Earlier today in England, a protester threw his shoe at Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao during a guest lecture he was giving at Cambridge University. Fair point, he has legitimate grievances against the Chinese government however, I have to say he went about expressing them the wrong way.
Here’s the thing… he’s a copycat. If he wanted his grievances aired he should have found another way. Yes he gets coverage but that coverage is merely of the fact that he did the same thing another individual did a few months back nothing more. If you look at the story you see virtually nothing of why he was protesting. Additionally, I think the Iraqi man had a bit more to be aggrieved about regarding the Bush administration considering the loss of family and friends during the on going conflict.
This individual is more likely a bandwangoner with only a cursory knowledge of what has occurred in China in the past two centuries. I do not mean to excuse the atrocities that have been committed under the communist leadership of Mao and his followers. But, lets be honest, China is a far cry from what it was even ten years ago. Yes, a lot of work needs to be done yet and current developments in Tibet do not reflect well on Chinese leadership still the situation is far from grim.
As far as Tibetan nationalism is concerned, while I feel for them, Tibet has been a part of China (indirectly in most cases but still a part of it) for a lot longer than Hawaii has been part of the United States. Also, native Tibetan rule prior to Chinese acquisition wasn’t exactly what we’d call a democracy… in fact it was a theocratic regime that instituted a very strict class system similar to that found in India pre-colonization. Either way though… the shoe throwing was just a dumb idea and certainly did nothing more than obscure his message whatever that may have been.