Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Keeping The Flame Alive: Chinese Special Forces and the Olympic Spirit

Doggerelle spotted this piece in the Daily Mail today.
Referring to the Chinese security guards, who were in France yesterday with the torch on the next leg of its world tour, he [Lord Coe] said: "One thing in Paris is to get rid of those guys. They tried to push me out of the way three times. They are horrible. They did not speak English. They were thugs." Wearing blue tracksuits, the 14 minders surrounded the symbolic flame, pushing anyone who tried to get near, as it was relayed 31 miles across London.


Miss Huq, one of 80 torchbearers said: "The men in blue perplexed everyone. Nobody seemed to know who they were officially or what their title was. They were very robotic, very full on, and I noticed them having skirmishes with our own police and the Olympic authorities before our leg of the relay, which was confusing.

"They were barking orders at me, like 'Run! Stop!' and I was like, 'Oh my gosh, who are these people?'


It was reported the men have been recruited from Chinese special forces brigades. Some came from the feared Flying Dragons and the Sword of Flying Dragons counter-terror units.
What are Chinese special forces doing on the streets of Western capital cities? Why are foreign troops being allowed to stifle protest and dissent in these cities? Just what do special forces have to do with the Olympic ideal?

UPDATE: The Times has an in-depth look at the blue-suits, and the UK opposition are asking the same questions.