The Olympic Torch and Protesters.

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    Apr 07, 2008 10:56 PM GMT
    Since the Olympic Torch and the Games are a symbol friendly competition and "Peaceful Global Community", I am wondering what other RJ members think or feel about the actions of the protesters.

    I am torn. I understand that the protesters are trying to make a point and bring the world's attention to situation in Tibet. Yet, I think the extinguishing the torch is counter-productive. It is similar to shooting the Dove of Peace to draw attention to gun control issues.

    Since most gay men are athletic, to varing degrees, and have experienced prejudice or worst, that we would have a better insight into what the protesters are trying to prove. Thus, my posting, what do you think or feel about the disruption of the progress of the torch and torch bearers by the protesters?
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    Apr 07, 2008 11:39 PM GMT
    When first awarded the Games, China agreed in principle to make substantive improvements to human rights in the country something which it has demonstrably failed to do. While Im entirely opposed to any kind of violent protest, I believe people have a right to demonstrate their opposition to whats going on in Tibet, and further afield for that matter, and if this means disrupting the torch relay then so be it. People talk about the Olympic ideal being brought into disrepute by these protests, but I contend it is the IOC who did this themselves by awarding the Games to this murderous regime in the first place. We should count ourselves blessed that we live in a free society where we can openly protest in this manner without fear of state or military retribution.
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    Apr 08, 2008 4:14 AM GMT
    I think the protests are an ingenious and necessary way to bring attention to a matter that has gone virtually unspoken of for decades.
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    Apr 08, 2008 7:54 AM GMT
    And now they're talking about scrapping future international torch relays: [url]http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,23506495-2,00.html?from=public_rss[/url]

    I went to the Sydney Olympics torch relay feeling a bit jaded, but afterwards was all for the relay - it's fantastic tradition.

    My suggestion would be for the IOC to be a bit more selective about which countries can work within a, "Peaceful Global Community." I may well have been a victim of my own country's propaganda, but I can't remember too many protesting the torch relays for other Olympic games.
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    Apr 08, 2008 8:14 AM GMT
    makeumyne saidI may well have been a victim of my own country's propaganda, but I can't remember too many protesting the torch relays for other Olympic games.


    Ozzies (and Tazzies) aren't exactly on the radar of propaganda regimes (well, apart from the whole "shrimp on the barbie" thing, which got a little out of control ;). In fact, you folks are quite humble, in your charmingly self-confident way.

    China, on the other hand, competes quite well with other top regimes in the propaganda department. I'm torn between awarding first place to North Korea, which has a smaller but more sinister program, and China, which is less restrictive but probably has the most massive and creative propaganda machinery on the planet today -- from a technologist's perspective, it's freaking amazing actually.

    So your point, I think, is quite valid, and you don't have to put any asterisk on it for being "under the influence." Well, OK... some influence besides Foster's.

    K
  • Clevfunguy

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    Apr 08, 2008 9:30 AM GMT
    The United States can spend billions of dollars, yours and mine, to fight a war in the Middle East that has a questionable beginning, yet we will not take a stand to help a culture that is being murdered. For the past 40 years, Tibet has been under Chinese occupation and control. The Tibetan people, culture, and their ideologies have been subjected to genocide and the world has turned their back. If Tibet had a productive economy, such as oil possibly, we might opt to spend large amounts of money and human lives to help save them, but not just for a culture. If we did not outsource large amounts of American business over to China in the hopes of progressing the corporate dollar in lieu of American family income and unsafe Chinese imports, we might decide to step in and help, but not just for a culture. Tibet may not offer to the world a great wealth of technological knowledge or oil reserves, but they contribute diversity and the ideals of peace. Didn't the world once before turn their back on "rumors" of genocide and mass killings in Germany? Didn't the world once before pretend these atrocities were not happening? Didn't the world learn anything from the last time around?

    The Dalai Lama holds fast to non-violence and awaits a peaceful resolution, as he has since his exile 40 years ago. Peaceful protests will bring a focus on China and if the protestors are many they cannot be ignored. Where the line is crossed and protest turns disruptive is open for debate. I feel if we turn our backs once more for the mere illusion of the unity that the "games" can bring, we as a nation, as a world, have failed.
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    Apr 08, 2008 11:05 AM GMT
    Considering the fact that China has had nuclear weapons since the 1960s, I would say a US military invasion of China is a rather stupid idea.

