Monday, April 07, 2008

Bridge of Dreams

Police arrested three pro-Tibet demonstrators today after a protest at San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge ahead of the Olympic torch's run through the city this Wednesday.

The three climbers were detained after climbing down from the landmark. Four supporters who assisted them were also detained.

Workers at the bridge cut down banners unfurled by the protesters which read "One World, One Dream" and "Free Tibet 08."


the walking man said...

Yeah man those banners had to come down, wouldn't want to piss off fucking China now would we? They might up the price of the poison they send here and up the killing in Tibet again, not in that order though.

Yeah I am leaving the usual sign off out here on purpose but it has nothing to do with you.


Nick said...

I saw that on the BBC this morning, Heart. Great to see the protests seem to be increasing all the time. The torch had to be carried on a bus for part of the London route, same in Paris. There are already rumours that there won't be any torch relay for the London Olympics for fear of more political protests.

Echomouse said...

Something occurred to me about all these demonstrations.

The entire world, pretty much anyway, is against the war in Iraq. So I wonder, why aren't people doing this sort of thing about THAT? Imagine how effective it would be.

Say It said...

this opens up a whole discussion where I end up telling people they are stupid passive sheep and then baaaa at them while tuning out their plea's that would state otherwise. I wish I could be calmer on the whole topic.

Bob said...

I didn't know you were jewish.

RED MOJO said...

Good thing they cut those banners down immediately! I love that people want to protest but they are truly mixed messages. After our country shook hands with China and entered into the free trade agreement, in essence, we told them we'd turn a blind eye to their atrocities, so we could all make some money.
With all that's gone on lately I wonder if we're any better than they are anyway.

Personally, I am against what China has done, and continues to do. I am also against what the USA has done, and continues to do!
Where's the outrage about that! We're so quick to judge others, how about holding ourselves responsible for the actions of our country's politicians?

Nick said...

I've just read that the Olympic torch relay was started by the Nazis in 1936 as a way of glorifying the Third Reich. They used 3000 Aryan-only relay runners. So the relay has thoroughly nasty origins.

thailandchani said...

I agree with Nick. How can anything like the relay be anything but overt evidence of political posturing? Some things don't change. They just become more refined.

Walking Man, ugh! ugh! ugh! It reads like you've been drinking that poison!

The Fool said...

The modern Olympic torch has some pretty dark origins.

It was invented in its modern form by the organisers of the 1936 Olympics in Berlin.

And it was planned with immense care by the Nazi leadership to project the image of the Third Reich as a modern, economically dynamic state with growing international influence.

The organiser of the 1936 Olympics, Carl Diem, wanted an event linking the modern Olympics to the ancient.

The idea chimed perfectly with the Nazi belief that classical Greece was an Aryan forerunner of the modern German Reich.

And the event blended perfectly the perversion of history with publicity for contemporary German power.

The first torch was lit in Greece with the help of mirrors made by the German company Zeiss.

Steel-clad magnesium torches to carry the flame were specially produced by the Ruhr-based industrial giant Krupp.

Media coverage was masterminded by Nazi propaganda chief Josef Goebbels, using the latest techniques and technology.

- from the BBC. For the rest of the story:

Free Tibet. Free America. One World, One Dream.

Ian Lidster said...

I ran into an old friend yesterday who was born and raised in China. She's not Chinese, but of Russian-Jewish heritage, but her family had lived and traded in China for three or four generations, and only left when the communists came in.
She said: "I was thinking about you because I remember a conversation we had about China and Tibet about 30 years ago."
I told her I remembered the conversation and how we came to no specific conflusion because the issue was so confused.
"It still is," she said. "Nothing has really changed."

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I think it's great that none of the climbers fell off the bridge.


I think SF is sorry they agreed to host the torch. They keep changing the route, trying to keep it secret. and making it smaller.

I'll be there with my camera if I can find it.


Gee, no kidding. You're right! It does make me wonder.

Say it,

Quite apart from ones political beliefs, there is nothing passive about climbing the Golden Gate Bridge.


I think you're commenting to another post maybe?


China has committed many atrocities, but so have other countries, none of which makes any of it right.


That was the year Jesse Owens, an American black man, won four gold medals and der fuehrer refused to shake his hand. He was also never invited to the White House like other athletes by FDR or Truman, to their great shame.


It's too bad the Olympics can't be about superb athletes without the politics.

But humans are like that. We politicize everything.

No Fool,

Thank you for the history lesson. As far as I know, there was no widespread mechanism to exterminate an entire religious group in classical Greece, despite Hitler's delusions of grandeur.

Zeiss lenses were used in Leica cameras, and during the Holocaust, the Leica Company saved hundreds of German Jews and their families by sending them to the US with falsified papers which stated that they were employees of the company.


Every such situation is complicated, but the fact that the Dalai Lama and many other Tibetan nationals have not been able to return home for half a century speaks for itself, as does the murder of many Tibetan monks and the destruction of their temples.

In my view, it is wrong for any country to overrun another and to govern it without its permission.

RED MOJO said...

heart, I certainly don't think any atrosities are right. I guess I didn't explain myself clearly. What I'm trying to say is, yes, we should demonstrate against it, but if we are to be heard, we need to demonstrate against a whole lot more that starts here at home, with us. Lets all take a good hard look at what we're allowing to happen.

Franki said...

Ahhh well, there's no bad publicity now is there?

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I'm sorry it was unclear that I wasn't disagreeing with you. We have also done very bad things, as have many other countries, which doesn't mitigate what China is doing but they should not be singled out as sole villains.

It seems to be fashionable to pin all blame on China but even the Dalai Lama doesn't do that.

It is always a case of "let he who is without sin cast the first stone."

