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Letter from New Haven

In a quiet park in Connecticut, I see the ruptures of Chinese society in microcosm

By Sulmaan Khan   June 2008

The New Haven green, in Connecticut, is the perfect place for protests. It has an appropriately “revolutionary” history: the Black Panthers once protested here, and Kingman Brewster, then president of Yale, allowed his students to join in at their local park. On a sunny day, it is a gorgeous playground for children—unless their parents insist they sit holding placards reading, “Stop Chinese Communist Party’s crimes against humanity.” And it is bisected neatly by Temple Street, allowing protest and counter-protest to be held simultaneously. In April, when the “Human Rights Torch Relay” (HRTR) pressure group came to the green “to raise…

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