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Grab the Torch

HeXploiT

Diamond Member
Jun 11, 2004
4,358
0
71
Anyone been following the carrying of the torch? It hasn't been without incident in any nation yet. Every city it passes through results in pictures like this one and security beating off protesters.
Clip of what every nation can expect.

I think it is an excellent way to protest as it is, for the most part, non-violent yet I only wish the theme wasn't so limited to Tibet. Tibet is but one small example of Chinas behavior and because its religion is so popular throughout the west is the Wests primary focus. Anyway I do believe we are seeing a prelude to what is in store for these Olympics and hiding the things that are about to happen will be a monumental task for the Chinese government. I wouldn't be surprised to see a monk or two set themselves on fire this summer as well.
 

StageLeft

No Lifer
Sep 29, 2000
70,214
2
0
They should douse protestors with gas and light it with...you guess it.

EDIT, just ran across this

Looks like I was behind theonion :)
 

ZzZGuy

Golden Member
Nov 15, 2006
1,855
0
0
So the torch is damn hard to put out and they carry a back up flame in the van, the protesters are going to need to ambush the torch runners with a fire truck or something to stop the torch run.
 

maddogchen

Diamond Member
Feb 17, 2004
8,909
2
76
Originally posted by: ZzZGuy
So the torch is damn hard to put out and they carry a back up flame in the van, the protesters are going to need to ambush the torch runners with a fire truck or something to stop the torch run.
too late, the French have already surrendered.
Text
Security officials snuffed out the Olympic torch and carried it through Paris in the safety of a bus at least five times Monday before canceling the final run of a relay repeatedly disrupted by chaotic protests against China's human rights record.
edit: "Only weather has previously succeeded in snuffing out the Olympic flame, just twice in its history. Today French officials managed it three times" :laugh:
 

HeXploiT

Diamond Member
Jun 11, 2004
4,358
0
71
PARIS (AP) - Paris' Olympic torch relay descended into chaos Monday, with protesters scaling the Eiffel Tower, grabbing for the flame and forcing security officials to repeatedly snuff out the torch and transport it by bus past demonstrators yelling "Free Tibet!"

The relentless anti-Chinese demonstrations ignited across the capital with unexpected power and ingenuity, foiling 3,000 police officers deployed on motorcycles, in jogging gear and even inline skates.

Chinese organizers finally gave up on the relay, canceling the last third of what China had hoped would be a joyous jog by torch-bearing VIPs past some of Paris' most famous landmarks.

Thousands of protesters slowed the relay to a stop-start crawl, with impassioned displays of anger over China's human rights record, its grip on Tibet and support for Sudan despite years of bloodshed in Darfur.

Five times, the Chinese officials in dark glasses and tracksuits who guard the torch extinguished it and retreated to the safety of a bus - the last time emerging only after the vehicle drove within 15 feet of the final stop, a track and field stadium. A torchbearer then ran the final steps inside.

Outside, a few French activists supporting Tibet had a fist-fight with pro-Chinese demonstrators. The French activists spat on them and shouted, "Fascists!"

In San Francisco, where the torch is due to arrive Wednesday, three protesters wearing harnesses and helmets climbed up the Golden Gate Bridge and tied the Tibetan flag and two banners to its cables. The banners read "One World One Dream. Free Tibet" and "Free Tibet."

The 17.4-mile route in Paris started at the Eiffel Tower, headed down the Champs-Elysees toward City Hall, then crossed the Seine before ending at the Charlety track and field stadium.

Throughout the day, protesters booed trucks emblazoned with the names of Olympic corporate sponsors, chained themselves to railings and hurled water at the flame. Some unfurled banners depicting the Olympic rings as handcuffs from the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame cathedral. Others waved signs reading "the flame of shame."

The Interior Ministry said police made 18 arrests.

Officers sprayed tear gas to break up a sit-in by about 300 pro-Tibet demonstrators who blocked the route. Police tackled protesters who ran at the torch; at least two activists got within arm's length before they were grabbed by police. Near the Louvre, police blocked a protester who approached the flame with a fire extinguisher.

One detained demonstrator, handcuffed in a police bus, wrote "liber" on her right palm and "te" on the other - spelling the French word for "freedom" - and held them up to the window.

With protesters slowing down the relay, a planned stop at Paris City Hall was canceled. Earlier, French officials hung a banner declaring support for human rights on the building's facade.

A spokesman for the French Olympic Committee, Denis Masseglia, estimated that a third of the 80 athletes and other VIPs who had been slated to carry the torch did not get to do so.

On a bus carrying French athletes, one man in a track suit shed a tear as protesters pelted the vehicle with eggs, bottles and soda cans.

