Please don’t tell me where or when I may protest

The Olympic torch made a pretty pathetic tour through London today, beset at first by snow and wind, and later by numerous pro-Tibet campaigners intent on bringing their independentist protest to the fore again.

I was hoping that the torch would be fucked with at some point, because the relay is just another side of Britain’s craven pursuit of China’s acceptance. Because of 2012 the torch had to visit London, but at no point has the UK government spoken out about the violent crackdown taking place in what should be a free Tibet.

The most striking quote of the day for me came from the Chinese Olympic Committee representative, who said something along the lines of “It’s sad that people have to hijack the Olympics as a legitimate space for protest”. He went on to explain that while protest should be allowed (yeah, right!), the Olympics are a sporting event, not a political one.

Sorry but that just doesn’t wash. If there is any ‘non-political’ event as political as the Olympic Games, I’d like to know. I’m sick of committee organisers, politicians and police ‘advising’ on the best way to protest. Their suggestions inevitably involve meeting in some park, well away from TV cameras. Yeah, perhaps we could just do it in a labour camp. Actually, the torch relay is about the most suitable target for protest that I can think about at the moment.

Despite all the talk about Islamist terrorism, I’m still convinced that the number one threat that worries governments everywhere is organisation of labour and mass protest. We should continue our protests, illegal if need be, so that governments can’t sit pretty and pretend there is no opposition.

2 thoughts on “Please don’t tell me where or when I may protest

  1. I’ve just read that in Paris this morning they had to put out the flame and carry it in a bus to escape the demonstrators. What’s really worrying is seeing that the poice in London were acting against anyone who had a banner or even a T-shirt with pro-Tibet slogans. I don’t like the Olympics anyway but seeing the whole “keep politics out of sport” argument being recycled again to defend the Games in China just makes it worse. Like the cricketers who used to go to play in South Africa when they still had apartheid.

  2. The police operation in London cost over a million pounds. I hope that this wasn’t paid for by the UK taxpayers. As with any other private, for-profit sporting event, the organisers should foot the bill for security.

    Great news that the flame was extinguished in Paris!

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