Tonight World Have Your Say talked about the recent torch protests. I was pleased to be on the show again… But as the discussion went on, I started to get intimidated. There was a really impressive range of guests, including an Olympic torchbearer, a girl who was arrested for protesting, a Thai Buddhist who backed out of carrying the torch out of solidarity for Tib3tan Buddhists, an Olympic historian, and, uh, me. I write a blog about the Olympics.
Over the last few months, my posts have gone from weird Olympics trends and fun pictures of the Fuwa, to depressing posts about boycotts and protests and censored news. I still have high hopes for China and Beijing, but I’m getting more worried every day that the Olympics will be a disaster for everyone involved.
I’m sad that protests and political demonstrations are marring the celebration of the Olympics, but China wants to be a first-world nation, and this type of criticism is part of that. Whether China acts on foreign criticism is a different matter entirely, but the “nothing to see here” style of censored journalism forces political or social interest groups away from the written word into protests in the street.
The torch goes on to San Francisco, California tomorrow, and I expect much wilder demonstrations in the US than in the UK and in France. I really wonder how China will handle it.
Crossposted to Beijing Olympics Fan!