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Going to the Olympic Torch Protest: What should I do?

What should I do?


  • Total voters
    56

LordOpie

MOTHER HEN
Oct 17, 2002
21,033
0
Denver
If you had half a brain, and really wanted to protest China, stop shopping at Wal-Mart.
I hear what you're saying, but very specifically, this isn't just a protest about China, it's also protesting the IOC who's more impotent than the UN.

China and IOC agreed to improving human rights, China didn't keep up their end and neither party seems to care.

If the IOC is going to act like a socio-political entity, then they need to stick to it.
 

syadasti

i heart mac
Apr 15, 2002
12,721
290
VT
If you had half a brain, and really wanted to protest China, stop shopping at Wal-Mart.
It might be popular where you live in NC but I doubt Walmart store sales are comparable in San Francisco especially among the demographic that is involved in these protests:lighten:
 

loco-gringo

Crusading Clamp Monkey
Sep 27, 2006
8,887
5
Deep in the heart of TEXAS
<snip>on a side note: i'm starting to think that san franciscans protest as a way of greeting. down here, we have ticker tape parades for visitors to show our appreciation, maybe SF just thinks that welcoming via protests is just their dysfunctional way of saying "howdy neighbor!" ;)
:rofl: Maybe he can get a holiday. That's what they are all after out there.
 

Brian HCM#1

MMMMMMMMM BEER!!!!!!!!!!
Sep 7, 2001
31,233
11
Bay Area, California
i'm starting to think that san franciscans protest as a way of greeting. down here, we have ticker tape parades for visitors to show our appreciation, maybe SF just thinks that welcoming via protests is just their dysfunctional way of saying "howdy neighbor!" ;)
Nope, it's just another reason for all the tree hugging hippies to stay unemployed, got to protest something. I wonder if some will leave their trees for this:think:

Then that would be the perfect time to cut them down:monkeydance:
 

syadasti

i heart mac
Apr 15, 2002
12,721
290
VT
I don't.

I also make sure to spend top dollar on bike parts, ensuring they come from Taiwan and Japan.
You get quality bike parts though probably the Chinese bike parts are even heat treated unlike Krapiles:weee:
 

manimal

Ociffer Tackleberry
Feb 27, 2002
7,214
14
Blindly running into cactus
It might be popular where you live in NC but I doubt Walmart store sales are comparable in San Francisco especially among the demographic that is involved in these protests:lighten:
agreed. walmart sells feminine hygiene products, soap, clothes made from cotton, and bras; items not usually purchased by said demographic. what do they have out there? pachouli mart? ;)
 

Transcend

My Nuts Are Flat
Apr 18, 2002
18,045
0
Towing the party line.
What a load of crap. There's about 100 cops on foot, bicycle and motorcycle + the chinese paramilitary guys surrounding the torch bearer. WTF is even the point? You can't even see the damn runner unless you are watching the helicopter views on CNN.
 

CRoss

Turbo Monkey
Nov 20, 2006
1,329
1
The Ranch
How many activists does it take to change a light bulb?


Nobody knows activists have never changed a thing.:rimshot:
 

DirtMcGirk

<b>WAY</b> Dumber than N8 (to the power of ten alm
Feb 21, 2008
6,417
0
Oz
The solution for your protest has been in my photobucket account all along....



You want change? The Falcon Punch causes change.

Hell, I falcon punched this kid's momma:

And even the kid came out all sorts of not right, and she wasn't even knocked up when I did it.

I'm telling you, falcon punch, you'll thank me later.
 

DirtMcGirk

<b>WAY</b> Dumber than N8 (to the power of ten alm
Feb 21, 2008
6,417
0
Oz
If it solved teen pregnancy, it solves the torch.

After all, they're just lights burning inside of someone.

Like herpes.
 

sanjuro

Tube Smuggler
Sep 13, 2004
17,412
0
SF
I was duped!!!!!!

