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April 7, 2008 6:08 AM   Subscribe

Protestor grabs the Olympic torch in London. (SLYTP)
posted by allkindsoftime (109 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
Ooh, hasn't Steve Redgrave got fat!
posted by jontyjago at 6:15 AM on April 7, 2008


Torch extinguished twice amid Paris protests.
posted by ericb at 6:16 AM on April 7, 2008


Kind of surreal to see people get tackled and handcuffed just for making a lunge at the torch. What do you get charged with, disorderly conduct / breach of the peace?
posted by crapmatic at 6:21 AM on April 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


The London protests were hilarious, at least from what I saw.

It was almost as if there was some new game being trialled in time for 2012, called "grab the torch". There were blockers, defenders, attackers, whistlers and fire extinguishers.

In my view all Olympic Games should have a torch grabbing competition in which Joe Public, who may have missed the cut for the 10,000m due to an exceptional performance by a Masai goatherder, still gets the chance to show wit, athleticism and no small amount of determination in front of a large national audience.
posted by MuffinMan at 6:21 AM on April 7, 2008 [43 favorites]


Wait, did that guy just light the torch with flint? Is that a special flint from Mount Olympus?
posted by StickyCarpet at 6:26 AM on April 7, 2008 [4 favorites]


The guy in the middle has some sort of oil lamp contraption, which I think is used to transport the flame by air.
posted by cillit bang at 6:36 AM on April 7, 2008


I want to see a German protest the new anti-smoking laws by lighting a cigarette off of the torch. And then have him be shunned because a sailor died.
posted by chillmost at 6:41 AM on April 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


This should be interesting...Route of the Olympic torch in San Francisco, Wednesday, April 9.
posted by R. Mutt at 6:43 AM on April 7, 2008


With all that pushing and chaos you'd think it was WalMart the day after Thanksgiving. That must be some sale. Or are they just hoping to get some free Tibet?
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 6:44 AM on April 7, 2008 [7 favorites]


There we go... Join the Beijing 2008 Torch Demonstrations in San Francisco. Tibetans and Tibet supporters from all over North America are planning to be in San Francisco to protest China's Olympic Torch relay on April 8th and 9th...
posted by R. Mutt at 6:48 AM on April 7, 2008


Yeah, sounds like a great new game!! Indeed the cops should be kept out of it, especially if they will just relight the thing anyway. No doubt these athletes are far far faster than John Q Public. So it'll be a rare protester indeed that can grab the torch.

Well, obviously you need the police to maintain some order. You don't want the protesters mobbing the poor runner. Yes, obviously the police should prevent anyone except protesters in wheel chairs from grabbing the torch while an athlete in a wheel chair has it, maybe segregate by gender too. But in general, if they come one at a time & start behind the runner, what's the problem? Just sounds like more fun for everyone.
posted by jeffburdges at 6:48 AM on April 7, 2008


Torchbearers were encircled by several hundred officers, some in riot police vehicles and on motorcycles, others on skates or on foot.

A social justice-oriented roller derby team just got a call on the red phone.
posted by cowbellemoo at 6:51 AM on April 7, 2008 [13 favorites]


Hilarious/awesome.
posted by norabarnacl3 at 6:54 AM on April 7, 2008


But the real question is : How does one translate all these protest into people ignoring the games. Or, more importantly, avoiding Chinese products.

After all, the Olympics really just means, we give the OOC criminals a big wad of cash, they give us the right to tear down poor people's homes, and we might get publicity. Some cities make a boat load of money off the deal, like Barcelona, but some loose a lot, like Montreal did and London probably will.

So how to we make sure that the Olympics hurts China?
posted by jeffburdges at 6:55 AM on April 7, 2008


i don't think he grabbed the torch for the luls.
posted by gorgor_balabala at 6:56 AM on April 7, 2008


So how to we make sure that the Olympics hurts China?

Don't award them the venue for the 2008 games.
posted by DU at 6:59 AM on April 7, 2008


Wait, did that guy just light the torch with flint? Is that a special flint from Mount Olympus?

Nah -- just a Bic from the 7-Eleven.
posted by VicNebulous at 7:04 AM on April 7, 2008


How juvenile.
posted by caddis at 7:04 AM on April 7, 2008


Every few years, I find myself mildly surprised to be reminded that people still do that whole Olympics thing. I suppose Wheaties needs somebody new to go on the box.
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:09 AM on April 7, 2008


So how to we make sure that the Olympics hurts China?

