a more effective, potent, and significant political force both in China and in world politics. According to the March 14, 1998 edition of the Washington Post, the Chinese government is afraid of a unified and "more potent exile movement" oversees. There have been tremendous efforts by several individuals and organizations who have worked tirelessly for the cause of freedom and democracy in China. However, history has taught us that dictatorships, be they on the left or the right, have been successfully dismantled only when great numbers of people worked together to achieve freedom. It is not fair for 1.3 billion citizens of China to wait any longer for the oversees exile community to unite; we must act as their "public servants," and begin to immediately work to bring democracy, freedom, and social justice to China!
The goal of the "Unity Meeting" is to create a structured Free China Political Movement that will be an "umbrella network" of Chinese exile organizations and activists. The Unity Meeting is bringing together those Chinese Democracy Movement activists and scholars who are serious about building a movement as powerful as the peaceful pro-freedom movements in South Africa, Solidarity in Poland, or the democratic social movement led by Aung San Suu Kyi in Burma.
Several American civil and human rights organizations, academics, and free labor activists have joined together with Chinese exiles to organize the "Unity Meeting; and will conduct organizing and strategy seminars at the conference. An all-inclusive Free China Movement will be more effective in coordinating our peaceful activities inside and outside of China; and to raise needed funds. There are several American organizations and individuals, many of them high ranking labor officials and scholars who are forming a "Free China Advisory Board," raising funds for a joint Free China Washington DC Office, and have established the "Chinese Democracy Labor & Organizing Institute" in Washington DC.
Unity meeting organizers hope that we will begin to know one another, and to accomplish four practical goals during the week-end:
· Choose a name for the network
· Endorse a brief "statement of moral purpose"
· Agree on an "action agenda" to challenge the PRC dictatorship
Under our new umbrella movement
· Establish a coordinating committee that can address crucial political developments that effect the Chinese people
We also believe that it is imperative for us to work together
in a respectful, professional, and peaceful manner at all times. If for
what ever reason you do not believe in the above stated goals, we respect
your decision not to attend this meeting, and look forward to working with
you or your organization in a spirit of friendly solidarity.
Attached is a proposed conference agenda and statement of purpose that have been drafted by the Unity Conference Steering Committee. Please submit your thoughts and ideas about these documents, and come prepared to discuss and vote on these proposals. We are trying hard to stay true to the spirit of democracy!
Housing and food will be provided at the conference. Please RSVP by May 31, 1998. For more information, please call Shengde Lian at 703 645-9054, or Joel Segal at 703 329-6836. "Unity Meeting," June 4-6, George Washington University, Marvin Center, room 405, 800 21st Street, Washington DC, NW (GWU Metro Stop, Blue Line)
Shengde Lian Joel Segal
Unity Conference Co-ordinator Executive Director, "Americans For A Free China."