Definitions


Amnesty- A general pardon granted by the government, especially for political offenses.

Bureaucracy- Administration of a government chiefly through bureau departments staffed with non-elected officials.

Arbitrary- Established by a court or judge rather than a specific law; not limited by law.

Parliament- A national representative body having supreme state legislative powers.

Communism - A totalitarian system of government in which a single authoritarian party controls state-owned means of production.

Civil Rights - The nonpolitical rights of a citizen.

Disenfranchise - To deprive of the right to vote.

Weiquan - Civil Rights protection.

Coerce - To restrain or dominate by force.

Falun Gong - It is a form of qigong practice and is, in some aspects, similar to Buddhism and Taoism.

Chinese house churches -Unregistered Christian churches in the People's Republic of China, which operate independently of the government.

Segregation-The policy or practice of separating people of different races, classes, or ethnic groups, as in schools, housing, and public or commercial facilities, especially as a form of discrimination

Hate Crimes- A hate crime is an act of violence or threat of violence that is intended to injure and/or intimidate the victim(s) because of their race, ethnicity, national origin, religious, sexual orientation, or disability.

Equal Rights Amendment (ERA)-The proposed Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to the U.S. Constitution was intended to explicitly guarantee equality to all persons, regardless of gender. After passing in Congress in 1972, the amendment did not receive enough votes for ratification by the individual states, and was never signed into law.


People Who Impacted the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960's

Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968)

Considered the most influential civil rights leader of the 1960's, Martin Luther King Jr. led an entire nation of African-Americans. King led many organizations and speeches advocating for African-American rights. He was chosen to be president of the Montgomery Improvement Association for protests of bus segregation after Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white man. After King gained much success from the association, he was inspired to organize the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in 1957. The country started to gain notice of the civil rights movement and most of it is due to King's influence. The civil rights movement reached an all-time high in 1963 where he organized many civil rights demonstrations in Birmingham, Alabama. With television coverage King was able to gain the attention of America and change the way the general public acted. This was also the year King delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech. King received a Nobel Peace Prize for the speech and forever changed the civil rights movement.

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Rosa Parks (1913-2005)

Rosa Parks is credited by many for igniting the modern civil rights movement. She did it simply by refusing to give up her seat to a white man on a bus on December 1, 1955. Parks had started a whole movement without knowing it. Her actions on that bus even gained notice of president Nixon at the time. Nixon discussed with Parks the possibility of using her case as a test to break segregation. She was the prime reason for the Montgomery bus boycotts and led many other civil rights actions. Parks was very involved with civil rights and volunteered whenever she could.

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Malcolm X (1925-1965)

Along Malcolm X had a very short life, he was a large part of the civil rights movement. Malcolm X had a very controversial life. He wasn't just a civil rights leader for just the African-Americans, but he was also a organizer for the Nation of Islam. Malcolm's childhood was filled with racism. Malcolm believed that blacks were the first race and whites had robbed the blacks. Malcolm, unlike most civil rights leaders, believed in violence to solve the problem. He did not agree with Martin Luther King's idea of integration, but instead believed in separation from them.

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Events of the Civil Rights Movement

Montgomery Bus Boycotts-December 1955

It was a bus ride that seemed as normal as any at the time. Taking place in the 50’s where the seating arrangement was simply segregated, blacks in the back and whites in the front. It wasn’t until December 1, 1955 when Rosa Parks took a seat in the front and disrupted the system. This gave birth to the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1956 where segregated riders of Montgomery public transportation banned together to act against their unjust circumstances. It was a Baptist Church pastor known as Martin Luther King lead the determined city to liberty when the supreme court ruled the segregation unconstitutional. The boycott lasted for almost a year.

The “Little Rock Nine”-October 1957

In response to the 1957 case of Brown vs. Board, nine black high school students were chosen to be integrated into Central High School. With the Supreme Court at their back, the students arrived on campus where an angry mob blockaded the entrance. The defiance of the federal order was lead by the governor of Arkansas who ordered the National Guard to keep the “Little Rock Nine” from entering the school. President Dwight Eisenhower would counter the governor’s orders by deploying troops from the 101st Airborne to protect the students. This would be the first of several, where the governor would object to a peaceful process of integration.
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Freedom Riders- 1961

