Sunday, April 20, 2008

Civil rights protests force extinction of Olympic torch

Speaking of the Dalai Lama and his monks (see story below) , notice how they and their sympathizers co-opted the Olympic Torch, which went out a number of times thanks to civil rights protests organized against China's chronic human rights violations. Matchless control of symbols, that!

Friend David Warren wrote recently,
We have the pleasure this morning of catching up with the mounting Tibet protests that are following the Olympic torch around the world (the "aubergines" in Paris today have twice had to pull the torch to safety on a bus, which necessitates extinguishing the flame), as it gradually dawns upon the Beijing Politburo that they have laid out so many billion yuan to achieve one of the great publicity own-goals of the century.

Let us hope so.

Here's another story about monk-led protest for civil rights in Eastern Asia.

It's interesting to reflect on the number of situations in the last century when religious figures played a key role in organizing civil rights actions, whether in South Africa, Poland, Romania, the Philippines, the southern United States, or Eastern Asia. I suspect that a lot depends on whether the government has co-opted the religion of the people or, alternatively, despises and persecutes it. In the latter case, it can quicky become a focus of resistance to tyranny.