Category Archives: Bike Demos-Boycott Olympics 2008

Bike Ride for Burma & Tibet


Bike for Burma. Saturday 9th August 12pm-2pm. Starting from Queen Anne’s Gate (used to work there!) and ending at Park Lane. Website.

Bike Ride for Tibet. Friday 15th August 6pm. Starting Southbank, under Waterloo Bridge and ending at Chinese Embassy. Website.

Yesterday’s demo


I’ve just had a report from a fellow London cyclist activist who was at five locations in London demonstrating. He said that some of police were heavy handed and that some Beijing Olympic supporters wanted to ‘have a go at him’. (Luckily he didn’t sink to their level).  He also said that he wrote on his big placard ‘Free China’ which gave a few Chinese a chuckle.

I’m going to arm myself with a few morning papers, though I wonder if they will say anything new. I would like to read about the person who let off the extinguisher, who boarded the Olympic bus and who tried to get the Olympic Flame but so far, the news on the BBC have just called them ‘protesters’ and instead, have shoved ‘celebrity’ Konnie Huq on the morning tv ‘sofa’. It would have been good to have a ‘protester’ speak from Free Tibet instead? God No, that would not exactly boost the BBC’s ratings!

  

London:Anti Tibet Protesters grab the Olympic Flame from Konnie Huq, the ‘Key Stone Cops’ abandon their bicycles


The scenes in London are extraordinary.

I’m watching it at home (would rather be there). Scuffles everywhere.  Then protesters grab the Olympic Flame from children’s TV presenter Konnie Huq. (I did notice that there were  a few deliberate ‘searches’ on my blog about her).

I am pleased people had the guts to seriously protest on this issue. Thousands turned out. The atmosphere along the procession looks ‘tense’ and ‘unpredictable’. You can’t hear the words of support at all (well only until Piccadilly which is full of tourists and famillies). 

The sight of so many nervous police says it all, you see so many florescent police cyclists. At several stages, it  broke into farce. At one stage, a protester’s flag got plonked on a BBC news reporter’s head. Other large banners with ‘Hands of Tibet’ blocked the TV screens.

Later, protesters let off a smoky fire extinguisher.   Police, Chinese guards and Olympic Runners looked apprehensive, not knowing what will happen next. Loud jeers at the barriers ‘Shame on China’ from the protesters and huge flags everywhere. Police looked more like the Key Stone Cops than professional police ‘who knew what they were doing’. It almost looks almost as chaotic as the poll tax riots. The BBC say the protesters ‘seriously disrupted’ the procession.

 It’s so bad the police cyclists aren’t   using their bikes anymore. They looked exasperated and some resorted to pushing protesters off angrily.  Some of the clearly unfit police were struggling to hurdle over the barriers. Some of the barriers crashed down along Whitehall (not due to the fat policemen but by the protesters). 

I’ve just read that the Chinese Ambassador only carried the flame for a short while  after the route had to ‘suddenly change’!  Some parts of the Relay was a complete and utter Shambles with a capital ‘S’ but the ‘demo’ was very successful in spreading the message. Well done to the brave protesters from Free Tibet and Free Burma and all the others and good to hear that protesters boo-ed the corporate sponsors heading into Downing Street.

In the meantime, Gordon Brown was seen chatting  to ‘yes’ people, basking in ‘cushy’ Downing Street, and ‘deliberately not seeing ‘his people’ outside’ which he should have done.  Well done to Nick Clegg for his comments in that the event shouldn’t happen at all. (His attitude almost makes up for his arsonist past).

A solitary monk, stood alone, outside Downing Street. His humbleness made a point. It was a reminder what it was all about.

Saying all that, I don’t know why random children’s presenters and actresses are running in the Olympic Relay anyway, they don’t have anything to do with sports. Soon we will be having Big Brother ‘celebrities’ who regularly scoff burgers at breakfast, doing this.  What would the Ancient Greeks say? And when was the last time Trevor MacDonald was out on a bike? If I had my way, I would send Gordon Brown to run down Bayswater to face the music and/or some really special people who have done something good for the community ie getting youth off crime and into sports?  

I’ve never seen anything like it.

This blog is a bit radical for a cycling blog.. but that’s the way it goes.

British Cyclists in Beijing will not use anti pollution masks


Even though the people in China wear them and in the Olympics is in High Summer too, blimey that really makes sense. Maybe anyone in Critical Mass going to the demos on the 6th April in London can wear the ‘symbolic gasmasks’.

article.wn.com/view/2008/03/12/British_athletes_will_compete_in_Beijing_without_masks 

Here’s an article in TIME about Beijing ‘massaging the pollution statistics’. In fact there were a huge number of other websites suggesting they were doing this too, some a few years ago in 2006. Still, our PM is a trusting man, the type to not offend a country where so much ‘influential’ British business is  at stake. Oh I would love to be the Government Auditor.

The current level of Air Quality in Beijing is 88… and that’s pretty much polluted.

www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1722450,00.html?xid=rss-world

 

Denmark opposes boycott of Beijing Games + Cyclists in Chinese Pollution


 

 From the Xinhua News Agency 2 April.

Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen has said his government opposes a boycott of the Beijing Olympic Games, reports from Copenhagen said Tuesday.

Representatives of Denmark’s royal family and government will attend the event in August, Rasmussen said in a written reply to some Danish lawmakers’ inquiries.

“Sports must not be confused with politics,” he said, adding that Denmark should send official delegates to Beijing in support of its athletes’ participation in the Olympics.

Earlier, Danish Foreign Minister Per Stig Moeller also said the government opposes a boycott of the Beijing Olympic Games.

“It is erroneous to threaten to boycott the Olympics,” he told reporters earlier when attending a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Slovenia

 unquote

 The Government of Denmark may not want to boycott the Games, but athletes have a mind of their own. I like to think that more informed international cyclists protest against the Chinese Government like Thor did, who’s riding for France.

One of the letters in ‘The Times’  said today that maybe we could create an ‘alternative Olympics elsewhere’ somewhere where the country is more humanitarian’ (and (I add) less polluted).  

Now here’s  a  photo of intrepid cyclists pedaling through ‘a spot of pollution in China’ and our professional cyclists, with their powerful lungs and healthy lifestyle, have to breathe in this type of gunk.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/gallery/2007/jul/18/china.pollution?picture=330216030

If our cyclists want that, well, that is their choice. They probably don’t know how bad it is as they are surrounded by ‘yes/PR men’. I mean most of the cycling magazines never mention rubbish respiratory conditions. As an endurance cyclist myself, sod that for a lark, I prefer a longer life; a cyclist’s life is pretty damm short as it is in London with all the taxi drivers, as we all know in Critical Mass!

So all you professional cyclists out there, take a Gas Mask with you if you want to see your retirement days.

I have also put this site on my Favourite Links on the right.

Now, dare our ‘censored’ British Cycling magazines print such a picture?

Thanks to the Guardian for this photo.

Konnie Huq


I have just read that she is now going to take part in the Olympic Flame Ceremony after all…. Grr!

Another grr.. I have to work on 6 April. I have asked my boss if there is anyway I can go, but Fat Chance! I will watch it on the TV in the mornings and look out for the cyclists too and any interesting chalk markings on the roads.

Never mind I have a plan for Thursday instead.

Thor Hushovd to boycott Olympic Opening


This was mentioned in the International Tribune on 28 March.

At last. Why does a Norwegian have to show us?

Good for him.

http://www.iht.com/articles