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Organizers canceled the final leg of the Olympic run through Paris after chaotic protests Monday, snuffing out the torch and putting it aboard a bus in a humiliating concession to protesters decrying China's human rights record.
The Paris mayor on Monday cancelled a ceremony to mark the passage of the Beijing Olympic torch as officials draped a Tibetan flag over the city hall's facade.
Mayor Bertrand Delanoe announced the cancellation just after Green party members of the city council hung out the Tibetan flag along with a black banner with the Olympic rings turned into handcuffs.
Hundreds of pro-Tibetan demonstrators disrupted the torch relay through Paris, forcing officials to repeatedly extinguish the flame and take refuge on a bus.
An unprecedented security blanket will be draped across San Francisco for the US leg of the Olympic flame's global relay here Wednesday amid worldwide condemnation of China's crackdown in Tibet and its human rights record ahead of the summer games in Beijing.
Several hundred police officers are expected to line the streets for the appearance of the torch, which has been trailed by protesters since it was lit in Greece a week ago at the start of a 85,000-mile, 21-country journey.
A San Francisco Police Department spokesman said security for the relay would be noticeably tighter than previous appearances of the torch in the city in 1992 and 1996.
"I can confirm that we are taking additional and different security measures to those that we have used in for past torch runs in San Francisco," Sergeant Neville Gittens told AFP.
Initially the flame was expected to include stops on the city's iconic Golden Gate Bridge and a trademark cable car before it was reduced to a six-mile (9.6 km) loop along the waterfront.
A proposed stop in Chinatown was also cancelled, with officials citing safety concerns given the congested neighborhood's busy, narrow streets.
Anger over China's actions in Tibet and the jailing on Thursday of dissident Hu Jia have been building in San Francisco, where the city's political leadership passed a symbolic resolution last week to greet the Olympic torch with "alarm and protest."
Three protesters are climbing up the suspension cables of the Golden Gate Bridge as part of a protest to the coming Olympic torch relay.
The protesters are wearing helmets and one of them is carrying a suitcase with him. All three of the protesters are tethered together.
One of them has pulled out a Tibetan flag.
The torch is due to arrive Wednesday in San Francisco, its only North American stop.
Clinton is calling on Bush to boycott the Olympics opening ceremony.
Clinton released a statement Monday afternoon calling for the confrontational step, a high-profile move that could also serve to distract from her campaign's internal woes:
The violent clashes in Tibet and the failure of the Chinese government to use its full leverage with Sudan to stop the genocide in Darfur are opportunities for Presidential leadership. These events underscore why I believe the Bush administration has been wrong to downplay human rights in its policy towards China. 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.
I encourage the Chinese to take advantage of this moment as an opportunity to live up to universal human aspirations of respect for human rights and unity, ideals that the Olympic games have come to represent.
Americans will stand strong in support of freedom of religious and political expression and human rights. Americans will also stand strong and root for the success of American athletes who have worked hard and earned the right to compete in the Olympic Games of 2008.
Beijing officials are to hold urgent talks with senior members of the Olympic movement about the torch relay, as concern grows among International Olympic Committee members over the effect of pro-Tibet protests on the games.
The proposed discussions follow a second consecutive day of disruption for the torch relay in Europe. Protests by hundreds of pro-Tibetan campaigners and some French politicians against Chinese human rights abuses yesterday forced organisers to cut short the Olympic torch’s 28km trip through Paris.
IOC insiders ruled out routes being curtailed or cancelled, but one said talks with Beijing would cover “how the integrity of the torch can be maintained”. One said the backlash against China’s action in Tibet was in danger of casting a “stain on the Olympic movement”.
Originally posted by 27jd
reply to post by fuelcell
I'm confused fuelcell. Do you not claim to be a westerner yourself? Also, according to you and Ichi, China has not blocked access to western sites like wiki, western MSM, etc. But there are many reports about such sites being blocked, which means somebody is lying. So much distortion everywhere. Guess that's the objective though....
Originally posted by fuelcell
China is not an isolated island. It is far more advanced than many of us might imagine. And Chinese people are proud of their splendid history and current achievements. As far as I see, ordinary Chinese people generally trust their government although they complain of bribery officials very often.
Originally posted by fuelcell
reply to post by IchiNiSan
You know, Ichi ( at a first sight, I thought you might be a Japanese. No offend), most of my relatives and acquantances have good feeling towards Chinese people. I myself learned a different story about the Daramsalah exiles of Tibetan noble men, who are supposed to encourage the riot, although I still think that China should let Dalai Lama back to Tibet. But you guys need a better job to let the rest of the world know of your viewpoints, the true China. Misunderstanding is generally caused by mis-communication, although I believe that delibrate distortion do exist. However, efficient communication can overcome this mis-understanding and, to a certain degree, distortion.
Originally posted by Witness2008
reply to post by IchiNiSan
You say that the chinese population at large are happy that their government sees to their progress and happiness. Is the chinese population unhappy with the rape, murder, imprisonment and genocide of the Tibetan population? After all you and many other chinese claim that Tibet and china are as one and they (Tibetans) are your brothers and sisters. I would think that if you loved Tibetans as much as your government has claimed that you would be right along with all those protesters trying to extinguish that Olympic flame. More propaganda.