The chaos started at the Eiffel Tower moments after the relay began. Green Party activist Sylvain Garel lunged for the first torchbearer, former hurdler Stephane Diagana, shouting "Freedom for the Chinese," before security officials pulled him back.

"It is inadmissible that the games are taking place in the world's biggest prison," Garel said later.

Outside parliament, as the torch passed, 35 lawmakers protested, shouting "Freedom for Tibet."

"The flame shouldn't have come to Paris," said Carmen de Santiago, who had "free" painted on one cheek and "Tibet" on the other.

Pro-Chinese activists carrying national flags held counter-demonstrations.

"The Olympic Games are about sports. It's not fair to turn them into politics," said Gao Yi, a Chinese doctoral student in computer science.

France's former sports minister, Jean-Francois Lamour, stressed that though the torch was extinguished along the route, the Olympic flame itself still burned in a lantern where it is kept overnight and on airplane flights. A Chinese official said that flame was used to re-light the torch each time it was brought aboard the bus.

Pro-Tibet advocate Christophe Cunniet said he and other activists were detained after they waved Tibetan flags, threw flyers and tried to block the route. Cunniet said police kicked him, cutting his forehead. "I'm still dazed," he said.

At least one athlete, former Olympic champion Marie-Jose Perec, was supportive of the demonstrators. "I think it is very, very good that people have mobilized like that," she told French television.

But other athletes and sports officials were bitterly dismayed.

"A symbol like that, carried by young people who want to deliver a message of peace, should be allowed to pass," said the head of the French Olympic Committee, Henri Serandour. "These games are a sounding board for all those who want to speak about China and Tibet. But at the same time, there are many wars on the planet that no one is talking about."

International Olympic Committee spokeswoman Giselle Davies agreed. "We respect that right for people to demonstrate peacefully, but equally there is a right for the torch to pass peacefully and the runners to enjoy taking part in the relay," she said.

Police had hoped to prevent the chaos that marred the relay in London a day earlier. There, police had repeatedly scuffled with activists and 37 people were arrested.

Beijing organizers criticized the London protests as a "disgusting" form of sabotage by Tibetan separatists.

"The act of defiance from this small group of people is not popular," said Sun Weide, a spokesman for the Beijing Olympic organizing committee. "It will definitely be criticized by people who love peace and adore the Olympic spirit. Their attempt is doomed to failure."

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has left open the possibility of boycotting the Olympic opening ceremony depending on how the situation evolves in Tibet. Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said Monday that was still the case.

Activists have been protesting along the torch route since the flame embarked on its 85,000-mile journey from Ancient Olympia in Greece to the Aug. 8-24 Beijing Olympics.

The round-the-world trip is the longest in Olympic history, and is meant to highlight China's rising economic and political power. Activists have seized on it as a platform for their causes.

The relay also is expected to face demonstrations in New Delhi and possibly elsewhere on its 21-stop, six-continent tour before arriving in mainland China May 4.
Source: Apnews
 

ProfJohn

Lifer
Jul 28, 2006
18,268
4
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It looks like the most interesting this of these olympics won't be who wins what medals, but what goes on behind the scenes.

China wanted this so they could show off to the world, I wonder if they have changed their minds yet.
 

LongCoolMother

Diamond Member
Sep 4, 2001
5,677
0
0
i love watching it. it's so dramatic everyday, with police beating down protesters and wresting away flags etc. people climbing bridges and national monuments. and the pro-chinese demonstrators facing off with the pro-tibet protesters. lol.
 

MovingTarget

Diamond Member
Jun 22, 2003
8,990
84
91
Originally posted by: ProfJohn
It looks like the most interesting this of these olympics won't be who wins what medals, but what goes on behind the scenes.

China wanted this so they could show off to the world, I wonder if they have changed their minds yet.
I was baffled by the decision to have the Olympics in China this time around. There are a number of things about the Olympics that would immediately seem to cause problems for the Chinese, which are unfolding before our eyes now. Strict media/internet censorship, simmering social unrest, human rights, civil liberties, territorial claims (Tibet/Taiwan), etc. All these have been coming to the forefront and the officials are doing everything they can to hush it up and/or spin it into a "victory for the people" that makes them look good. The local Chinese media coverage event is a good example of that.

I guess the IOC saw a chance that the Olympics would somehow change China's policies as they prepare to have the spotlight of the world shown on them. China wanted to use this as a huge PR stunt on the world stage. Time will tell, but so far, it seems to be backfiring for all sides.

It certainly has proven interesting so far. In the future, I expect to see more of this surrounding the olympics when it enters nondemocratic states.