Torch headed out of San Francisco after surprise route designed to thwart protesters

Rachel Gordon, Cecilia M. Vega, Wyatt Buchanan, Tanya Schevitz,Marisa Lagos, Chronicle Staff Writers

Wednesday, April 9, 2008
The crowd in front of the Ferry Building waited in vain f... Ramona Benson, center, and friends scrutinize a city map ... Olympic torch protesters at the corner of Battery Street ... A protester displays a message on a boat near the start o... More...

(04-09) 16:09 PDT SAN FRANCISCO -- San Francisco leaders surprised thousands of supporters and protesters today by rerouting the Beijing Olympic torch run from its advertised route to a more picturesque course that avoided the throngs of demonstrators along the Embarcadero.

The closing ceremony at Justin Herman Plaza was canceled although thousands of people remained there, and the torch was put onto a bus bound for San Francisco International Airport. After a closing ceremony at the airport, the torch is expected to leave for Buenos Aires on a China Airways flight.

The torch was originally scheduled to head from McCovey Cove to Fisherman's Wharf and back to Justin Herman Plaza. But after an opening ceremony, the torch was instead driven from McCovey Cove to Van Ness Avenue, where pairs of runners - buffered by dozens of police officers - carried it north to Bay Street and Marina Boulevard and onto Doyle Drive near the Golden Gate Bridge. That route was originally discounted by city officials as being too high profile.

The torch finally headed south on 19th Avenue toward the freeway around 3:30 p.m.

The change in plans allowed city officials to avoid the majority of protesters and spectators, though some sprinted to catch up with the convoy as it reached the Marina district. The run remained peaceful and was not interrupted by protesters, as it was in France and London last week. As word filtered through the crowds at Justin Herman Plaza that there would be no ending ceremony after all, many reactions ranged from deflated to flat-out angry.

"I am very upset," said Rosie Salis, 51, who came in from Foster City to see the relay. "There were lots of people here with their kids. They had to wait for four or five hours, and it's very disappointing."

City officials said this morning that they planned to cut the relay route short because of the large number of demonstrators. They never indicated that they would completely change the course, but City Hall sources familiar with the police response said the current route had been the plan since at least this morning.

The bait-and-switch was immediately blasted by Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin, a vocal critic of Mayor Gavin Newsom's administration.

"Gavin Newsom runs San Francisco the way the premier of China runs his country - secrecy, lies, misinformation, lack of transparency and manipulating the populace," Peskin said. "He misled supporters and opponents of the run. People brought their families and their children, and (mayoral officials) hatched a cynical plan to please the Bush State Department and the Chinese government because of the incredible influence of money.

"He did it so China can report they had a great torch run," Peskin said. "It's the worst kind of government - government by deceit and misinformation."

The mayor, who was reached by phone near the end of the torch run, denied that city officials knew early this morning that the torch route would change.

He called the allegations and Peskin's accusations "absolutely untrue."

Newsom said he and Police Chief Heather Fong made the decision to alter the route at 11 a.m. They changed it yet again when they realized throngs of people were massing in huge numbers - particularly around the ballpark, where the most intense clashes occurred.

"We felt it was in everyone's best interest that we augment the route," Newsom said. "I believe people were afforded the right to protest and support the torch. You saw that in the streets. They were not denied the ability to protest."

Peter Ueberroth, head of the U.S. Olympic Committee, was with the mayor during at least part of the torch run and praised the way the city handled event.

"The city of San Francisco, from a global perspective, will be applauded," he said.

The torch was lit at McCovey Cove around 1:20 p.m. and the first runner, surrounded by Chinese and American police, headed away from the crowd and into the Pier 48 building on the waterfront. About 20 minutes later, a convoy of vehicles, including vans and police on motorcycles, pulled out of the building and headed through downtown and the Tenderloin to Van Ness Avenue.

The convoy stopped at Van Ness Avenue and Pine Street and the torch - along with several runners - was unloaded from one of the cars. The runners, carrying the flame in pairs, then began to make their way north on Van Ness Avenue.

The torch was handed off every half-block or so to a new pair of runners.

As the route progressed, the crowds slowly grew. At one point, a knot of pro-Tibet demonstrators yelled, "Shame on China! How dare you represent China!" In return, a group of torch supporters yelled back: "They represent the U.S.!"

