Lots of news out today about the Olympic torch relay and the protests surrounding it. I’m not going to get in the middle of the issue here, except to say, I think it’s unfortunate so much violence has surrounded the European portion of the torch relay. Lots of shoving, pushing, tackling, and attempts to grab the torch from the runners’ hands; it’s disheartening.
Of course, China’s human rights record is flawed, and the Chinese government response to last month’s events in Tibet is appalling. And while I am in no way equating the crackdown in Tibet with the events in London and Paris, China’s actions don’t give protesters free rein to disrupt the torch relay.
Free speech is important, so yell, chant, counter demonstrate. Here in San Francisco to show support for Tibet a Human Rights Torch Rally attracted a couple of hundred people, while a trio of protesters scaled the cables of the Golden Gate Bridge to hang pro-Tibetan banners. Who knows what’s going to happen when the torch arrives here for its only North American stop. Hopefully the protests will be loud, passionate, and, as they usually are here in San Francisco, creative.