Pyongyang 2016! Woo! :p
 

ZzZGuy

Golden Member
Nov 15, 2006
1,855
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http://edition.cnn.com/2008/US...ympic.torch/index.html

An Olympic committee member suggested Monday that the public relations nightmare that has followed the Olympic flame on its way to the Summer Games in Beijing may make 2008 the last time such an ambitious global torch relay is attempted.
I never really paid attention to where the torch went in the past, is the global torch relay something that has been done for a while now or is it just this year?

IMHO, China got the olympics for 1 of 3 reasons.
1- The olympic committee decided that China should get the olympics just because they are big with many people and haven't gotten it before, totally ignoring all other factors.
2- To try to help reform China's human rights, in which case all the olympic committee and Chinese calls to not politicize the event are hipacritical.
3- Someone got a BIG f***ing bribe.

In any event, they should of seen this coming a lonngggg time ago.

And to clarify my stance, I do not believe Tibet should become a independent country. I believe China should respect the human rights of the people who live there and stop its oppression of the Tibetan people.
 

senseamp

Lifer
Feb 5, 2006
34,853
4,799
126
I used to think my coworker at old job was just a dirty hippie for having a "free tibet" sticker on his car, but now I agree with him, even though he is still a dirty hippie :)
 

Craig234

Lifer
May 1, 2006
38,584
345
126
Originally posted by: senseamp
I used to think my coworker at old job was just a dirty hippie for having a "free tibet" sticker on his car, but now I agree with him, even though he is still a dirty hippie :)
Sounds like Senseamp < dirty hippies on political awareness.:)

News stories are suggesting that the Olympic committee is considering cancelling the rest of the torch run at a meeting this Friday and send it directly to China, and that the events the rest of the week in San Francisco may play an important part in the decision. I suspect there may be some protests...

I wonder if there's any solution to the 'politicization of the games'?

It seems not too likely; you start with the idea of the games as a non-political event to celebrate human athleticism (I protest), but when the host nations have a lot to gain politically in hosting, there are going to be big politics in who gets them and in protesting them. Perhaps even more sad is when the games are used as a proxy for other competitions - the 'free Tibet' being a cover for the economic competition with China and co-opted (Free Tibet protests suddenly sponsored by...?), for example.

But the Olympic committee itself seems to have something of an agenda in wanting the games to be 'big', with a lot of money and corporate sponsorship, and so that might make it more difficult for the games to be made less political. If they're going to make the games a big event for the nations that host them... perhaps the Olympic Committee should take that down a notch and try more for the Time 'Man of the Year' award approach - that the games are not about the host country marketing its message, but are a neutral location.

More likely is the political and high-money situation continuing because that's what nearly all the powers involved benefit from, whatever side they're on, not apolitical games.
 

Craig234

Lifer
May 1, 2006
38,584
345
126
Originally posted by: Perry404
I wouldn't be surprised to see a monk or two set themselves on fire this summer as well.
Has that happened since Vietnam under Diem?

BTW, people forget that an American Quaker did the same at the Pentagon over Vietnam.
 

kage69

Lifer
Jul 17, 2003
17,478
7,859
136
Did you guys see the French escort security? They were wearing roller-blades!!! :Q
 

Fern

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 30, 2003
26,917
173
106
Originally posted by: Craig234
-snip-
I wonder if there's any solution to the 'politicization of the games'?

It seems not too likely; you start with the idea of the games as a non-political event to celebrate human athleticism (I protest), but when the host nations have a lot to gain politically in hosting, there are going to be big politics in who gets them and in protesting them. Perhaps even more sad is when the games are used as a proxy for other competitions - the 'free Tibet' being a cover for the economic competition with China and co-opted (Free Tibet protests suddenly sponsored by...?), for example.

But the Olympic committee itself seems to have something of an agenda in wanting the games to be 'big', with a lot of money and corporate sponsorship, and so that might make it more difficult for the games to be made less political. If they're going to make the games a big event for the nations that host them... perhaps the Olympic Committee should take that down a notch and try more for the Time 'Man of the Year' award approach - that the games are not about the host country marketing its message, but are a neutral location.

More likely is the political and high-money situation continuing because that's what nearly all the powers involved benefit from, whatever side they're on, not apolitical games.
That's pretty much exactly what I've been thinking - It's the IOC's fault.

I think politicization is bad for the games, and contrary to their original purpose. There is a benefit to people occaisionally dropping their political differences and coming together on a friendly basis. The IOC has steered this into the exact opposite - ratcheting up the political confrontation during the games. Making the games a focal point of contention. :thumbsdown:

Fern
 

HeXploiT

Diamond Member
Jun 11, 2004
4,358
0
71
Originally posted by: Craig234
Originally posted by: Perry404
I wouldn't be surprised to see a monk or two set themselves on fire this summer as well.
Has that happened since Vietnam under Diem?

BTW, people forget that an American Quaker did the same at the Pentagon over Vietnam.
I'm sure it has. I've seen videos much more recent.

