The Olympic Torch might not have stopped in Vancouver on its way to Beijing, but yesterday another flame, the Human Rights Torch, touched down in the city.
It was welcomed by around 100 protesters outside the Vancouver Art Gallery calling for an end to alleged human rights abuses in China before the Beijing Games in August.
Initiated by the Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of the Falun Gong, the torch was lit in Greece in August, and will have visited 150 cities when it makes its final stop in Hong Kong on July 20.
Apaak Clement, president of Canadian Students For Darfur and one of 15 speakers at the event, said the campaign isn’t against the people of China.
“This is supporting the people,” he said.
Sue Zhang, an organizer of the event, said China was awarded the Olympics on the condition it improve its human rights record.
“We are not against the Olympics. We are happy that China is able to host them. But … it’s more than sport. There is a spirit behind it,” she said.
“The Olympic charter is to encourage and promote the peace and dignity of all different nations and people.”