The Olympic flame is scheduled to make its way from San Francisco Wednesday afternoon and the city is bracing for what no one knows to really expect. Protesters will be out in force to speak out against China’s human rights abuses and its oppression in Tibet.
San Francisco is home to the oldest and largest “Chinatown” in the US and many Chinese immigrants here are proud of the 2008 Olympics coming to Beijing. Some of the flame runners are carrying the torch to make a statement about political issues that they care deeply about. One runner, Helen Zia, is the author of “Asian American Dreams” and she has testified before Congress on Civil Rights. Zia does considerable work those those who who suffer in China.
The police here will be out in force. The waitress at the Fisherman’s Wharf restaurant who served me tonight said she has no idea what to expect. She and the staff have heard rumors that protesters will try to stop the run and snuff the flame. No one wants violence. There are no real winners here. I just hope no one gets hurt.
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher in Huntington Beach is fanning the flames of a possible US boycott of the Beijing games; I think Jimmy Carter proved in 1980, Adolf Hitler in 1936, and the Black September Terrorists in 1972, that the Games should be about the athletes and not about politics. Besides, where was Dana with his vote in Congress when our government elected to accept billions from the PRC to cover our massive Republican-grown national debt? Dana was a quiet on this as a church mouse.