Spend 0 dollars and 0 time on them in 2008. Support the athletes personally if you're worried about what it will do to their careers. Circumvent the establishment entirely if you can.
posted by scabrous at 7:16 AM on April 7, 2008


This should be interesting...Route of the Olympic torch in San Francisco, Wednesday, April 9.

I'm staying the hell away, that's for sure. It's kind of a sad thing. San Francisco is full of emigrant Chinese who feel great pride for their mother country and some discomfort at its authoritarianism. SF is also full of leftists who think Tibet is almost as important as Mumia Abu-Jamal. The result is a big, confusing, unfocused mess of demonstration.
posted by Nelson at 7:25 AM on April 7, 2008


How juvenile.

Hey, at least he wasn't singing 'Never Gonna Give You Up' while he did it.
posted by flashboy at 7:27 AM on April 7, 2008 [6 favorites]


The rolling coverage of the protests on News24 was the best thing on telly on Sunday.

The helicopter views were fantastic, and showed the event to be a wonderully shambolic farce. At the centre of events was a minor sports-person (at times a poorly-advised C-list celeb) grinning and waving as if all was well; then a circle of suspiciously tough-looking Chinese 'flame attendants', rocking it in nylon trackies and baseball caps; then a circle of panicky BMX Bandits in hi-vis jackets and Halfords bicycle helmets; then a circle of the Met's finest sporting the new paramilitary-style, all-in-one tactical romper suit; then a vast, booing, lunging, grabby mob of protesters.

One of the highlights was the fire extinguisher incident. But the stars of the show were the Chinese attendants, who were on that torch like it was a presidential motorcade. They were still mobbing it when they were in Downing Street, which is gated off from the non-compliant pleb horde and probably the most secure place in London. They were even trying to protect it from the Prime Minister and that one that looks a bit like Delia Smith. Totally ruined Gordon Brown's photo op; how terribly embarrassing for him.

The Chinese were asking for it, though, what with selling weaponry to awful people and that bloody, unprovoked occupation of a sovereign nation that drove millions into exile. Thankfully the UK will have no truck with such behaviour, and so London 2012 should go off without a hint of controversy.
posted by boosh at 7:34 AM on April 7, 2008 [20 favorites]


ericb typed " Torch extinguished twice amid Paris protests."

StickyCarpet typed "Wait, did that guy just light the torch with flint? Is that a special flint from Mount Olympus?"

As I understand it, there's a van with backup fire in it. The torch would sometimes go out, protest or no.
posted by roll truck roll at 7:35 AM on April 7, 2008


Twice? Make that thrice.
posted by grabbingsand at 7:45 AM on April 7, 2008


No, it's four times now.
posted by flashboy at 7:52 AM on April 7, 2008


'They were even trying to protect it from the Prime Minister and that one that looks a bit like Delia Smith.'
I'd heard Gordon was deliberately avoiding having any contact with the torch. Which just makes them protecting it from him all the more amusing I guess.
posted by edd at 7:53 AM on April 7, 2008


As I understand it, there's a van with backup fire in it. The torch would sometimes go out, protest or no.

Aw, I just assumed that once it went out they'd have to go right back to the beginning and start again.
posted by Elmore at 7:53 AM on April 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


I never paid attention to the torch business before, it's good that they've turned it into a sort of egg-and-spoon race to get people's attention.
posted by Elmore at 7:54 AM on April 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


So how to we make sure that the Olympics hurts China?

Post snark on the internet from our Made In China iMacs?
posted by dobbs at 7:54 AM on April 7, 2008 [12 favorites]


The BBC has a nice article on the olympic flame. Konnie Huq a Blue Peter presenter wrestled with a protester as he tries to grab the flame from her during her part of the run. There was an interview with her afterwards but I haven't been able to find a copy of it online. As terrible as the situation in tibet, there must be better ways of bringing attention towards their cause rather than this.
posted by MrCynical at 7:56 AM on April 7, 2008


"Hey, at least he wasn't singing 'Never Gonna Give You Up' while he did it."

Excuse me I just have to go out and buy some roller skates and a boom box.
posted by PenDevil at 7:56 AM on April 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Can't wait to see the protesters try to snatch it from the judo team.
posted by crapmatic at 7:58 AM on April 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


The Chinese were asking for it, though, what with selling weaponry to awful people and that bloody, unprovoked occupation of a sovereign nation that drove millions into exile. Thankfully the UK will have no truck with such behaviour, and so London 2012 should go off without a hint of controversy.

funny that.

