Approaching torch sets San Francisco simmering

(dpa) - Normally, runners in San Francisco are afraid of the famous city's tortuous hills and bone-chilling fog.

But as footage of violent protests from the global Olympic torch relay was beamed around the world in recent days, the relay runners in San Francisco had other fears on their mind.

"I am hopeful that my fellow human-rights activists will not condemn me for this," said Helen Zia, a noted American-Asian author and human-rights campaigner.

Zia, 55, is one of about 50 runners chosen to carry the torch during its only journey in the US.

What was meant to be a celebration of the Olympic spirit and a moment of celebration for San Francisco's prominent Chinese-American community has instead turned into a huge controversy.

The growing uproar is part of the biggest political threat to the Olympics in a generation - since the boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympics by 62 countries in the aftermath of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and the Soviet-led retaliatory boycott of the Los Angeles Games four years later.

Police in San Francisco said they are taking special actions to protect the torch, which had to be extinguished three times in Paris because of protests, before organizers in the French capital decided to cut short the route.

Precautions were powerless Monday to stop three intrepid climbers who scaled San Francisco's landmark Golden Gate Bridge to unfurl banners in support of independence for Tibet.

"We are part of the global independent movement for Tibet, and we are calling the world's attention to what's happening in Tibet right now," protestor Laurel Sutherlin told a local TV station as he dangled more than 50 meters above the bridge.

"China is trying to take this Olympic torch around the world and use it as an opportunity to become a global player. We are looking to unmask this propaganda and let the world know there's brutal oppression happening in Tibet."

The stunt on the bridge coincided with a call by US Senator Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential hopeful, for George W Bush to boycott the opening ceremonies in August in Beijing.

Clinton also cited China's failure to use its influence with the Sudanese regime to halt the Darfur conflict, which had human-rights activists railing against the Beijing Games even before the unrest four weeks ago in Tibet set the pot boiling.

Oscar-winning Hollywood director Steven Spielberg resigned two months ago from the organizing committee of the opening ceremony to voice his protest, while an organization called Team Darfur is rallying athletes from around the world to raise awareness about the crisis in the Sudanese region.

Given San Francisco's reputation as a radical bastion that enjoys nothing better than a good protest, the embarrassing scenes of mayhem that accompanied the torch in Paris and London are likely to be repeated on US soil.

City supervisors last week adopted a resolution calling for the torch to be greeted with "alarm and protest." That was seen as a slap in the face to the city's Chinese-American community, which makes up a third of the San Francisco population.

"On what moral ground does a country that's been involved in the slave trade in Africa and that drummed up false charges to invade Iraq shake its finger and lecture China?" asked Rose Pak, a prominent community activist.

"They're turning this whole thing into something ugly. Chinese people thought they had a moment to be proud. Now they'll stay away, bewildered."

