Thursday 24 April 2008

I See Red


one Olympic flame
a journey of harmony
a beautiful day
carnival atmosphere
20k of barricades
helicopters overhead

30 Chinese blue clad paramilitary flame attendants
80 Aussie torch bearers
a blanket of red Chinese Communist flags
10,000 loud pro Beijing supporters
500 pro Tibetan supporters
plus celebrity Buddhist k.d.lang
out swamped, out numbered, out voiced
10,000 bystanders watching, waiting
enormous media pack
500 police, costing $A2m
true democracy in action

Mainly peaceful, minor scuffles
7 arrests, no injuries
proud organisers,a big success
very symbolic, over and over

The flame intact, burning bright

Remind me again
What was the message?
I saw symbols today
Too many symbols
All too apparent


  1. Lilly, I don't know if you were doing this while writing this article, but while I was reading it I found myself singing it, instead. I guess because of they poetic style you used. It was quite funny (at least in my own head). But, seriously, I am glad you kept safe, but it seems like it wasn't so bad, mostly peaceful, as you said. The pictures speak volumes, however!! Thanks for the update.

  2. Matt, I was too lazy to write full sentences, ha ha. Reality was the Embassy here, (I live in the capital of Australia, similar to Washington I guess) bought in Chinese people from everywhere. By 5am in the morning there were 10,000. Of course they should be proud their home country is hosting the games but many were badly taunting the pro Tibet demonstrators. This whole torch exercise is just another empty meaningless symbol to me. It did leave me feeling a little concerned about the hopelessness when faced with sheer numbers if ever that became an issue in decades to come. The best part was seeing the Chinese minders get stopped from doing what they had been doing in other countries. Our Prime Minister said he didnt want them having anything to do with security and they were pushed back by police every time they tried. It was really interesting to see but it just accentuated something that is not so nice about power and the plight of those who are vulnerable to me. It was good to see that democracy reigns though and everyone could make their statement relatively peacefully. I am glad I live in the country I do.


Thanks for your comments.