What isn't funny is that some of the same people in the U.S. that are hot for war with Iran also wouldn't mind taking on China too... kind of a chilling context for the fun and games.
posted by geos at 8:02 AM on April 7, 2008


Torch extinguished twice amid Paris protests.

Typical French... the flame wasn't extinguished on our soil!

It was pretty hilarious how the absolute shambles (and like Boosh I saw much of live) was spun as what a great country we live in to allow all that democratic protest. And fatty Redgrave and the ever delightful Konnie all but saying they support the protesters (well their aims not their actions)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:04 AM on April 7, 2008


I seem to remember mentioning that it wasn't going to go smoothly. Call me prescient.
posted by chuckdarwin at 8:05 AM on April 7, 2008


Paris police say last part of Olympic torch relay canceled due to protests.
posted by ericb at 8:28 AM on April 7, 2008


Leave it to Paris to get the real protesting done. America cannot be shown up like this, though. San Francisco, our eyes turn to you.
posted by thewittyname at 8:35 AM on April 7, 2008 [4 favorites]


Metafilter: a big, confusing, unfocused mess of demonstration.
posted by jquinby at 8:50 AM on April 7, 2008


Who decided to send a controversial torch ceremony through Paris, London, and San Francisco? Were they selecting the city most likely to stage protests from each country?
posted by rdr at 9:14 AM on April 7, 2008 [3 favorites]


Man, I can't help but laugh at how much it must be pissing off the Chinese government to watch all this. Raining on their "aren't we perfect" parade. I'm sure they're grumbling..."Damn all that FREEDOM OF SPEECH CRAP! If they were here we'd kill the perpetrators and jail their families for eternity!" and then they go out and say in public "This is all the Dali Lama's fault!" and "Things are fine, really they're perfect. The press is just overstating whats going on." Its so creepy that there are places like that still in the world.

As much as the protest here in SF is going to be awful, I kind of want to be there. I think it's important that this kind of protest and chaos happens EVERYWHERE but China, so when they say "everything is great" they look like the hypocrites and liars they are.

As for the affect on China...I don't know. I wish there was some way to punish them more effectively but until someone in government has the cojones to acually do something financially, nothing is probably going to make a difference to the Chinese government.
posted by aacheson at 9:15 AM on April 7, 2008


Torch extinguished twice amid Paris protests.

Hurrah, good on the french. We gave it a good shot though.
posted by Artw at 9:15 AM on April 7, 2008


Konnie Huq, Tim Henman and a guy with a beer belly who can hardly run, AKA Britain's greatest Olympian. Surrounded by Police. I, for one, am inspired.
posted by fire&wings at 9:24 AM on April 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Has there ever been so much outcry against an Olympic host before? I'm not exactly old, but I've lived through quite a number of Olympics and can't remember anything like this. If protests in multiple parts of the world have even managed to extinguish the torch, then the whole spirit of the Olympics has been defeated from the get go.

Every time I think back on watching the little news bytes about the progress of the latest torch, it's always running past crowds of people who are clapping and cheering, eager to catch a snapshot of that torch, and the ancient symbol of human togetherness it represents.

But this time around, they seem to be doing it wrong.
posted by dopamine at 9:28 AM on April 7, 2008


Get a job, torch grabbers.
posted by Senator at 9:31 AM on April 7, 2008


Hurrah, good on the french.

Actually I'm surprised they didn't throw flaming pigs at it or something.

Has there ever been so much outcry against an Olympic host before?

Don't remember the mass boycott of Moscow 80 then? Or the Soviet tit for tat in LA 84
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 9:39 AM on April 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Two Olympic Games which were essentially ruined all because Jimmy Carter was such a chucklehead.
posted by caddis at 9:41 AM on April 7, 2008


Take that flame and shove it.
posted by MetaMan at 9:45 AM on April 7, 2008


Karnac the magnificent predicts: SF protesters try to extinguish torch. Though the sight of French police on rollerblades was a hoot. Does the SFPD have a rollerblade squad? I'll bet they have a supersecret undercover fixie squad.
posted by fixedgear at 9:46 AM on April 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm really pleased to see all the protesting and torch-grabbing. Giving the olympics to China was a real travesty (I can't think of many other countries that are further from the olympic tradition of sportsmanship and so on), and I'd be happy if it devolved into a big undignified mess. I was feeling sorry for the athletes, but then the other day read an article about how a lot of them are worried about speaking out because this is their big chance to cash in on sponsorships. Cry me a river. I know that "amateurism" is a long-lost principle of the olympics, but that doesn't mean that athletics-as-business holds any place in my heart.

