The pro-Tibet movement continues to steal the spotlight from the Olympic torch relay.
In San Francisco, planned protests were substantial enough to back the city into a corner, and they pulled a last-minute route change. Although I can understand why protesters and spectators would be frustrated, I hope pro-Tibet organizers realize that they won the day. They are still the biggest news.
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has joined German Chancellor Angela Merkel in her decision not to attend the Opening Ceremonies. He says it's not a boycott but nobody believes him.
And while the anti-China, pro-Tibet protests continue, a growing number of Canadians and Americans are outraged. But not about China - about the protests.
You can read their fist-pounding letters to the editors in your local newspaper, or find them on dozens of blogs. They're in a lather over the protesters turning into "thugs" and "resorting to violence". A commonly heard sentiment goes something like, "Now that the protests have turned violent and protesters are committing vandalism, I question my support for Tibet!"
You may recall my post about people who claim to be against the Iraq War, but who think war resisters should be deported and jailed because "they signed a contract". This is the same theme.
The authoritarian streak in so many ordinary people amazes me. Some people are so besotted with order that their moral code runs for cover when the voice of the people gets too loud. If you are in such a huff because a protest turned rowdy or (heaven forbid!) somebody's property was damaged that you would actually stop sympathizing with people struggling against an occupation, I have to question your core values. People clash with police over a protest against China, and the protesters are the "thugs"? Not China?
I don't expect everyone to share my belief that violence is sometimes a necessary and useful tool in a movement. And not everyone understands how the media portrays protester violence out of all proportion to reality, and how often violence attributed to protesters is actually instigated by police.
But are you so indoctrinated with order that when some people in a freedom movement become disorderly, you would rather support totalitarianism?