Friday, December 9th, 2016

I thought the whole point of the torch relay was for it to be seen

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If the Olympics organizers and the police are going to play “hide and seek” with the Olympic Torch, what’s the point of continuing with the relay?

After its parade was rerouted and shortened to prevent disruptions by massive crowds of anti-China protesters, the planned closing ceremony at the waterfront was canceled and moved to San Francisco International Airport. The flame was put directly on a plane and was not displayed.

The last-minute changes to the route and the site of the closing ceremony were made amid security concerns following chaotic protests in London and Paris of China’s human rights record in Tibet and elsewhere, but they effectively prevented many spectators who wanted to see the flame from witnessing the historic moment.

And just why are we allowing Chinese security to operate in the United States?

Torchbearers in other cities have complained of aggressive behavior by paramilitary police in blue track suits sent by Beijing to guard the Olympic flame. Although there were no major problems reported in California, they did make their presence felt.

At least one torchbearer decided to show her support for Tibetan independence during her moment in the spotlight. After being passed the Olympic flame, Majora Carter pulled out a small Tibetan flag that she had hidden in her shirt sleeve.

“The Chinese security and cops were on me like white on rice, it was no joke,” said Carter, 41, who runs a nonprofit organization in New York. “They pulled me out of the race, and then San Francisco police officers pushed me back into the crowd on the side of the street.”

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