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April 7, 2008 / chrisisgross

olympic torch protests

the protests over the weekend in london and in paris were an interesting start to the run up to the olympic games.

as for the actions i am a little perturbed by protests that call attention to the protesters more than to the reason for the protest. these huge individual acts are ones that only seek to improve the protesters sense of self and importance.

i am aware of the cynicism to what i am saying, but protest is a group act. action should be by all not by a few. the attempts to block the torch with 300 people sitting in the road is a noble act; trying to put out the torch with a fire extinguisher is an act that will get you on tv and stroke your ego.

the reason i bring this up is that in the coming week the olympic torch will make its only appearance in the states. the only city that gets the torch is right here in san francisco. planned protests are already getting big publicity and the mayor has said that there will be no barricades on the parade route. i can only imagine the crazed storm of indignation that is going to rain down on this city.

right now there are 3 people on the golden gate bridge trying to place a sign in protest to china’s rights abuses. to me this is more about them then the message they are conveying. my worry is that much like the previous protests there will be footage of people attacking the torchbearers to get to the torch; your 5 seconds of fame on the news.

the video that i have seen so far has shown that those under seige, the torchbearers, have been children, a woman in a wheelchair, and an elderly man. somehow their well being is not being considered. the only consideration is to perform their protestation. i would hope that the protesters would be as concerned for the well being of those they are attacking as the people of tibet.

i agree with the notion behind the protests; i just can not support the self-aggrandizing tactics


One Comment

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  1. Roosto-Doosto / Apr 9 2008 5:15 am

    Well said Mr. Gross. I too find these protests distasteful and lacking in the Olympic spirit which the detractors ironically accuse China of not honoring in their dealings with Darfur and Tibet.

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