In the 1960’s, when Boynton v. Virginia (a ruling that public transportation could not segregate passengers) was passed, many blacks did not trust the supreme courts ruling would hold out. Some decided to put the new order to test by riding interstate buses into the segregated southern United States. Most of the brave riders (which included some white civil rights activists) were sponsored by the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). The first ride began in May of 1961, when an ensemble of riders left a bus in DC headed for New Orleans. It would be a short ride, when riders were arrested for illegal assembly, trespassing, and violations of state Jim Crow laws. Riders would not yield to the government confrontation, they continued to ride throughout the county. The Freedom Riders did not encounter anything as violent as the protesters in Anniston, Alabama. When the bus arrived to the city it’s tires where slashed and the bus was bogged down by mobbing protesters. Eventually when the bus came to a complete stop, the mob became to firebomb the bus through the window, as they blockaded the bus exits. A government authority finally drew his gun and allowed the riders to flee the burning bus, but they would not exit to safety. The mob beat the exiting riders with pipes and baseball bats, hospitalizing riders. A group that began as 13 grew over 400 during the rides. It inspired many citizens, white and black to begin to take action.

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“I Have A Dream”-1963

The march on Washington was the beginning to the historic public speech Martin Luther King delivered. A speech which expressed his dream for a future where blacks and whites could coexist without segregation or violence. "Dr. King had the power, the ability and the capacity to transform those steps on the Lincoln Memorial into a modern day pulpit. By speaking the way he did, he educated, he inspired, and he informed not just the people there, but people throughout America and unborn generations.” King influenced a crowd of over 200 thousand civil rights supporters on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. This event is a major icon for the civil rights movement.

Changes Due to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s


Civil Rights Act of 1964

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was a major change that occurred due to the civil rights movement of the 1960’s. It outlawed the segregation of schools and public places of the United States. The bill was passed by congress and signed by President Johnson of July 2, 1964. First intended to help only African Americans, but also helped women and other minorities. It was divided of various titles. Some of the more important titles were. Title 1: Made it illegal to have unequal voter registration requirements. Title 2: Outlawed the discrimination from hotels, restaurants, theaters and all other public accommodations engaged in interstate commerce. Title 3: Outlawed state and municipal governments from prohibiting access to public facilities based on race, religion or ethnicity. Title 4: Encouraged the desegregation of public schools. Title 6: Prevented discrimination by government agencies that receive federal funding. Title 7: Prohibited discrimination by covered employers on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin.

Voting Rights Act of 1965

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was another change in the United States due to the civil rights movement of the 1960’s. This act prohibited the requirement of would-be voters to take a literacy test before they were able and qualified to vote. Which was still legal after the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It also provided for federal registration of voters in areas that had less than 50% of eligible minority voters registered, and gave the Department of Justice oversight of registration and required them to approve any changes in district voting laws. It was passed and signed by President Johnson on August 6, 1965, and renewed four times in 1970, 1975, 1982, and 2006.

Supreme Court Ruling of Brown v. Board of Education

The unanimous ruling from the Supreme Court in the Brown v. Board of Education case was one of the first changes from the civil rights movement of the 1960’s, and one of the most influential. It eliminated the previous rulings of the Plessy v. Ferguson case that stated you could have separate facilities for whites and blacks as long as they were equal. It stated that "separate educational facilities are inherently unequal." Prior to this ruling most of the racial discrimination occurred by having separate facilities for whites and blacks. Eliminating this form of racial discrimination paved the way for the rest of the civil rights movement.
Educational separation in the US prior to Brown
Educational separation in the US prior to Brown

For more information on the civil rights movement of the 1960's please visit these sites:

http://faculty.smu.edu/dsimon/Change-Civ%20Rts.html and http://faculty.smu.edu/dsimon/Change-Civ%20Rts.html

The Growing Chinese Civil Rights Movement


The general awareness of the rising civil rights movement has increased very much over the past few years. Petitioners, activists, and their lawyers have been busier than ever. Tens of thousands of people protest every year, but experts have noticed a substantial rise in those numbers recently. The government does not like any second of this either.

The government is in a difficult situation. According to rights lawyer Guo, “Their attitude is already quite hysterical, because if they arrest us, then we might become martyrs in the cause of justice, but if they don’t lock us up, people might get to hear about us. So they are caught between a rock and a hard place.” Guo considers himself China's public enemy number one because of his actions.

So what does the government do? They hire gangs to meet the petitioners and activists with violent attacks. But all this is doing is causing the movement to be more escalated and more attention is drawn to it. This is only the beginning of the Chinese civil rights movement. The public is growing stronger and stronger for their basic rights as people. The question weather the government is willing to keep this type of action going or are they going to give the people what they want?

