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SteelersMongol
04-09-2008, 10:30 PM
Torch Concludes Topsy-Turvy Tour of S.F.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The Olympic torch played hide and seek with thousands of demonstrators and spectators crowding the city's waterfront Wednesday before being spirited away without even a formal goodbye on its symbolic stop in the United States.

After its parade was rerouted and shortened to prevent disruptions by massive crowds of anti-China protesters, the planned closing ceremony at the waterfront was canceled and moved to San Francisco International Airport. The flame was put directly on a plane and was not displayed.

The last-minute changes to the route and the site of the closing ceremony were made amid security concerns following chaotic protests in London and Paris of China's human rights record in Tibet and elsewhere, but they effectively prevented many spectators who wanted to see the flame from witnessing the historic moment.

As it made its way through the streets of San Francisco, the flame traveled in switchbacks and left the crowds confused and waiting for a parade that never arrived. Protesters also hurriedly changed plans and chased the rerouted flame...

China's state-run Xinhua News Agency reported early Thursday that the San Francisco leg proceeded without major disruptions, although the route had been changed "due to threats by Tibetan separatists and their supporters to storm the relay."

There were signs of tension even before the torch relay began. Pro-Tibet and pro-China groups were given side-by-side permits to demonstrate, and representatives from both sides spilled from their sanctioned sites across a major street and shouted at each other nose to nose, with no visible police presence to separate them.

At least one torchbearer decided to show her support for Tibetan independence during her moment in the spotlight. After being passed the Olympic flame, Majora Carter pulled out a small Tibetan flag that she had hidden in her shirt sleeve.

"The Chinese security and cops were on me like white on rice, it was no joke," said Carter, 41, who runs a nonprofit organization in New York. "They pulled me out of the race, and then San Francisco police officers pushed me back into the crowd on the side of the street."

Farther along the planned route, about 200 Chinese college students mobbed a car carrying two people waving Tibetan flags in front of the city's Pier 39 tourist destination. The students, who arrived by bus from the University of California, Davis, banged drums and chanted "Go Olympics" in Chinese.

"I'm proud to be Chinese and I'm outraged because there are so many people who are so ignorant they don't know Tibet is part of China," Yi Che said. "It was and is and will forever be part of China."

The torch's 85,000-mile, 20-nation global journey is the longest in Olympic history, and is meant to build excitement for the Beijing Games. But it has also been targeted by activists angered over China's human rights record.

Hundreds of pro-China and pro-Tibet demonstrators blew whistles and waved flags as they faced off near the site of the relay's opening ceremony. Police struggled to keep the groups apart. At least one protester was detained, and officers blocked public access to bridge leading to the ceremony site across McCovey Cove from the ballpark...

http://apnews.excite.com/article/20080410/D8VUMO7O1.html

SteelersMongol
04-09-2008, 10:32 PM
Not trying to make this board political, I'm just interested in what are you guys' stand on the issue.

NJarhead
04-09-2008, 10:38 PM
I saw some photo's (skimmed the article). They didn't appear to be young, white-collar, well-to-do hippies (like Code Pink), or protesting just for the sake of protesting. They seemed to a group who may have a vested interest in China and Tibet, IMO.

To be honest, I am not up to date on the actual issue for which they were protesting.

Jeremy
04-10-2008, 09:37 AM
I think the US should boycott the opening ceremony. China has an atrocious human rights record, but we keep letting them off the hook. Nixon did it. Carter did it. Reagan did it.

But the worst two Presidents on China have been the last two. GW Bush and Bill Clinton have been downright disgraceful in the way they've dealt with China.

Dino 6 Rings
04-10-2008, 01:37 PM
If the world really cared about Human Rights issues, they wouldn't have awarded the games to China in the first place. It isn't like their Human Rights problems just started to happen. The Tiananmen Square fiasco happened in 1989. They are just as bad now as they always have been. Corporate dollars, from every nation are vested in China. So they get the Olympics. Boycotting the Opening Ceremony doesn't solve the issues of China's violations of International Human Rights laws, copyright laws or trade laws. It just psses them off and pushes them to rattle their sabers more about Taiwan, Tibet, or whatever cause they feel feeds their "Dragon".

MasterOfPuppets
04-10-2008, 01:59 PM
sounds like a chinese problem, if you ask me.....:hunch:

Preacher
04-10-2008, 02:24 PM
I was ticked when the IOC gave it to them. I am not one of those "free tibet" hippies... those who always need something to protest..

However, after every thing they have done, Ithink it was completely foolish for the IOC to give it to them.

However, The Soviet Bloc received two or three games. . . and they were just as bad if not WORSE.

millwalldavey
04-10-2008, 04:13 PM
I do not in any way support the abuses in China. To long-running and pervasive. But the spirit of these games os to promote peaceful athletic competition. I wish we could find a way to accomplish that.