Never knew an American did that. You have to respect anyone with that sort of conviction as it is the opposite of selfishness. Last one I saw was a German immigrant who was robbed immediately upon arriving to Germany of all his money. He was so upset that he then set himself ablaze outside of a police station and in front of his entire family. Terrible.
 

maddogchen

Diamond Member
Feb 17, 2004
8,909
2
76
Originally posted by: Craig234
News stories are suggesting that the Olympic committee is considering cancelling the rest of the torch run at a meeting this Friday and send it directly to China, and that the events the rest of the week in San Francisco may play an important part in the decision.
They should cancel it and end the practice. After all the torch run was never part of the ancient Olympics and was first started by Nazi Germany to showcase Hitler's view of Aryan Supremacy in the world of sports. Why is the IOC continuing a tradition started by Hitler?
 

LongCoolMother

Diamond Member
Sep 4, 2001
5,677
0
0
Originally posted by: Qianglong
I am wondering..does the torch burn pressurized gas like there is a propane canister in the body of the torch? The protestors can do whatever they want but attacking a disabled athelete carrying the torch is just dispicable.

http://www.china.org.cn/olympi...8/content_14576760.htm
i also saw that and was appalled. protests are just fine, but much of it is becoming a far too sensationalist and unacceptable. i mean, protests are protests, fine. but at what point do you draw the line? What purpose does disrupting/damaging every Olympic ceremony advance? What good is protesting if it descends into chaos and police are forced to constantly knock disorderly crowds onto the ground every few seconds? Do these people even care about their cause or are they there just to push chaos and live the moment? Let the torch pass, make your point in a civilized manner; what I'm seeing is clearly not a good way to advocate or set an example for democracy...

http://laiba.tianya.cn/laiba/i...822078426609/A/1/m.jpg

wow...why? :Q
 

bbdub333

Senior member
Aug 21, 2007
686
0
0
Originally posted by: Perry404
You have to respect anyone with that sort of conviction as it is the opposite of selfishness. Last one I saw was a German immigrant who was robbed immediately upon arriving to Germany of all his money. He was so upset that he then set himself ablaze outside of a police station and in front of his entire family. Terrible.
Setting yourself on fire in front of your family does not sound like the opposite of selfishness.
 

Qianglong

Senior member
Jan 29, 2006
937
0
0
Originally posted by: LongCoolMother
Originally posted by: Qianglong
I am wondering..does the torch burn pressurized gas like there is a propane canister in the body of the torch? The protestors can do whatever they want but attacking a disabled athelete carrying the torch is just dispicable.

http://www.china.org.cn/olympi...8/content_14576760.htm
i also saw that and was appalled. protests are just fine, but much of it is becoming a far too sensationalist and unacceptable.

http://laiba.tianya.cn/laiba/i...822078426609/A/1/m.jpg

wow...why? :Q
This showed that those Tibetans in exile are nothing but former slave owners who have no regards whatsoever to human dignity. Hey they used to treat their slaves like that!
 

bgeh

Platinum Member
Nov 16, 2001
2,946
0
0
Originally posted by: Qianglong
Originally posted by: LongCoolMother
Originally posted by: Qianglong
I am wondering..does the torch burn pressurized gas like there is a propane canister in the body of the torch? The protestors can do whatever they want but attacking a disabled athelete carrying the torch is just dispicable.

http://www.china.org.cn/olympi...8/content_14576760.htm
i also saw that and was appalled. protests are just fine, but much of it is becoming a far too sensationalist and unacceptable.

http://laiba.tianya.cn/laiba/i...822078426609/A/1/m.jpg

wow...why? :Q
This showed that those Tibetans in exile are nothing but former slave owners who have no regards whatsoever to human dignity. Hey they used to treat their slaves like that!
Look, I don't agree with that protestor pulling the torch from the athlete. I'm perfectly fine with protestors lining the route of the torch and booing it or something.

But drawing such a conclusion is nuts. Seriously, if you want to paint a picture of them as being some evil force, by all means, go ahead, but you're not convincing many of us here by jumping to such conclusions from such a weak argument. (weak because pulling torch from someone on a wheelchair does not imply that they're slave owners and blah)
 

sunzt

Diamond Member
Nov 27, 2003
3,079
3
81
These protesters should know that they're not helping their cause.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,347836,00.html

[French] Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, a longtime human rights activist turned diplomat, said he understood the protesters, but said that France's goal of new talks between China and Tibetan leaders was dealt a setback.

"Yesterday, the answer moved farther away," Kouchner told reporters at a news conference. "Our answer ? and we French do what we can ? is a resumption of dialogue between the Chinese and the Dalai Lama."
Good job protesters.....
 

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