Well, that and the buffoonish additions of every minor sport ever invented. Synchronized swimming? Kayaking? Trampoline? Table Tennis? (Full list here.) Those are all great sports, fun to watch, fun to do, but not part of the Olympic tradition in any serious way. The whole thing, with the corporate pandering, handholding of unappetizing politics, and so on, just leaves me totally cold. The only excitement at this point (besides the protests -- go SF!) is the question of how many athletes are going to get busted for drug use. I won't be watching; most people I know are ignoring the whole thing, but will probably watch the highlights of particular sports.
posted by Forktine at 9:50 AM on April 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Two Olympic Games which were essentially ruined all because Jimmy Carter was such a chucklehead.

Honest question: what did Carter have to do with the 84 games, when he had been out of office for four years? Or did you mean that whatever he did in 1980 set the stage for 1984?
posted by Forktine at 9:52 AM on April 7, 2008


Ill be out there protesting the support of the occupation and genocide of Darfur, just like Im out protesting the illegal occupation of Iraq by the US forces.
posted by subaruwrx at 10:05 AM on April 7, 2008


I thought our government WAS punishing China, by decreasing the value of the dollar, forcing their tied-to-the-buck Yuen down too. Take that, China!
posted by graventy at 10:05 AM on April 7, 2008


Why is this not a flash game already?
posted by Artw at 10:05 AM on April 7, 2008 [7 favorites]


Has there ever been so much outcry against an Olympic host before?

How far back do you wanna go?

The Olympic Truce was instituted by the city-state of Elis to protect against military incursions which interrupted the Games...Perhaps the most notable example of a military incident occuring during the ancient Olympic Games was in 364 BC. In that year, Elis had again lost control of the Sanctuary of Zeus to the neighboring town of Pisa which was directing the festival and the Olympic Games. Elis chose precisely this time to attack the Sanctuary of Zeus. Xenophon, a contemporary 4th century historian, gives us a firsthand account of the situation:
The horse race had been completed, as well as the events of the pentathlon which were held in the dromos. The finalists of the pentathlon who had qualified for the wrestling event were competing in the space between the dromos and the altar... The attacking Eleans pursued the allied enemy... The allied forces fought from the roofs of the porticos... while the Eleans defended themselves from ground level.
What followed was a day-long battle involving thousands of soldiers.

posted by mediareport at 10:06 AM on April 7, 2008 [3 favorites]


Honest question: what did Carter have to do with the 84 games, when he had been out of office for four years? Or did you mean that whatever he did in 1980 set the stage for 1984?

The Ruskies only boycotted '84 because of 80.

Anyway, while we might have boycotted Russia, I don't think there was anything like the spontaneous demonstrations going on in the rest of the world, was there?
posted by delmoi at 10:07 AM on April 7, 2008


China's Censorship Seesaw: Wikipedia Unblocked and Hu Jia Jailed
posted by homunculus at 10:23 AM on April 7, 2008


I don't blame these people for trying to bring awareness of the issues. I doubt it will do much though.
posted by pixelmech at 10:43 AM on April 7, 2008


EU assembly eyes Beijing boycott, if no Tibet talks
posted by homunculus at 10:44 AM on April 7, 2008


But the real question is : How does one translate all these protest into people ignoring the games. Or, more importantly, avoiding Chinese products.

You might want to see where your keyboard and monitor are made before you commit to that one.
posted by SteveInMaine at 10:58 AM on April 7, 2008


China cares a hell of a lot more about the Olympics than some puny and ineffectual attempt at a boycott.
posted by Artw at 11:02 AM on April 7, 2008


I have no love for the money-worshipping, corporation pandering Olympic Committee or the Chinese government, but I do feel sorry for the people carrying the torch. If the protests have any effect on China, it will be prompting the government to jail a bunch more of their own in a fit of offended fury and rage.
posted by oneirodynia at 11:27 AM on April 7, 2008


Kristof: A Not-So-Fine Romance
posted by homunculus at 11:57 AM on April 7, 2008


Like a lot of other people, I dislike China's policies regarding Tibet, Darfur and basic human rights. So, on Wednesday I'm going to get off my ass and do a little protesting.