By the time the runners got to Broadway, the crowds were five people deep on the sidewalk, mostly screaming support and craning for good views beyond the police lines.

Nancy Chan of San Francisco, with her son Christian, 4, ran over to the route from her house two blocks away when she heard that the route was along Van Ness instead of the waterfront.

"This is a once-in-a-lifetime thing for us to see the torch," she said. "There is a lot of politics around it, but that is the great thing about America - the free speech."

Joan Woodaver, who works near Van Ness, saw on television that the route had altered, so she ran over with a sign reading "Free Tibet and Free Burma."

"I really admire the Dalai Lama, and I feel disturbed that the government of China treats people so poorly," said Woodaver, watching with her 12-year-old sons Jason and Jarron as the torch was trotted past her.

Early this morning, thousands of people gathered along the planned route on the Embarcadero, with pro-torch demonstrators facing off against protesters who are hoping to draw attention to the nation's human rights record. Many of the pro-torch demonstrators carried red Chinese flags and said they were bused in by the Chinese consulate and other pro-China groups, though others said they had come of their own accord.

Meanwhile, many of the protesters carried Tibetan flags and preached independence for the country. Others were on hand to support Burma or rail against China's backing of the Sudanese government in its war in Darfur.

Some of the most heated exchanges occurred in Willie Mays Plaza near the ballpark. But as it became clear that the torch would not be headed down the Embarcadero, tension also began to rise in the big crowd assembled in front of the Ferry Building. Around 2:15 p.m., flag-waving pro-China demonstrators attacked a 7-foot-wide pro-Tibet sign hanging on the Ferry Building. A man tried to restore the sign, but a swarm of opponents surrounded him. Another man rushed from the crowd and grabbed one of the China flags from a protester, triggering a pushing match between the two sides. Eventually, the squabble dissipated and a pro-China man grabbed the Tibet sign and tore it clean off the wall.

Originally, the route was supposed to begin at McCovey Cove, head past the Ferry Building, then loop past Fisherman's Wharf, up to Aquatic Park and down Bay Street back to the Embarcadero.

Police said no arrests had occurred and that clashes related to the protests had been minor. But the situation was tense for hours before the run, and at least one person was detained in front of the ballpark this morning. A few hours later, a confrontation between the two sides escalated to a physical violence, when a San Francisco man named Kevin Johnson, 48, walked into a crowd of torch supporters and began yelling, "Communists!"

The crowd encircled Johnson and the confrontation escalated when Johnson pulled a Chinese flag off a man's backpack. Then, someone grabbed Johnson's throat and another person punched him in the face before police intervened and walked him to safety.

"I know it sounds racist, but if they want the Olympics in China they should go back to China," he said.

Earlier, pro-Tibetan protesters in the area complained that they had been pepper sprayed, although they didn't know who did it. San Francisco resident Matt Winger, 22, flushed his red eyes with water and said, "It stings like hell."

And around noon, about 300 Tibetan protesters pushed past a line of police in the middle of the Embarcadero near Folsom Street, part of the torch route. Police had warned that anyone who crosses the metal barricades set up along the route would be arrested, and were yelling at the demonstrators to get out of the street.

San Francisco Supervisor Chris Daly was one of the protesters in the street, holding a 40-foot sign that read, "San Francisco says: No torch in Tibet." Daly wrote legislation passed last week by the Board of Supervisors that was critical of the Chinese government and called on local officials to receive the torch with "alarm and protest."

The group headed back toward the Ferry Building around 1 p.m., after nine protesters lay down in front of what they thought was a bus carrying the torch at Bryant Street and blocked its passage. While supporters chanted slogans, police removed them.

At least one Tibetan protester was detained at Willie Mays Plaza in front of the ballpark this morning after a tense standoff between both sides. The detainment of the man, who was identified by witnesses as an 18-year-old from Tibet, prompted angry demonstrators to surround police and their van, yelling that the detention was unfair and asking why the Chinese government supporters were not arrested. Officers pulled out their batons and pushed the group away.