    It seems the World loves to criticize the US when they don't act, but when they do, the complain about it. How is the genocide of Kurds and Shiites that took place in Iraq under Saddam Hussein any different that what is going on in Tibet? Is it because Iraq has oil that they didn't deserve to have the US step in and stop Saddam? Or is it because that Tibet does not have oil that we should step in?

    I fully support the protesters. I think they have every right to make the Chinese govern understand that the free world does not accept their treatment of their people. China fails to understand why they are not accepted as a first tier country. They assume because they have a powerful economy and an increasingly powerful military they should automatically be respected by the world. They fail to understand that it takes more than money and bullets to be respected.
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19133

    Apr 09, 2008 6:23 PM GMT
    I respect their right to protest, but it still saddens we that the OLYMPICS has to be their platform. The games should be about sport and excellence in it - period. So much good about the Olympics, that I wish it could just not be politicized.
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    Apr 09, 2008 6:26 PM GMT
    I think it is tacky and opportunistic. when did these protesters decie to jump on the human rights bandwagon? Seems like they would not have made the effort if there were not something to latch on to. They are doing a diservice to the spirit of the olympics and the athletes who have dedicated their life and tied their dreams to the games since they were just children.

    china's human rights violations are nothing new. Its a shame that a event that supports unity, peace and ties the world together is a platform for divisive protests. I hope these people learn that they are actually working against their cause. The flame and torch are very sacred and should be respected, at least with silent non violence. they are not a symbol of China, but a beacon for the world.
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    Apr 09, 2008 6:37 PM GMT
    I live in SF and I am as well torn!!

    I understand the need to bring attention to issues, in this case China and what not. However, ultimately these are Olympic games, unity through sports, camaraderie! And I don't agree with some of the abrasiveness that some of the protesters are going about getting the messages out to the world. What annoyed me about it is that here in SF there was a 16 year old who had a once in a lifetime opportunity to participate in the torch relay and her parents pulled her out do to the extreme tactics that the protesters are using. I mean come on, this 16 year old had a once in a lifetime opportunity and now may never get it back! Just sucks!!!
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    Apr 09, 2008 6:39 PM GMT
    Instead of disrupting the torch relay why don't the protesters disrupt Wal-Mart? The athletes didn't choose to get involved with China, but Wal-Mart did!

    Support athletes, boycott corporations.
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    Apr 09, 2008 6:43 PM GMT
    Hell yeah. I try my best not to buy products from China when I can. I am willing to spend a little more on something made in the US or at least not China. I haven't shopped in a Wal-mart in years. I refuse to step foot in one, but thats not just the China thing, its also cause I think Walmart is kind of white trash.
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    Apr 11, 2008 8:27 PM GMT
    Thank you for your postings.
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    Apr 11, 2008 8:39 PM GMT
    I'm torn about it as well. The protesters, however, aren't just U.S. Citizens. I think it's important to keep reminding the world of the human rights abuses China has perpetrated. However, the U.S. can be very hypocritical about what it protests and what it lets slide.

    The U.S. thought about boycotting the 1936 Olympics in Germany, which had been awarded by IOC before Hitler took power. However, if we had pulled out Jesse Owens would not have won four gold medals and embarrassed the Nazis.

    I fully support the athletes but I don't support China. Even one of the Olympic torch-bearers, a Chinese woman (and lesbian), said the protesters had every right to be there and that she agreed with them.
  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    Apr 11, 2008 8:55 PM GMT
    irishskin saidWhen first awarded the Games, China agreed in principle to make substantive improvements to human rights in the country something which it has demonstrably failed to do. While Im entirely opposed to any kind of violent protest, I believe people have a right to demonstrate their opposition to whats going on in Tibet, and further afield for that matter, and if this means disrupting the torch relay then so be it. People talk about the Olympic ideal being brought into disrepute by these protests, but I contend it is the IOC who did this themselves by awarding the Games to this murderous regime in the first place. We should count ourselves blessed that we live in a free society where we can openly protest in this manner without fear of state or military retribution.


    ditto. When the IOC awarded Beijing the right to host the '08 Olympics, it was immediately criticized because of their human rights and environmental abuses. The IOC quickly defended their decision because they claimed that "this would bring China into the world" and help them realize that they need to vastly improve their record on those issues.

