Anti-Beijing Protesters Exchange Insults With Pro-Regime Guests
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Celebrators attending a dinner to honor the 40th anniversary of Communist China exchanged verbal insults with about 75 pro-democracy demonstrators outside a Chinatown restaurant.
″Where is your conscience?″ chanted protesters, who carried placards at Sunday’s rally denouncing the Chinese government for killing pro-democracy students in and around Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in June.
″Murderers, murderers, that’s what you are,″ yelled a woman waving a sign reading, ″Freedom For China, Now.″
Gilbert Kuo of the Chinese Alliance of Democracy, one of several groups that organized the rally, said the protesters were angry about the mass arrests and executions in China after the government crackdown June 4.
Most of about 500 guests invited to the $15-a-plate banquet honoring the founding of the People’s Republic of China pushed through the crowd to attend the dinner. Some stopped and exchanged volleys of insults with the demonstrators.
Lee Morgan, who attended the dinner despite the hecklers, said they have a right to voice their views but that he disapproved of their methods.
″If they are sincere, why don’t they go to China and petition the government?″ he said. ″If you have a fight with your wife, you go home to fight; you don’t go to a friend’s house.″
John S.C. Ong, an organizer of the banquet, said the demonstrators ″have a right to protest and we have a right to celebrate. This is America.″