Controversy at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Torch Relay

Caption: Protests in San Francisco, California, on April 9, 2008

The 2008 Summer Olympics. Beijing, China, had been chosen as the host city. It would be an opportunity to show the world a positive picture of modern life in China.

So China began to plan for the big event. Olympics stadiums were prepared. Slogans and logos were planned. An elegant red torch was designed for the Olympic torch relay.

However, the country of China was not the only one hoping to get publicity from the big event. Protest groups had long recognized that big international events like the Olympics were great places to put their causes before the public. There would be plenty of media coverage and massive audiences.

Groups concerned about China's human rights record made plans for protests at the same time that plans were being made for the Olympic Torch Relay. They planned to protest for Tibet's independence from China. They also planned to protest China's involvement in the Darfur crisis in Africa as well as China's support of repressive leaders in other countries.

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