Subscribe to Trend in Google News! Subscribe
Turkey notes growth in cement exports to Uzbekistan
Turkey notes growth in cement exports to Uzbekistan
From digital transformation to strategic priorities: Siemens talks work in Uzbekistan (Exclusive)
From digital transformation to strategic priorities: Siemens talks work in Uzbekistan (Exclusive)
Chinese Xi congratulates Mirziyoyev on election as Uzbek president
Chinese Xi congratulates Mirziyoyev on election as Uzbek president
Loading Bars
Latest
Apple importer iDigital plans TASE IPO at NIS 1b valuation
Turkey notes growth in cement exports to Uzbekistan
Azerbaijan prolongs program of cooperation with FAO
Oil gains as traders await stocks data, Iran talks
Embassy of Hungary with support of AZAL presents “Treasures of Hungary” photo exhibition (PHOTO)
U.S. Treasury's Yellen raised 'issues of concern' with Chinese Vice Premier Liu -statement
1,353 more COVID-19 cases reported in Kazakhstan
From digital transformation to strategic priorities: Siemens talks work in Uzbekistan (Exclusive)
Chinese Xi congratulates Mirziyoyev on election as Uzbek president
Man shot inside Union Square subway station in New York
Facebook invests billions in metaverse efforts as ad business slows
Egypt not to extend years-long state of emergency: president
Spain's COVID-19 cases top 5 mln
Seven killed, 140 hurt in protests against Sudan military coup
Western ambassadors took a step back, will be more careful: Erdogan
Tesla’s market value tops $1T after Hertz orders 100K cars
6 injured, including officer, in Idaho mall shooting
Saudi Arabia outlines plans under Mideast Green Initiative
British PM tells Putin Russia-UK relationship "is not the one" London wants
Chronicles of Victory: President Ilham Aliyev interviewed by Italian Rai 1 TV channel on October 26, 2020 (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Chronicles of Victory: President Ilham Aliyev addresses the nation on October 26, 2020 (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Chronicles of Victory: October 26, 2020
Development of financial technologies in Kyrgyzstan discussed in Bishkek
Georgian PM holds videoconference with Ukrainian, Moldovan counterparts
Modernization of our country, fight against unpleasant situations must reach a completely new level - President Ilham Aliyev
We are a creator nation, and we will rebuild Gubadli - Azerbaijani president
Africa's COVID-19 cases near 8.5 mln: Africa CDC
For me, biggest reward is joy and pride in the eyes of former IDPs - Azerbaijani president
Second Karabakh war showed our strength and our national spirit - President Ilham Aliyev
After 27 years, we ended the occupation and expelled the enemy from our land - Azerbaijani president
Zangilan airport will be commissioned next year - President Aliyev
We will restore all settlements of Gubadli district, including Gubadli city - Azerbaijani president
After restoration work is completed, streets will be named after martyrs - President Aliyev
Uzbekistan’s 9M2021 imports of Turkish leather goods increase
Azerbaijan defense minister meets leadership of Turkish National Defense University (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan, NATO talk prospects for co-op in various spheres (PHOTO)
Ernst & Young reveals total revenues of Uzbekneftegaz during 1H2021
Turkey shares data on cargo shipments via its Aliaga port
Iran talks exports of its nano products to Iraq, Turkey, Afghanistan
Azerbaijan’s State Tax Service expanding use of electronic signature
Turkey discloses volume of cargo shipment via Ambarli port in 9M2021
Iran sees increase in manufacturing of several industrial, mining products
Iran's trade turnover with Azerbaijan booming - IRICA
Azerbaijan’s timber imports from Russian region revealed
Iran's Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale on October 26
Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan sign number of bilateral co-op documents
Iran’s Bahar Azadi gold coin price slightly rising
Kazakhstan ready to significantly increase imports of Turkmen gas - President Tokayev
Azerbaijan publishes latest data on mine clearance work carried out in liberated lands
Georgia records highest budget deficit in ten years
Azeronline providing companies in Azerbaijan's liberated lands with Wi-Fi
Kazakhstan ready to increase trade with Turkmenistan
Azerbaijan to open embassy in Vatican
Program of Turkish president's visit to Azerbaijan announced
Airbus rejects pressure to curb record jet output goal
Azerbaijan to export Karabakh honey to France
Azerbaijan reveals funds allocated for drawing up master plan for Gubadli city
Galt & Taggart shares data on Georgia's tourism revenues growth
US data cloud giant Snowflake opens Israel office
Chinese oil company sells stake in Azerbaijan
Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan to dock telecommunication networks at border
It'll take time for Kazakhstan to accelerate its energy transition - Rystad Energy
Iran increases export by aid of private sector
Iran to reform budget plan structure
Azerbaijan discloses timing of booster vaccination for COVID-19 infected persons
Participants of online Global Poster and Painting Competition 2021 felicitated (PHOTO)
Azerbaijani defense minister meets NATO official (PHOTO)
Output volume at Azerbaijan’s Kursangi, Garabagli fields revealed
Fitch places credit ratings of 4 Qatari banks on negative watch
Kazakhstan to raise solid waste disposal share
Uzbekistan eyes implementation of joint projects with Russia
Azerbaijan shares data on number of vaccinated citizens
Hertz orders 100,000 Tesla cars for end of 2022
Azerbaijan confirms 1,477 more COVID-19 cases, 628 recoveries
Kazakh National Bank positively assesses development dynamics in domestic real sector
Azerbaijan exceeds honey production plan
National Iranian Drilling Company unveils number of drilled oil-gas wells in country
Turkey to invest in construction of laboratory for veterinary vaccines production in Azerbaijan
Afghanistan still owes Uzbekistan for electricity, debt continues to grow
VTB Bank Azerbaijan sees drastic increase in net profit
Azerbaijani Ombudsman briefs Bulgarian delegation about crimes committed by Armenia
Azerbaijani president congratulates president of Uzbekistan
After Gubadli, we continued our victory march with dignity and raised our national flag in Shusha - President Aliyev
Georgia's import prices dropping – TBC Capital
Azercell offers a new Wi-Fi campaign!
After many years, we all experienced joy of this victory - Azerbaijani president
Present and future generations of our people will always be proud of our martyrs - President Aliyev
Kazakhstan reports increase in annual coal production volumes
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for October 25
Azerbaijan shares latest data on lending to mining industry
Galt & Taggart reveals Georgia's trade turnover statistics
It is significant and historic day in history of Gubadli district today - President Ilham Aliyev
Kazakhstan eyes completing main reconstruction work of Kostanay airport by end of 2021
SOFAZ reveals revenues from Shah Deniz, ACG
Kazakhstan, Mongolia agree to continue co-op in agro-industrial complex
Iran's East Azerbaijan province continues investments in construction projects
Iran invites investors to develop energy sector
First Vice-President Mehriban Aliyeva shares photos from Gubadli district on her Instagram page (PHOTO)
Iran seeks to curb inflation by aid of private sector
Kyrgyzstan plans to receive USD 80 mln from ADB for budget support
All news