Our family has been watching the images on the TV with great interest over the last few days in regard to the torch relay protests. My response is that the protests are a totally appropriate response to what we have seen in regard to Chinese / Tibet 'relations' on 2 counts as follows:
1/ A torch relay protest doesn't penalise the athletes, who in the past have been subject to boycotts of Games. Whilst human rights offences far outweigh those of competing a sporting event; imagine your lifelong dream of representing your country squashed (quashed?), whilst non-athletes going about their 'normal' businesses are not subject to this.
2/ The torch relay is about unity and bringing countries together (i.e. the Olympic Spirit). Where this spirit does not exist in the country staging the event, it is justifiable that the torch is also extinguished.
I actually think it is pretty gutsy to run the gauntlet to snuff out what in this case is a meaningless torch relay, especially with the fact that TV news is largely based on imagery these days. Gutsy, especially when you understand the ramifications, especially from Chinese forces, who have been accompanying the torch on its journey into Europe.
The next phase of the relay is in San Fran - I heard on this morning's news that protesters have already scaled the golden gate bridge to hang protest banners - how far would you go for something you believe in? Good luck to the protesters, I reckon and let's hope appropriate protests occur without violence.
What do you reckon - torch relay protests or games boycott - or none...or both?!