Paris–Two Tibet independence activists were detained this morning along the torch route after Melanie Raoul (25) and Phil Kirk (23) abseiled off of Pont Au Change, unfurling a banner reading “Pas de Flame au Tibet.” More than 60 pro-Tibet marchers spontaneously gathered round the team on surrounding bridges and streets, chanting free Tibet slogans. The banner hang was intended to draw attention to the killing of over a hundred Tibetans by Chinese forces as part of their ongoing crackdown on freedom protests inside Tibet. Thousands of Tibetans and supporters from across Europe lined the relay route with colorful placards and flags today in Paris, amidst a global outcry against the Chinese government’s ongoing and brutal crackdown inside Tibet. Yesterday in London, Tibetan protests overshadowed China’s controversial relay run. The climbers were taken off the bridge by over 20 police in 3 police boats
“Pas de Flame au Tibet” means “No flame in Tibet.” This daring banner hang happened before the remainder of the Paris Olympic torch relay and ceremony were canceled, though I don’t doubt it contributed to that decision. Way to rock hard Mel & Phil.