The city has been under close scrutiny by civil rights groups for its handling of protest permits, and there were some questions today about how protests were being handled.
 

Transcend

My Nuts Are Flat
Apr 18, 2002
18,045
0
Towing the party line.
Load of crap. They held a torch relay in front of ... no one but a cadre of police officers.

"Hey guys, let's use a surprise route, you know, one that won't have any spectators."

What the hell was the point of this debacle again?
 

DirtMcGirk

<b>WAY</b> Dumber than N8 (to the power of ten alm
Feb 21, 2008
6,417
0
Oz
Wait, no falcon punch?

Life is no longer worth living.
 

Austin Bike

Turbo Monkey
Jan 26, 2003
1,559
0
Duh, Austin
Here's an idea. Instead of going to the protest why not just GET RID OF ALL YOUR GODDAMN CHINESE STUFF AND STOP BUYING IT.

I am so sick of people protesting the chinese and then heading down to wal-mart to fill their mini vans.

Stop being a convenient protester because its fashionable.

Oh, and if you want to protest a nation over-running another and mistreating its people, head down to any of the reservations in arizona or new mexico.

Plus they have some awesome riding down there.
 

LordOpie

MOTHER HEN
Oct 17, 2002
21,033
0
Denver
Here's an idea. Instead of going to the protest why not just GET RID OF ALL YOUR GODDAMN CHINESE STUFF AND STOP BUYING IT.

I am so sick of people protesting the chinese and then heading down to wal-mart to fill their mini vans.
you didnt read the thread, eh?
 

sanjuro

Tube Smuggler
Sep 13, 2004
17,412
0
SF
Here's an idea. Instead of going to the protest why not just GET RID OF ALL YOUR GODDAMN CHINESE STUFF AND STOP BUYING IT.

I am so sick of people protesting the chinese and then heading down to wal-mart to fill their mini vans.

Stop being a convenient protester because its fashionable.

Oh, and if you want to protest a nation over-running another and mistreating its people, head down to any of the reservations in arizona or new mexico.

Plus they have some awesome riding down there.
I don't buy Chinese. What do you do?

P.S. I lived in slums in New York, Buffalo, New Orleans, and Hartford. Do you have more lectures from your high horse for me?
 

black noise

Turbo Monkey
Dec 31, 2004
1,033
0
Santa Cruz
Not buying Chinese stuff is a drop in a multibillion-dollar bucket and doesn't get TV exposure. This isn't necessarily a day to be aware before forgetting about it, it's the one day where there will be a LOT of coverage which is what matters more than a personal boycott. And I'm willing to bet a lot of these people already vote with their dollar (it's SF), not shop exclusively at Wal-Mart which you guys seem to suggest. (is there a Wal-Mart within 50 miles of SF?)

And don't rag on the protesters for doing this, excuse them for not dedicating 100% of their lives to solving the world's problems. They're making their voices heard and that's a step. And I forgot that women's sufferage and civil rights movements weren't grassroots at all but took place in Congress. :rolleyes:

That said, way to go by rerouting the torch so nobody sees it. What a way to celebrate international peace, with a secret convoy.
 

LordOpie

MOTHER HEN
Oct 17, 2002
21,033
0
Denver
Not buying Chinese stuff is a drop in a multibillion-dollar bucket and doesn't get TV exposure. This isn't necessarily a day to be aware before forgetting about it, it's the one day where there will be a LOT of coverage which is what matters more than a personal boycott. And I'm willing to bet a lot of these people already vote with their dollar (it's SF), not shop exclusively at Wal-Mart which you guys seem to suggest. (is there a Wal-Mart within 50 miles of SF?)

And don't rag on the protesters for doing this, excuse them for not dedicating 100% of their lives to solving the world's problems. They're making their voices heard and that's a step. And I forgot that women's sufferage and civil rights movements weren't grassroots at all but took place in Congress. :rolleyes:

That said, way to go by rerouting the torch so nobody sees it. What a way to celebrate international peace, with a secret convoy.
well said.