Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Olympic torch protest draws international icons to San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) — Internationally renowned figures including Hollywood icon Richard Gere and Archbishop Desmond Tutu gathered in San Francisco Tuesday as the city geared up for its leg of the Beijing Olympic torch relay.

A myriad of rights groups and activists have descended on this famously liberal California city for Wednesday's event, after anti-China protests marred previous legs of the flame's global odyssey earlier this week.

"This really is an epic moment," Gere, chairman of the International Campaign for Tibet, told a candlelight vigil attended by some 2,000 people in downtown San Francisco late Tuesday.

"The harmonious society (Chinese president) Hu Jintao talks about is a fraud. There can be no harmony without freedom of religion and culture." Full Article Link

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