Get on the Bus 2006's first solidarity demonstration was held yesterday, when Amnesty Group 4 from Seattle and the Foundation for a Democratic China protested outside Microsoft as Chinese President Hu Jintao visited its campus.
Here is a guest post from Group 4 member Colleen Roman:
We were in one of the designated protest areas south of the convention center where the meeting was (inside the campus). The motorcade did not go past us, but we could see them pull in. There were strategically parked tour buses across the street from us to block a direct view of the convention center. There was another protest area on 40th St. just outside the entrance to the Microsoft campus, and the motorcade would have driven right past them to get in.
There were probably 30 - 40 people in our protest area -- the 3 of us from Amnesty, and larger groups from Falun Gong and the Federation for Democratic China. They had lots of signs written in both Chinese and English and shouted slogans in Chinese (mostly along the lines of "stop the repression of Falun Gong" or "down with dictatorship"). We were there for a couple hours before Hu arrived, and there were a few curious Microsoft employees walking past that we talked to. Don also did a couple interviews with folks from Japanese TV and the Epoch Times. This morning's paper said there were another 60 folks protesting at the campus entrance, again folks from Falun Gong and the FDC. There was also a pretty big contingent of Chinese Microsoft employees who were the designated "welcome committee" waving US and Chinese flags. They were placed along the driveway into the convention center.
Hu was only at Microsoft for about an hour, so we held up our signs and chanted our slogans as he arrived and departed. I guess he had to get to Bill's house in time for cocktail hour.