The beleaguered Olympic Torch is in Argentina today, where protesters in Buenos Aires say that they will be out in force, but will not try to snuff out the flame (wink, wink). Of course, crossing the Chinese government is one thing; but when you anger the McDonald's Corporation (pictured right), you're asking for an ass kicking. Don't expect Mayor McCheese to alter the torch route at the last minute to avoid trouble.
Well, the relay has been loads of fun so far, hasn't it? IOC president Jacques Rogge said late Thursday that the Olympics were "in crisis" over the torch relay chaos, but then issued a statement on the IOC site that left many scratching their heads. While saying that protest "is a basic human right," he also went on to state:
But we do ask that there is no propaganda nor demonstrations at Olympic Games venues for the very good and simple reason that we have 205 countries and territories represented, many of whom are in conflict, and the Games are not the place to take political nor religious stances. ... If athletes genuinely want to express their opinion, that's fine. But let's not forget, there is also the right not to express an opinion."
So that's um, vague. You should lay down more explicit guidelines, Jacques. Otherwise when the 1600 meter relay anchor comes speeding across the finish line dressed as a Tibetan monk, don't come crying to me.
Meanwhile, the Chinese government says that the torch will pass through Tibet as planned, and that everyone should remain calm; all is well!
Also, here's video of torch bearer Majora Carter in San Francisco on Wednesday, who was tossed out of the relay by police for waving a Tibetan flag as she ran. Hey, at least she saw the torch. Thousands of people were there all day — some coming from as far away as China — and never saw it once.