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People of the Civil Rights Movement in China


Chen Guangcheng

Becoming a hero to many in the Shandong province of China Chen Guangcheng is one of the many leaders in the civil rights movement in China. Chen campaign for women who were forced into abortions by the Chinese government, because they considered were ineligible to bear another child by China’s family planning policy. Many of these women were forced into abortions days before their due date. Chen also was discriminated against himself. He was not allowed to attend college because of the fact that he was blind. Despite filling a lawsuit against government officials, only one person was arrested for breaking the law. However, Chen paid a greater price. Preceding his encounter with the government Chen was placed under house arrest for several months and groups of thugs routinely would show up at his house to ruff him up.

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Gao Zhisheng

Gao Zhisheng has defended numerous civil rights cases in China. He has defended people for the government’s coercion in the implementation of China’s family planning policies. Also he has provided legal help for Falun Gong and Chinese house churches. Both of which deal with religious issues that the Chinese government sought to be illegal. His law firm had been suspended for one year by the Chinese government for dealing with human rights issues. Gao like many other Chinese civil rights activists has been arrested numerously by the Chinese government. And on June 24, 2007 was kidnapped by the Chinese government to prevent him from receiving the American Board of Trial Advocates prestigious Courageous Advocacy Award.

Effects of the Civil Rights Movement in China


One-Child Policy

China enforced a birth control policy in 1979 when officials saw danger in the steep rise of the Chinese population. The People considered the policy immoral and unjust. The policy’s effectiveness is questionable, especially when the masses (who live in rural ares) showed little cooperation. More arguments include the issues caused from such birth control which included: sex biased abortions (a boy to girl ratio of 7 to 5), female infanticide, and abandonment. The policy still exists even with the number of objections, but in 2002 an amendment was made for rural Chinese woman to have more than one child, although they weren’t impacted in the first place.

New Labor Laws

China is currently working on protecting the rights of their laboring workers who are known for their poor pay and working condition. Recently they enforced a labor law that complies with just rights for workers, which includes severance pay and open ended labor contracts. The increased cost of worker care and pay can run some manufacturers out of china. This includes companies like Nike and Olympus cameras who are taking their production to Vietnam where they can continue cheap production costs. Many production industries are asking laborers to resign before the law comes into full effect.

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The Comparison and Infuence between the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960's, and the Chinese Civil Rights Movement

The civil rights movement had a very influential role on the current Chinese civil rights movement. In fact, the Chinese movement may never have occurred if it weren’t for the movement of the 1960’s. The African American movement of the 1960’s inspired many people to rise up against their suppressors, and stand for what they believe. In the case of the Chinese, it showed them that the people of the country were not inferior to the government of the country, and that they needed to rise up for their cause. It gave them the courage to stand up against their communist leaders and fight for their rights. It is evident to see how the African American movement inspired the Chinese movement, by how they mirror one another. Both people were suppressed by their respected governments, and had laws pinned against them to prevent them from attaining their human and civil rights. Also, in both cases there are strong leaders that were/are able to rise above and beyond for what they believe to inspire their peers to follow. And in both movements many of these leaders have been locked in jail for their courageous efforts. In both movements, various protests and fights have been called to issue change for the better. And these fights have been rewarded. In both scenarios, the government as made changes in its laws in a response to the people’s pleas, and to better these people. It is very evident to see the similarities between these two movements, and how the civil rights movement of the 1960’s truly did influence and inspire the Chinese movement of today.

Bibliography

Merriam- Webster Online. 2005. John Morse. 29 Jan 2008 <http://m-w.com/>.

Simon, Dennis. "The Civil Rights Movement, 1954-1963." Aug 2002. SMU. 29 Jan 2008 <http://faculty.smu.edu/dsimon/change-Civ%20RTs.html>.

"Civil Rights Act of 1964." wikipedia.org. 29 Jan 2008. Wikipedia. 30 Jan 2008 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_rights_act_of_1964>.

"Brown v. Board of Education." wikipedia.org. 29 Jan 2008. Wikipedia. 29 Jan 2008 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brown_v_board>.

"Voting Rights Act." wikipedia.org. 29 Jan 2008. Wikipedia. 29 Jan 2008 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voting_Rights_Act>.

Mudie, Luisetta . "Grass Roots Pressures Forge China's Civil Rights Movement." 25/09/2006 03/02/2008 <http://www.rfa.org/english/news/social/2006/09/25/china_civilrights/>.

"Gao Zhisheng." Wikipedia.com. 30 Jan 2008. Wikipedia. 5 Feb 2008 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gao_Zhisheng>.<span style="COLOR: black; mso-font-kerning: 18.0pt; mso-bidi-font-weight: bold">

Beech, Hannah. "Chen Guangcheng." TIME 30 Apr 2006 05 Feb 2008 http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1186887,00.html.