SF meetup perhaps?
posted by spork at 12:11 PM on April 7, 2008


Pro-Tibet protesters climb Golden Gate Bridge tower
posted by homunculus at 12:24 PM on April 7, 2008


S.F. is definitely going to try and top London and Paris. This weekend I saw a number of billboards and paid advertisements on the side of MUNI buses inviting people to the protest. I saw no notices of the event itself, from the IOC or the city, but I am well informed of when and where one should be with a picket sign or fire extinguisher.

And the *entire* SFPD has been called up that day as well...
posted by zeypher at 12:29 PM on April 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


"Table Tennis?"

If you thought for one second that the Olympics would be held in China without table tennis, you weren't thinking very clearly.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 12:30 PM on April 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


Olympic torch extinguished 5 times, last segment of Paris route cancelled
posted by anthill at 12:48 PM on April 7, 2008


When the Utah Winter Olympics flame came through Louisville, it was pretty darn inspiring.

Now I just feel like a chump!

The San Francisco protesters should make 50 duplicate torches--then nobody will know which one is the real flame, and the olympics will have to be cancelled.
posted by mecran01 at 1:00 PM on April 7, 2008 [7 favorites]


Sounds like a job for the popemobile!
posted by furtive at 1:01 PM on April 7, 2008


Newsweek: China Feels the Heat.
posted by ericb at 1:36 PM on April 7, 2008


Chris Morris and sportsdesk star Alan Partridge seemed to provide the commentary at the end, there
posted by davemee at 1:45 PM on April 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Meh, they are just going up and down the Embarcadero. They were gonna go over the Golden Gate bridge, but that got cancelled in a hurry.
posted by fixedgear at 2:46 PM on April 7, 2008


fixedgear wrote: Karnac the magnificent predicts: SF protesters try to extinguish torch. Though the sight of French police on rollerblades was a hoot. Does the SFPD have a rollerblade squad? I'll bet they have a supersecret undercover fixie squad.

Try? Theyre gonna dust that thing like a brickweed blunt. In fact, I heard that 3 out of the 5 times it was put out in Paris it was actually due to the concentrated meditation and blowing efforts of an elite group of old hippies drum-circling in the meadows of Golden Gate park.

I haven't seen any SFPD rollerdork squads but I wouldn't be at all surprised if they had a fixie squad.

Because everyone knows only facists ride fixies. KEEP PEDALING, SCUM! YOU MUST KEEP PEDALING! YOUR JEANS ARE TOO BAGGY! WEAR THEM TIGHTER! NO COASTING FOR YOU, PROLE! YOU MUST BE SKINNIER! PEG THAT PANTLEG! NOW STICK A ULOCK IN YOUR POCKET AND PRETEND TO BE A COURIER ON YOUR WAY TO YOUR GRAPHICS PRODUCTION ASSITANT GIG WHERE YOU CLICK AROUND IN CS3, YES! YES! FIXIE MACHT FREI!

Me? I'm probably going to stay far away, but I'm tempted to go skateboard Embarcadero during this just to watch the circus.

From the MSNBC article linked in thread, above: “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.

Ok. If it's all about sports, get rid of the multibillion dollar contracts, the fancy stadiums, the billion dollars in "sports technology research", the multimillion dollar athelete training programs, the blatant corporate sponserships and buyouts - all the funny money that has nothing at all to do with "sport" and more to do with lining the pockets of undeservingly aristocratic motherfuckers.

Return it to pure sport, where the everyday people of the world can play together and compete peacefully.

Because until then the Olympics are currently (and have been for my lifetime) all about the cold, hard cash - and it's less about "sport" then a full-blown technological arms race.

Pointing this out isn't sad, or depressing, or political. The fact that some of us even have to point this very obvious shit out at all is what is sad and depressing and political.
posted by loquacious at 3:07 PM on April 7, 2008 [6 favorites]


Of course many persons lined the flame's route through London's streets, and I myself was one of these - allow me, I beg you, to tell my story of that fateful day.

All throughout the dim and frosty morning I had waited out my place. I was stood on the planned trajectory of the controversial fire, near the corner of two streets in Leicester Square. By lunchtime, the crowd of would-be onlookers was full five persons deep, and all jostling in a cacophony for an advantageous viewpoint. Someone shouted, "It's coming!" - we all took a breath in expectation and strained upright toward the north.

