Olympic Torch Relay in San Francisco

April 9, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
The Olympic torch makes its way to the United States, with a relay in San Francisco today but not without protest. People have been coming out against the games being held in china because of the country's human rights record and its crackdown on Tibet.

The Olympic flame burns bright, and so does the passion surrounding the controversy over China's policy toward Tibet. Protesters are gearing up to speak out as the torch makes its way through San Francisco's streets Wednesday.

Monday, activists hung banners from the Golden Gate Bridge. Actor Richard Gere is an advocate for human rights in Tibet. "This torch is going through China through the world, co-opting the idea of harmony. To push a political position which is the abuse of not only the Chinese themselves, but of the Tibetan people."

The stop in San Francisco is part of a month-long international tour. In London and Paris dozens of arrests were made along the torch relay route. Beijing organizers say the relay will go on, but some International Olympic Committee members have suggested an early end should be considered. "The I.O.C. must try to solve this problem," said International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge.

Jiang Yu with the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, "These people are trying to use the Olympics to achieve the unspeakable goal of defaming china. Their attempts will definitely fail."

The International Olympic Committee said there's no proposal on the agenda to end the tour early.

Meanwhile, House Leader Nancy Pelosi and Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton are calling for President Bush to consider a boycott of opening ceremonies.

A spokeswoman for the president said his schedule is not yet determined; though he plans to attend the games.

The head of the IOC is meeting with China's Premier today to talk about Olympic preparations. Chinese officials vow to make the games a success.

Many Americans are unhappy with the choice of China as the host of the Summer Olympics, but an exclusive new Action News poll says they fall short of asking for an Olympic boycott.

The poll, conducted by SurveyUSA, found only 33% percent agreed with the choice of China as the host. 57% percent disagreed, and ten-percent said they weren't sure.

When asked if the U.S. should boycott the games, only 23% percent said "Yes", with 69% percent saying "No", and 8% percent saying they weren't sure.


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