Still, it was thrilling to see those banners high on the Golden Gate Bridge, in a shock and awe kind of way.


It would be wonderful if we all were so perfect that publicity couldn't hurt us.

We have a long way to go before we reach that point, however.

On a limb with Claudia said...

Weeellll.... I guess people are getting a bit active in their apathy. That's a very good thing.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Yes, the audacity of it is very appealing.

Anonymous said...
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Mariposa said...

I may lack some information but in my opinion there is nothing wrong with that "One World, One Dream" and "Free Tibet 08" banner.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


It's an excellent message that we should all live by.

I applaud the courage of those young people who scaled the bridge to unfurl those banners.

The Fool said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Fool said...

Thank you in return. I sure loved my old Leica.

That Greece was thought to be an Aryan forerunner was only a Nazi notion - a perversion of history.. I do not think the notation in the article is meant to suggest that Greek culture held to a notion of genocide. I cannot seem to make the same ties.

And no, I do not fault Zeiss, or Krupp because they are mentioned in the article. Not at all. That would be unfair. The zeitgeist of the times did not allow for much refusal.

The offering of the excerpt is just to point out that there has been a controversy around the Olypic torch since its modern re-inception.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

No Fool,

It didn't occur to me that you faulted those German companies for their participation when as you point out, they had no choice.

I was simply adding a bit of history to your contribution here, which was most informative.

It shouldn't surprise anyone that Hitler's distorted view of the world would include comparisons of ancient Greece and Nazi Germany. It would be funny if it hadn't been so utterly ghastly.

Jay said...

I feel like that kind of effort should be rewarded!

Rebecca said...

Those banners were great, and should have been left to fly. Thank goodness they were there long enough to be well photographed. I am glad that Tibet is finally getting some sustained worldwide attention. When Dalai Lama speaks of stepping down, there is something seriously wrong. Beijing should never have been considered for the Olympics, in my opinion.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Yes, it should.


The Dalai Lama was born into his position 14 times so far and cannot resign as religious leader. He can only resign from the political sphere.

I agree that Beijing should not be hosting the Olympics, but then Nazi Germany should not have been awarded that juicy plum in 1936.

Jocelyn said...

What inspiring people and banners. I adore that little boy's face at the end there.

Thank you, btw, for your lovely comment on my latest post. You are ever amazing.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


You're pretty damn amazing yourself, girl. I believe that we have many powers which remain unused unless we summon them to help us.

Isn't that child adorable? I just dug out a small Tibetan flag to attach to my clothing tomorrow, and I expect to see some incredible sights at the torch relay/protest.

There will also be a Darfur protest along the same route, which is sponsored by Color of Change.

There'll be a hot time in the old town tomorrow.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


The Darfur protest is sponsored by the Save Darfur Coalition, which I learned of through my Color of Change bulletin.

Christy said...

Gracious. That's all I can say is just gracious.

Josie said...

Hearts, I agree with Echomouse's remarks. What's going on? Remember Vietnam? Remember the protests against Vietnam? Where are those folks?

Civilians are dying in Iraq. Children are dying in Iraq. Come on, people, put your money where your mouth is.

Trisia said...

Ah well, I can only say I loved those banners, and thank you for the photo. The BBC covered the story, but it's so much nicer to hear from someone who's actually there.

The CEO said...

Inexplicably, the World seems to be selling the Chinese stocks, before the Olympics. Maybe there is bad publicity. The Shanghi Index is about half of its high at the moment. I hope I spelled inexplicably right.


heartinsanfrancisco said...


Well said.


People seem strangely passive about this war, and I don't know why either.


I hope to have my own pics tomorrow since I attended protests today against atrocities in Tibet, Darfur and Burma.

Thanks for coming by. I followed your link but was unable to find your blog, if you have one.


You spelled "inexplicably" correctly but since you asked, you misspelled "Shanghai."

I'm here to help.

urban-urchin said...

excellent pictures- esp. the baby at the end! As someone said earlier, there is no such thing as bad publicity.... I'm glad people are coming out against the treatment of people in Tibet by China and the support they show for Darfur...

Maria said...

Freedom of Speech? Freedom of Expression?

God, this pissed me off to the point where I growled and my dog just stared curiously at me.

seventh sister said...

We have really made a big mess of things in our relationship with China. We have allowed not only jobs but the technology that is connected to those jobs to go to China and other Asian countries. This means that we no longer hae the capability to manufacture a lot of the thingw we is a good example. Since we are somewhat dependent on China in this regard, it is difficult for us to come down on them for human rights violations and for the invasion of other countries (as if we have any business judging another country for that). There is a website for a company called Nau that is trying to be a clothing manufacturer and be green. If you poke around on the site, you will find an explanation of the textile technology and where it has gone. This has also happened with other items such as home electronics, cookware, you name it.

Oh, and there are a lot off people in this country demonstrating against the war in Iraq. The numbers are a lot bigger than the media shows and many of the gatherings look small. However, if you take the total number at all the protests planned on a given day, it is far greater than the numbers that gathered in one place during the protests of the last war. Smaller groups are easier to overlook and even if they were all in one place, they don't have much effect on a government that can say "So?"

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Miles to go before we sleep.


Humans are much more deserving of your growls than dogs.


It's a bit hypocritical to reproach them for human rights violations when we buy their products which were made in sweat shops and worse.

There are many Iraq War protests in San Francisco, but everybody thinks we're a crazy lot anyway so they don't get much attention in the worldwide press.

The Olympic Torch is a good focal point for protest for so many reasons because the world is watching its progress around the world.

It's sad that such serious matters need a special occasion to slide in on.

Angela said...

Firstly, I am very glad the climbers weren't hurt either and because of that:

Fucking awesome.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Absolutely! You've gotta love such moxie.