Olympic torch arrived in San Francisco

The Olympic torch arrived in San Francisco today for its only North American stop.

China: No halt to torch relay

BEIJING, China (CNN) — Beijing insisted Tuesday that the international Olympic torch relay would go on, despite calls to cut it short amid chaotic anti-China protests. More…

For those that reside in the San Francisco area here is the schedule of events for the torch.

Olympic torch events
Today April 8, 2008


— The Beijing Olympic torch will arrive at San Francisco International Airport at 4 a.m.
— A protest against China’s Olympic torch and a celebration of the Tibetan Freedom Torch will start at 11 a.m. at United Nations Plaza, at Market and Hyde streets, near the BART Civic Center Station.
— Richard Gere, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Tibetan leaders will attend the Candle Lights for Human Rights vigil, which will start at 6 p.m. at United Nations Plaza. www.sfteamtibet.org.

Wednesday April 9, 2008
— A group of Burmese monks and Burma democracy supporters will gather at 9:30 a.m. at Vista Point to walk across the Golden Gate Bridge, www.badasf.org.
— Team Tibet will meet at 10 a.m. at Ferry Park to protest the Olympic torch relay in San Francisco. www.sfteamtibet.org.
— The Northern California Chinese Culture-Athletic Federation will gather between 9 and 10 a.m. at Justin Herman Plaza and will welcome the Olympic torch team with a public tai chi performance.
— The Olympic torch relay begins at 1 p.m. at McCovey Cove at AT&T Park.
— The Olympic torch closing ceremony is at 3:30 p.m. at Justin Herman Plaza.

Here is an open letter that can be sent to the sponsors of the Olympics:

AN OPEN LETTER TO SPONSORS OF THE BEIJING OLYMPIC GAMES

From: <Your Name or Your Organization Name>

To Olympic Top Partners/sponsors: Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, GE, Johnson&Johnson, Kodak, VISA, lenovo, Panasonic, SAMSUNG, OMEGA, Manulife Financial, Atos Origin

The time for the 2008 Beijing Olympics games to begin is just six months away. The Olympic Torch, which represents the spirit of sportsmanship and the international aspect of the Games, will be in our area very soon. <Or Say it will be touring the world very soon.>

Many will see this torch as a symbol of world solidarity and synergy. After all, the Olympic theme of the Games is “One World, One Dream.” However, we in BADA <Replase ‘in BADA’ with your Organization Name or just delete it> feel that the torch, headed as it is for a government that cares nothing for human rights in its own country and others in its sphere of influence, gives off nothing but cold and unfeeling flames. We are therefore opposing its visit to San Francisco on April 9th, the only North American stop on the worldwide relay. <Leave out this last sentance out or check if it is coming to your area here http://torchrelay.beijing2008.cn/en/journey/&gt;

While we know, as sponsors, that you are excited about being part of this inspiring and historic athletic event, we beg you, along with so many in the world who care deeply about human rights, to think twice about lending your support to a regime that turns its back on the very freedoms that the games epitomize to the world.

We applaud the decision by film director Steven Spielberg to step down as artistic consultant to the Games based on China’s human rights record both at home and abroad. We ask all the Games’ sponsors to follow his example and do the same.

What seems most ironic to us is that August 8th was chosen as the day the Games will begin. That is also the 20th anniversary of the 1988 pro-democracy protests in Burma during which some 3,000 people were killed and the rightful leader of the country, Aung San Suu Kyi, was later imprisoned. This date is extremely painful to the Burmese people and friends of this country everywhere and the focus in Burmese hearts and minds on August 8, 2008 will not be on a sporting event but on the continuing suffering of their people under the brutal regime, known as the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC).

The continued pain and suffering the people of Burma are enduring are a direct result of China’s great military, economic and diplomatic support for the brutal dictatorship in Burma. In exchange, China seeks easy access to the Indian Ocean through Burma for its military, as well as access to Burmese markets and energy for China’s burgeoning economy. In fact, China’s support is so pervasive; it has effectively diluted any pressure applied on the regime for positive change applied by the international community.

Most recently, we were extremely disappointed that China refused to support any binding resolutions at the UN Security Council calling for much-needed concrete measures against Burma’s military regime even after that regime turned on Buddhist monks and peaceful protesters brutally killing, torturing and jailing them indiscriminately.

Further, we strongly support the recent voices raised against the regime and its brutality by Burma’s leading activist groups –- The 88 Generation Students — who led the 1988 uprising as well as last year’s Saffron Revolution, to boycott the Beijing Olympic Games unless China reverses its irresponsible policies towards Burma. We beg you to demand that China act firmly to protect the people of Burma from further human rights abuses of any kind.

We also support the letter to President Hu Jintao of China by the Human Rights Watch Executive Director Ken Roth asking China to take immediate and specific steps to impose a number of sanctions and embargos on the illegal Burmese government. The letter also asks China to use its influence to encourage the SPDC to end its repression and reinstate the rightful democratic leader Aung San Suu Kyi. (See letter attached letter)

Please be advised that we are also joining a million TV viewers in a pledge not to watch the Beijing Olympics unless China ends its support for the Burmese military regime and we have pledged not to purchase products from those businesses that are sponsoring the Games.

August 8th may be a time of rejoicing in Beijing as the Opening Ceremony of the XXIX Olympiad gets under way with great fanfare and rejoicing. But to Burmese everywhere the date carries with it the pain and suffering of a nation in chains.

We ask you most humbly to reconsider your sponsorship in the light of China’s disregard of human rights in its own heartland and in rogue nations like Burma.

Sincerely,
<You Name>
<Your Organization>

Source: Burmese American Democratic Alliance

San Francisco Newspapers:

You will find most of the San Francisco newspapers @
ABYZ News Links

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