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Look, I am all for a good protest, and I believe that China does a lot of inhumane things to prisoners and Communist dissenters, but this is getting out of hand.
The Olympic torch is taking its trip around the world like it does before every Olympics; however, there has been a lot of opposition to the China games due to their treatment of countries such as Tibet."They are doing it at all the landmarks in the cities that are hosting the Olympic torch," said Tenzing Dasang, a member of Students for a Free Tibet, an activist group which he said planned the action.
Which action? Well, how about this: (From ESPN) Three pro-Tibet activists scaled the cables of San Francisco's famed Golden Gate Bridge and hung banners on Monday to protest the arrival of the Olympic torch in the city on Wednesday.
That’s right…three people climbed the Golden Gate Bridge to show their displeasure.
This isn’t the only one. There have been protests in London, Paris as well as many countries discussing the boycotting of the opening ceremonies.
"I think the Chinese government did underestimate the extent to which the Olympics was going to become a vehicle and target for protest," said James Mann, former Beijing bureau chief for the Los Angeles Times.
I think there should be protests, and I even think that there should be some boycotts…but putting your life in danger is just ridiculous. Yes, you want to make a point, but you don’t need to do that by getting arrested for climbing a San Francisco Bridge.
It has also turned into a massive political issue here in the States. You now have several people telling President Bush that he should boycott the opening ceremonies because of the crackdowns in Tibet and other human rights abuses.
"At this time, and in light of recent events, I believe President Bush should not plan on attending the opening ceremonies in Beijing, absent major changes by the Chinese government," Hillary Clinton said in a released statement.
The last leg of the Paris trip had to be cut short due to the Olympic torch being continually extinguished.
This goes back to my political stance (give me just a few sentences), while I agree that a country pressing another country and performing human rights violations is absolutely deplorable, what the country does “in-house” is up to them. Who are we to step into their country and tell them that their culture is wrong? Again, when that spills into other countries and other cultures, then it is a problem, but until then it is not our responsibility. In fact it is irresponsible to expect other countries to be America Junior.
What will a protest do?
It was thought back when they gave the games to China, that the Olympics would help the world’s-view of the Communist country, as well as open communication with them about ending the violations. Now, the world sees this as just another way for China to impose Communism on the world and a time to show their displeasure.
But will the protesting help? Remember 1980? Well, the United States decided to boycott the Moscow games because the U.S.S.R had rolled their tanks into Afghanistan. 64 other countries joined the fight, leaving Moscow with a very minimal field of athletes. The problem is, even with the boycott, Afghanistan was still occupied by the Soviets until 1988. Maybe it helped, but not enough.
In fact, it was more damaging to the athletes then it was to the Soviets’ attack on Afghanistan.
Players like Craig Beardsley never had another chance to go back. "What really hits home to me about the boycott was the Soviets didn't pull out of Afghanistan for nine years," Tracy Caulkins Stockwell [swimmer] said. "Did it put any pressure on them? No, it was just a missed opportunity for many athletes. It just doesn't seem fair."
In 1984 the Soviets and East Germans boycotted the Los Angeles games, where Caulkins won three gold medals. Beardsley didn’t have the chance. “If it was going to do some good, then we could sacrifice. But as time went on, as we realized what little impact it had, I became angry for what the boycott did to all these people, my friends and teammates, and people in all those other countries too."
This isn’t to say that we shouldn’t boycott certain things, but if we are so angry with what they do then why not cut them off like we did with Cuba? Oh, right, because of money.