Monday, April 7, 2008

3000 Rollerblading Police Protect Olympic Torch From Anti-Chinese Protesters in Paris

--trends + business + politics--

The Olympic drama raged on today with heavy anti-China protests over the Olympic torch run in Paris, resulting in it having to be extinguished twice to afford carries to board a bus for safety.

The scene was straight out of a surreal film, with some 3000 French police sporting roller blades, jogging gear or cruising on motorcycles to create a "human bubble" shield to protect the torch. The Eiffel Tower became became a point of confrontation when French police demanded that activists fold Tibetan flags and put them away.

On Sunday a similar protest in London was staged by human rights activists amidst extremely tight security. The protest disrupted the torch relay several times and resulted in more than two dozen arrests. China's policies in Tibet matched with their environmental record have overshadowed the Beijing games. And while protests rage on in cities worldwide, China responds by condemning demonstrators and blaming the Dalai Lama.

Just yesterday the Dalai Lama responded to China's accusations of his role in the uprisings in a statement released from his home in exile in the northern Indian hill town of Dharamshala. The Dalai Lama urged Tibetans to refrain from violence and asked them not to disrupt the events leading up to the Beijing Olympics in August.

"The recent protests all over Tibet have not only contradicted but also shattered the People's Republic of China's propaganda that except for a few 'reactionaries,' the majority of Tibetans enjoy a prosperous and contented life," the Dalai Lama said.

"These protests have also conveyed to the world that the Tibet issue can no longer be neglected."

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