    SO WITH THAT SAID, who started the politics first? The IOC did by the reasons why they awarded China with the Olympics.
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    Apr 11, 2008 9:07 PM GMT
    If people want to use the torch as a way to draw attention to the plight of Tibetans, why not? When a country accepts the games, they also accept scrutiny of thier policies and politics. That said...

    In a utopia, the games would be a place for athletes to come together and celebrate their excellence. The games should be beyond all that (politics, imperialism) but then, what is if you really think about it? What I find amusing is how the US media is discussing China's role in Tibet with little to no irony as the US occupies Iraq indefinately. Just sayin.
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    Apr 11, 2008 9:09 PM GMT
    Read all the above postings, and I am as torn as your initial posting, Moose_head. I don't think Tibet ever really had direct rule by China until 1950. I sympathize with the Tibetans who are becoming a poor minority in their own country. I sympathize with the protesters, as long as peace prevails. I think trying to put out the flame is not productive.

    On the other hand, I understand somewhat the attitude of most Chinese citizens, whose country was pushed around ridiculously by the Western Powers and Japan from the 1840's to after WWII. Were I Chinese, I think I would resent Westerners', whatever their motives, criticizing China.

    The Chinese government is doing itself no favor by sending an escort of what some call "thugs" to accompany the runners, by not allowing more freedom, and even demonstrations, within China, and by not reaching some accomodation with the Dalai Lama while he is still around. After him, Tibetan nationalism will become much more militant and maybe terrorist.
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    Apr 11, 2008 9:18 PM GMT
    I think the IOC should be very selective on who it selects to host the Olympic games. Pick countries that have a reasonably good human rights record.

    This the fifth Olympics in my lifetime that has been negatively impacted by political events. The years were 1972, 1976, 1980, 1984 and 2008. Interestingly enough they have all been summer olympics.

    I don't think it was a total fluke that the Tibetan protests happened this year. The Chinese should have known better and shown restraint, instead their knee jerk violent reaction confirmed many people's worse fears about the government. Now they have a total mess on their hands. The 2008 Olympic games will be known for the torch that had to hide.

    The UK leader and the Canadian leader are not going to the opening ceremonies, and I don't think the French leader is either. Will the US president be next?
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    Apr 11, 2008 9:27 PM GMT
    I think this will all be forgotten.

    China is to big a friend to everyone for any nations leadership to threaten with a boycott. Small protests by leaders by not showing for the opening will have little impact. Tibet isn't going to gain anything.

    And I doubt the Olympic organization itself will take any notice of the protest and act, I'm sure its money and influence that got the Olympics in China in the first place.

    The Olympics is a television event now. Most of the travelers to the games are friends and families of the athletes and staff. More people travelled to Chicago to see the Monet exhibit that people travelled to Atlanta for the games there. It's just a massive planned publicity event brings prestige to the location.
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    Apr 11, 2008 9:42 PM GMT
    I guess the concern then becomes, not that China has a history of abusing human rights and environmental destruction, but what will happen when the eyes of the world turn away after the Olympics.

    The Tibetans will still be in jail for having protested their lack of human rights in an Olympic year.

    The Muslims in the north west of China will still be in jail on the highly convenient charges of terrorism against the Olympic athletes.

    The gay rights activists will still be in jail for highlighting the plight of gay people in China when the Chinese don't want any controversy in an Olympic year.

    The environmental damage will go back to normal once the athletes have left - the Chinese have not been cleaning up the industries, simply stopping them until after the games.

