Olympic Torch Protests Continue

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For those hoping the Beijing Olympics won’t be politicized, it’s too late. If the relay of the Olympic torch is any indication, this year’s summer games are going to be filled with acts of protest. Today, the flame was extinguished twice by protestors as it was carried through Paris. Both times, Olympic organizers relit the torch with backup flames also lit by the flame in Olympia, Greece.

Large protests also met the flame in London on Sunday. While it would be nice if we could condemn China’s human rights record without dishonoring the symbols of the Olympic games, it’s a fine line. We can either ignore the games or we can use them as an opportunity to speak out against China’s continuing oppression of its people as well as its immoral foreign policy. I don’t think extinguishing the Olympic flame is helpful but lining the streets with protestors is important.

The torch is scheduled to pass through San Francisco, California on Wednesday. We’ll see if Americans react with similar defiance. The city, which is no stranger to activism, is preparing for large protests.

Update: The torch relay through Paris has now been canceled due to the protests.

  • http://westanddivided.blogspot.com/ mw

    SF always manages to make these things into a spectacle. Should be quite a show along the route. Maybe I’ll try my hand at some original reporting, pick out a spot and do some live blogging.

  • http://donklephant.com/2008/04/07/olympic-torch-protests-continue/ blahblahblu

    when was this??

  • kranky kritter

    I’d try to care, but I’m too old and too cynical to see anything much resembling the Olympic spirit buried under all the political posturing, commercial marketing, and bread-and-butter greed. The coverage is invariably tedious, and privileges “human interest” over sport.

    But I’m strongly sympathetic to Tibet. I’m sure that activists are striving to use the Olympic opportunity to call attention to the cause, and that’s as it should be, I guess. If your politics is constrained to various PR strategies, this is undoubtedly the best chance on the immediate horizon. But I expect the Olympics will come and go with no substantive change to the Tibetan plight, only a momentary and minor uptick in awareness. Unless someone lights themselves on fire and it makes the news.

  • http://curly15.wordpress.com Curly

    It was a Black day for Gordon Brown and the UK govt.

    Who authorised the use of Chinese security personnel in London?