And then, all of a sudden, twenty spectators - nay, protestors! - stepped out from the crowd and cast aside their overcoats - revealing their costumes, a perfect imitation of the procession to come! Twenty false policemen, ten imitations of Chinese officials - and one look-a-like of Dame Kelly Holmes, who held up a rival torch, constructed out of cardboard. The demonstrators leapt upon the road and formed up into their phalanx, while two faux-constables at the rear unfurled their banner: LHASA 2008 OLYMPICS. Then the wicked protestors set off, a mockery of the true Olympic parade, running down the road - in the opposite direction to the mandated celebration.

Just then, the REAL Olympic racers rounded the corner, carrying with them the surprised cheers of the audience. They turned the corner, stopped - and saw, less than one hundred metres away, the very reflection of their official gang! Two groups of policemen surrounded two coteries of officials - in their twin epicentres, two British Athletes, identical torches in hand, pulled up short and stood mirrored on the street. One carried the flame of Beijing, the other purported to raise her fire for a fiction - an Olympics of Tibet.

This bizarre stand-off was balanced upon the road only for an instant. Almost immediately, the Lhasa cabal gave out a panicked yell, dropped their torches, banners - and the pseudo-policemen their cardboard truncheons; they turned and ran back the way they'd come, screaming with mock fear, arms waving idiotically in the air - some tumbled through, and disappeared into the astonished crowd - others threw themselves down open manholes - a few scaled lamp-posts and, suspended in the air, curled themselves into a trembling ball.

The other platoon of runners, confused and apprehensive, slowly set off again upon their run. Oh, but how we laughed: the vestiges of the mocking group of doppelgangers were strewn across the road, heads in hands, kneeling or hunched over - their arses shaking in the air - as if to hide their eyes from some oncoming monstrosity.

Then a woman beside me shook my shoulder and said, "Wake up"! I'd been asleep on my feet the whole time, and missed the entire race! Ah well! I went and had a nice cup of Bovril.

So that's my story - and every goddamn word of it true.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 3:21 PM on April 7, 2008 [4 favorites]


Word. loquacious. Word.

And it's not just the Olympics.

The state of affairs for all our so called sport traditions. Every city in the country is near arena bankruptcy thanks to the curious mix of jingoistic sports fans and tax funded corporate welfare for millionaire sports franchise owners.

Even the sports we thought were "ours" - like skateboarding and BMX - have now been completely co-opted.

I'm not against people making money... even better if they can from something they love doing. But why does it always have to get so crass and so ugly. And why, oh why, do cities fall for paying for arenas and shit when it only benefits millionaires? I too am depressed.
posted by tkchrist at 3:26 PM on April 7, 2008


Bovril, quidnunc? Bovril? Burn in your bovine-beverage hell!

(btw Canadian media HAS been alerted to your post; please standby)
posted by cosmonik at 4:05 PM on April 7, 2008


As I understand it, there's a van with backup fire in it.

And here I thought these were supposed to be the greener Olympics.

The taste in my mouth, it grows more and more sour. I am sucking Olympics lime.
posted by Dreama at 4:16 PM on April 7, 2008


Radical students in Seoul, South Korea, threw about 50 firebombs at the torch procession before the 1988 Olympics. Hardcore!
posted by Artw at 4:24 PM on April 7, 2008


"The round-the-world trip is the longest in Olympic history, and is meant to highlight China's economic and political power. Activists have seized on it as a platform for their causes, angering Beijing.
Beijing organizers criticized London's protesters, saying their actions were a "disgusting" form of sabotage by Tibetan separatists."


Trust the Communists to give the West a lesson in news gathering. [snark] "Chinese People Know best About China's Human Rights Situation" so said a Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu, Feb.,27, 2008. A true apparatchik. Tell the populace what you want them to believe and you'll have a majority, nyet¿

I'm not surprised some want to steal the torch, it looks beautiful and would fetch a fair dollar on eBay.


