Today I get to witness the Olympic torch relay in San Francisco! I am so excited seeing the crowds milling on the street with flags, and the crowded trains. There are loads of buses carrying police forces from nearby Richmond and Oakland areas. I feel slightly disturbed by the protests – to me, the Olympics is the human unifying spirit, and should not be marred by anything political. I already feel slightly dumb at not having brought my camera – but, my friend has, and I am sure we can take some pictures. I feel this is the closest I have ever gotten to anything “Olympic”, and I am filled with a strange sense of excitement.
Hope the event passes smoothly!
I went out with my friends – I was so excited. The streets were milling with people – protests in different hues and flavours! Some people got up in the morning, and put on their protest hats, and began randomly protesting. I think they just forgot that the protest was against the Olympic torch. A majority of the protests could be classified against China, pro-Tibet, pro-Human rights etc. But there were some protests to ‘End the war in Iraq’, ‘Darfur’ and ‘Free Burma’! Free Burma from whom?! This protest took the cake though : a bunch of stark naked guys turned up, apparently calling for legalizing nudity in an Olympic Torch relay ceremony!
Of course, by the time I post this, you all would have known that San Francisco city officials changed the route, and actually had the torch bused to another route, and had the relay pass the torch every fblock or so. The closing ceremony was cancelled citing the protests, and the whole episode was all-in-all a dampener!
The olympic torch hid behind the police, and was safely moved by bus from one point to another, and only made it out in the open to streets heavily armed with police as spectators, and did not even mark the event with a closing ceremony – this for the only run in the North American continent.
Hard to describe my feelings since I did not get to see the torch – a once in a lifetime experience for sure, and was snatched away from the thousands of people waiting patiently for the torch to appear!