    I think it's very nice of the IOC to have given China the chance to shine in the modern world, but it looks like China's simply used it as a chance to violate even more human rights.
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    Apr 12, 2008 1:18 AM GMT
    I think that the protestors have a right to protest, but Like Rugger and Rhodylifter said, boycott WALMART, that would get their attention far quicker, since it affects their "WALLETS". But overall I think the US protesting as a government, (I understand there is quite a push to urge bush boycott the games) is totally hypocritical !!!! Who are we to mention China's human rights when we (through bush/cheney policies re: prisons, rendering, occupation of IRAQ) are doing far worse right now as we speak, and are looked down upon for these actions by nearly the whold world. I DON'T THINK "DO AS I SAY, NOT AS I DO" in this case "WILL FLY" !!!!
  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    Apr 12, 2008 1:30 AM GMT
    realifedad said I think that the protestors have a right to protest, but Like Rugger and Rhodylifter said, boycott WALMART, that would get their attention far quicker, since it affects their "WALLETS". But overall I think the US protesting as a government, (I understand there is quite a push to urge bush boycott the games) is totally hypocritical !!!! Who are we to mention China's human rights when we (through bush/cheney policies re: prisons, rendering, occupation of IRAQ) are doing far worse right now as we speak, and are looked down upon for these actions by nearly the whold world. I DON'T THINK "DO AS I SAY, NOT AS I DO" in this case "WILL FLY" !!!!



    I boycott walmart too.
  • coolarmydude

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    Apr 12, 2008 1:31 AM GMT
    Trance23 saidI think this will all be forgotten.

    China is to big a friend to everyone for any nations leadership to threaten with a boycott. Small protests by leaders by not showing for the opening will have little impact. Tibet isn't going to gain anything.

    And I doubt the Olympic organization itself will take any notice of the protest and act, I'm sure its money and influence that got the Olympics in China in the first place.

    The Olympics is a television event now. Most of the travelers to the games are friends and families of the athletes and staff. More people travelled to Chicago to see the Monet exhibit that people travelled to Atlanta for the games there. It's just a massive planned publicity event brings prestige to the location.


    icon_idea.gifSo, will u forget to watch the Olympics on televisionicon_question.gificon_wink.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 12, 2008 1:55 AM GMT
    First off, Trance replies to a mole in the ground, which represents his mentality...
    ______________________________________________________

    They are protesting for a reason...if you can't get what that is, well, then you are the problem.

    Dear friends,

    After decades of suffering, the Tibetan people have burst onto the streets in protests and riots. The spotlight of the upcoming Olympic Games is now on China, and Tibetan Nobel peace prize winner the Dalai Lama is calling to end all violence through restraint and dialogue--he urgently needs the world’s people to support him.

    China’s leaders are lashing out publicly at the Dalai Lama--but we’re told many Chinese officials believe dialogue is the best hope for stability in Tibet. China’s leadership is right now considering a crucial choice between crackdown and dialogue that could determine Tibet’s--and China’s--future.

    We can affect this historic choice--China does care about its international reputation, and we can help them choose the right path. China’s President Hu Jintao needs to hear that the ’Made in China’ brand and the upcoming Olympics in Beijing will succeed only if he makes the right choice. But it will take an avalanche of global people power to get his attention. Clic k below now to join 1.5 million others and sign the petition--and tell absolutely everyone you can right away--our goal is 2 million voices united for Tibet:

    http://www.avaaz.org/en/tibet_end_the_violence/97.php/?CLICKTRACK

    China’s economy is dependent on "Made in China" exports that we all buy, and the government is keen to make the Olympics in Beijing this summer a celebration of a new and respected China. China is also a sprawling, diverse country with much brutality in its past. And it has good reasons to be concerned about stability -- some of Tibet’s rioters killed innocent people. But President Hu must recognize that the greatest danger to Chinese stability and development today comes from hardliners who advocate escalating repression, not from those Tibetans seeking dialogue and reform.

    We have presented the petition at protests, marches, rallies, and private meetings with Chinese diplomats around the world--and we will keep sending it as long as it kee ps growing. Please forward this email to your address book with a note explaining to your friends why this is important, or use our tell-a-friend tool to email your address book--it will come up after you sign. The Tibetan people have suffered quietly for decades. It is finally their moment to speak--we must help them be heard.

    With hope and respect~
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 12, 2008 2:07 AM GMT
    While One dose not agree with Communist China's occupation of Tibet. One is appalled at those protesters action, and hijacking the Olympics, with their acts of violence, and disrespect for the Olymics. Mind you> China should never of been awarded the Games in the first place!

    From this moment on. My form of protest will be peaceful, and silent. One tunes their back on these games.