A British woman expelled from China for protesting on Tiananmen Square just hours before the Olympics opening ceremony has taken up her protest across the street from the Chinese Embassy in London.
Daisy Wood intends to remain there until the end of the Olympic Games on August 24.
Ms Wood, who has been based mainly in Nepal and India for the last three years, had researched the plight of the Tibetans, Uighurs and Falun Gong before departing for China. She felt it was important to see with her own eyes, as a witness.
“The Chinese people are great, they can't help the lack of knowledge they've got," she told The Epoch Times. "They're only told what they're allowed to be told, it's not their fault. But actually the human rights violations have got worse since the Olympics was awarded to [China].”
Ms Wood said that if the Chinese authorities had fulfilled their promises to improve human rights when they were initially awarded the Games in 2001, the situation could have been a positive one.
After staying up all night making her banner with felt-tip pens, Ms Wood left her hotel at 5.30 am on the day of the opening ceremony.
She said the atmosphere in Beijing was oppressive due to the heat, the thronging crowds and the overbearing security presence. Her discomfort was amplified by the fact that her freshly-shaved head was disguised by a heavy wig.
Ms Wood spent a tense couple of hours trying to pick her moment — hoping for maximum exposure to as many western journalists as possible. At 10.30 am she jumped over a fence in a prominent area near Tiananmen Square, in view of Mao's portrait.
The sight of her banner drew gasps from the crowd, she said, before she was seized by two policemen.
She was not treated roughly, although her money was stolen and it was made very clear that she would “not be welcome in China ever again.” The police seemed resentful that they had to miss the opening ceremony of the Games. She was put on a plane at 2 am.
“Every day I feel lucky to have my passport and every right that gives me—to be able to speak and move freely," she said.
The seed for Ms Wood's journey to Beijing was planted three years ago in Dharamsala, India, and the trip was financed by her work as a live-in caregiver in London. Although initially others were to be involved, Ms Wood decided that it would be safer to carry out the demonstration alone.