Protestors in San Francisco climbed the cables of the Golden Gate Bridge yesterday to drop banners in support of a free Tibet.
Three of the protestors were arrested, despite the fact that this was a nonviolent protest. Protests have also taken place in London and Paris as the Olympic torch has passed through those cities. And Students for a Free Tibet, which organized the San Francisco banner drop, has protests planned throughout the day today and Wednesday. But how likely is it that these protests are going to persuade the Chinese government?
Video of the protest and more after the jump.
As optimistic as I am, I seriously doubt that the protests are going to do much to change the hearts of China's government officials. Don't get me wrong. I'm not a China hater. I don't buy into the idea that the Chinese government is made up of heartless, evil communists who like to eat babies and kick puppies. I'm also not a witless China lover, either. I just think Westerners need to be realistic about the potential for changing China's policy towards Tibet.
What is the purpose of these kind of protests? Members of SFT are obviously willing to put their lives on the line for this cause. You wouldn't catch me climbing the Golden Gate Bridge. But if the Chinese government isn't persuaded by the Dalai Lama (and who doesn't love the Dalai Lama?), how persuasive can these kind of daredevil tactics be?
If you disagree with me (and I hope you do), you can sign the petition that's been going around to urge your particular head of state to support a Free Tibet. (Given that our head of state is a chump, I'm equally dubious). But hey, you can at least put your name on the list.