The cities along the route are:

Beijing; Almaty; Istanbul; St.Petersburg; London; Paris; San Francisco; Buenos Aires; Dar Es Salaam; Muscat; Islamabad; Mumbai; Bangkok; Kuala Lumpur; Jakarta; Canberra; Nagano; Seoul; Pyongyang; Ho Chi Minh City; Taipei; Hong Kong; Macao; Hainan Province (Sanya, Wuzhishan, Wanning, Haikou); Guangdong Province (Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Huizhou, Shantou); Fujian Province (Fuzhou, Quanzhou, Xiamen, Longyan); Jiangxi Province (Ruijin, Jinggangshan, Nanchang); Zhejiang Province (Wenzhou, Ningbo, Hangzhou, Shaoxing, Jiaxing); Shanghai; Jiangsu Province (Suzhou, Nantong, Taizhou, Yangzhou, Nanjing); An'hui Province (Hefei, Huainan, Wuhu, Jixi, Huangshan); Hubei Province (Wuhan, Yichang, Jingzhou); Hunan Province (Yueyang, Changsha, Shaoshan); Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region (Guilin, Nanning, Baise); Yunnan Province (Kunming, Lijiang, Xamgyi' nyilha); Guizhou Province (Guiyang, Kaili, Zunyi); Chongqing; Sichuang Province (Guang'an, Mianyang, Guanghan, Leshan, Zigong, Yibin, Chengdu); Tibet Autonomous Region (Shannan Diqu, Lhasa); Qinghai Province (Golmud, Qinghai Hu, Xining); Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region (Urumqi, Kashi, Shihezi, Changji); Gansu Province (Dunhuang, Jiayuguan, Jiuquan, Tianshui, Lanzhou); Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region (Zhongwei, Wuzhong, Yinchuan); Shaanxi Province (Yan'an, Yangling, Xianyang, Xi'an); Shanxi Province (Yuncheng, Pingyao, Taiyuan, Datong); Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region (Hohhot, Ordos, Baotou, Chifeng); Heilongjiang Province (Qiqihar, Daqing, Harbin); Jilin Province (Songyuan, Changchun, Jilin, Yanji); Liaoning Province (Shenyang, Benxi, Liaoyang, Anshan, Dalian); Shandong Province (Yantai, Weihai, Qingdao, Rizhao, Linyi, Qufu, Tai'an, Jinan); Henan Province (Shangqiu, Kaifeng, Zhengzhou, Luoyang, Anyang); Hebei Province (Shijiazhuang, Qinhuangdao, Tangshan); Tianjin; and Beijing.



I couldn't help noticing that Canada is left off of that route. WTH.// Too many thieves and they knew in advance¿ Does it mean we aren't sending anyone to the Olympics¿
Seriously, what's with that gaffe¿
In other news, Ontario's Economic Development Minister Sandra Pupatello is planning a trip to China with a coterie of businessmen to discuss expanding business...
My city's Mayor is going to promote business in Toronto. Same discussions to be held as in the 2001 Major Trade Mission by then Prime Minister Jean Chretien, no doubt.

I think they're just going to the China International Boat Show 2008, just in time for Ontarian boating and cottage season in the Muskoka's.
It's one trade mission[2005] after another.


If China had not won the Olympic bid, Tibet, China and their human rights record wouldn't be mentioned, much. While we're pressing China about those human rights, shall we ask the N/A manufacturers closing plants back home and opening their plants in China how much the consumer cares, while voting with their wallets. An answer to tight economic times. No overtime.//
Guess Russia isn't so damn hot anymore for investment now that it's [*AHENH*KAFF*KAFF*] democratic.

While we're protesting, can we protest that Homeland Security Legislation that strips your rights from under your feet under the guise of 'Protecting Youse'. huh¿


What You Can Do To Support Tibet Today, [from the Tibet Canada Committee [NGO] website.]
posted by alicesshoe at 4:59 PM on April 7, 2008


If one could credit the IOC with Odyssean levels of cunning, one might assume that the 2008 Olympics were awarded to China precisely so that these types of protests and boycotts might occur, thereby further illuminating China's reprehensible human rights record.

Interestingly, the credulity that one would internalize for that theory is diametrically opposed to the aforementioned guile.
posted by sciurus at 6:17 PM on April 7, 2008


I like this Time China blog entry on the London protests and how they are being spun in China and the UK. It really shows the difference in media styles, as well as the difference between free press and not-so-free press.
posted by gemmy at 6:39 PM on April 7, 2008


Was just going to add something similar to that, gemmy. Here's a similar report by the AP. Reports of protests have started to surface on tv and the papers here in Nanjing, but they spin the story a ton. The London and Paris police, for instance, are seen as supportive of China's crackdown in Tibet because they're cracking down on the "Tibetan separatists" who are orchestrating all of the demonstrations. Almost, but not quite, as laughable as the Xinhua reports (one such) about widespread foreign support for China's Tibet crackdown. Sure, there's wide support, but from a rogue's gallery of human-rights abusers: Sudan, Syria, Russia, Iran, Kazakhstan.
posted by msbrauer at 7:31 PM on April 7, 2008


I think its the first time a Frenchman had a torch in his hand and didn't immediately start setting cars on fire.

