Wednesday, March 19, 2008

China's Olympic Torch Ignites Trouble on Coast

By JOSH GERSTEIN, Staff Reporter of the NY Sun
March 20, 2008

...."This is a North American mayor who says he supports American values who is kowtowing to Beijing on everything," Mr. Colker said. "It's hilarious that he's getting away with it."...

..."You can't enforce harmony at the barrel of a gun," one pro-Tibet activist, Giovanni Vassallo, replied.

Activists concerned about China's role in repression in Darfur and Burma, as well as Beijing' s hostility toward a religious sect, Falun Gong, have expressed alarm about reports that San Francisco plans to confine demonstrators to so-called free-speech zones, which may or may not abut the still undisclosed torch route. ...

..."China is exporting its censorship policies to the U.S., and San Francisco, for whatever reason, seems to be going along with it," Allyn Brooks-LaSure of the Save Darfur Coalition said. "China should not be able to come to San Francisco and use it as a major media relations victory."

Legal action seems likely if the so-called free-speech zones are not within view or earshot of the torch route. An official with the local office of the American Civil Liberties Union, Michael Risher, has filed requests for information on the protest restrictions. "The concern is that the city will try to keep the protests out of sight and out of mind. I don't think the city law or the Constitution allows that," he said. ... (more)
OLYMPIC WATCH: Human Rights in China and Beijing 2008

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