Target: First Lady Michelle Obama
Goal: Commend Michelle Obama for supporting freedom of speech in China
Surprising the world everywhere, First Lady Michelle Obama gave a speech at a Chinese university about the importance of unfettered internet and free speech. Experts believed that the First Lady was not going to bring up controversial topics during her trip to China, but like her two predecessors, Obama gave her full support towards internet freedom.
Free speech has been heavily restricted in China, and these restrictions affect the internet. The government has blocked more than 2,600 websites including Google Docs, Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Dropbox, and Amnesty International. Many of these pages are popular throughout the world, and have been used by advertisers, journalists, and celebrities. In an effort to quash anti-government sentiments and creating a nation who share the same political views, China placed heavy restrictions on freedom of speech and expression. These rights are inherent to every human being and should never be violated.
Those who have violated these laws can be incarcerated, forced to disappear, and abused by government authorities. Journalists have long since been targeted, as their work exposes corruption and spread ideals that do not conform to that of China.
It was believed that First Lady Obama would stay away from controversial topics such as human rights during her visit to China. The trip was centered on education, but during her speech, Obama tied freedom of expression to that of education and progress. She stated that the ability to express views and opinions is essential to the prosperity of a nation and that access to the internet should be unfettered. She also stated that the internet allows an individual to discover the truth and find out what is really happening in their communities. Her gutsy speech and support for freedom of speech should be commended by signing the petition below.
Dear First Lady Michelle Obama,
I want to commend your speech given at the Peking University in China, where you supported unfettered internet and freedom of speech and expression. Your speech comes as a surprise to many of us; we expected you to stay away from controversial subjects and focus only on education. In a clever fashion, you intertwined freedom of speech to that of progress and education.
While I understand the Chinese government heavily disagrees with your sentiments, this right is one that is inherent and should never be denied. I do not agree with the heavy restrictions placed on China and its citizens, and I hope that your words will inspire some to be pioneers of free speech.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Joyce N. Boghosian via Wikimedia