Glad to see they are making progress.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 8:19 PM on April 7, 2008


Nagano? ahh crap, so we will get those seriously annoying whiner/protesters too, they are almost as annoying as the damned greenpeace cult group...

Then, more of that crap with G8 is in town.. so tedious.. can't be THAT hard for these people to get a damned job already.
posted by lundman at 8:45 PM on April 7, 2008


Stop the torchure.
posted by sien at 8:50 PM on April 7, 2008


Flame war!
posted by mazola at 9:14 PM on April 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Beijing says no force can stop the world relay of the Olympic flame as it faces new protests on the Californian leg.

Dalai Yoda diagrees.
posted by homunculus at 10:37 PM on April 7, 2008


He may disagree as well.
posted by homunculus at 10:48 PM on April 7, 2008


Do host countries make money from people watching the Olympics on TV? Would a boycott of the Olympics (people not travelling there to see it) and a boycott of watching the Olympics on TV hurt China in any way?
posted by gt2 at 11:53 PM on April 7, 2008


The IOC will consider ending the international leg of the Beijing Olympic torch relay
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 5:08 AM on April 8, 2008


IOC will not cancel torch relay
(linked from the page fearfulsymmetry linked to)
posted by edd at 8:28 AM on April 8, 2008


German parliamentarians report shortages in Tibetan monasteries
posted by homunculus at 11:40 AM on April 8, 2008


France urges Tibet talks after torch chaos
posted by homunculus at 11:42 AM on April 8, 2008


Thousands turn out for speeches by Desmond Tutu, Richard Gere
posted by homunculus at 11:17 PM on April 8, 2008


Meanwhile, in Tibet: Around 70 monks of Ramoche Temple detained in midnight raid, whereabouts still unknown

Chinese police fire on Tibetan protesters two days after killing eight Tibetans in Sichuan province
posted by homunculus at 9:20 AM on April 9, 2008


Questions raised over mysterious 'men in blue'

Lord Coe condemns Chinese flame protectors as ‘horrible thugs’
posted by homunculus at 9:40 AM on April 9, 2008


Monks Disrupt Media Tour in China
posted by homunculus at 10:39 AM on April 9, 2008


Any news from SF yet?
posted by Big_B at 11:45 AM on April 9, 2008


Thousands gathering for S.F. torch run
posted by homunculus at 12:03 PM on April 9, 2008


MSNBC article/video: Mass demonstrations for torch relay in S.F.
posted by ericb at 1:08 PM on April 9, 2008


Looks like they've changed the game from Capture the Torch to Hide and Seek.
posted by homunculus at 2:26 PM on April 9, 2008


Olympic Torch Used To Ignite Tibetan Protesters
posted by Artw at 2:27 PM on April 9, 2008


The busloads of China supporters seem to have equalized the Tibetan protesters' impact, at least in media impressions.

I guess the lesson is: never depend on outnumbering the Chinese.
posted by anthill at 2:48 PM on April 9, 2008


Planned Olympic Torch Ceremony Canceled
posted by homunculus at 3:30 PM on April 9, 2008


We now know that the SFPD does not have a fixie squad, but does have a JetSki division and rubber raft battalion.
posted by fixedgear at 3:44 PM on April 9, 2008


Apparently one of the torchbearers tried to protest, but she was kicked out of the relay by the Chinese cops:
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."
posted by homunculus at 6:14 PM on April 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


Here's a TED talk by Majora Carter: Greening the ghetto
posted by homunculus at 6:29 PM on April 9, 2008


alicesshoe: Canada was hardly the only country shunned. A quick look at the list your posted shows that only two cities in América were selected, one in North America and one in South America. What? No love for Central America? We're also sending quite a few athletes, and while my country typically doesn't reach a top spot in the medals listings, we have managed in the past to bring home a few, including some gold. Still, not much of a loss now is it? I, for one, am happy that I won't get to see in the local news some overzealous cops clubbing nearly to death some poor well-meaning souls.
posted by papafrita at 1:47 PM on April 11, 2008


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