If you're stuck in a torch-less locale, you can at least phone, write, fax or email the International Olympics Committee (who keep insisting the Olympics are not political). Below are letter-writing guidelines courtesy Students for a Free Tibet.
Use the following talking points as a guideline when calling your NOC or drafting your own letter:
> Say you would like to leave a message with the President of the NOC. > If the Torch goes through Tibet it will likely cause further unrest, which would result in another heavy-handed crackdown and consequently more arrests, torture, and loss of life. > On humanitarian grounds alone, it is inconceivable that the Torch relay pass through Tibet at this time. > Please urge the IOC to immediately remove all Tibetan area from the Olympic torch relay route.
Here is a sample email/letter: To the President of the NOC of [insert country], As a citizen concerned about fundamental respect for human rights and dignity, I am deeply concerned that the International Olympic Committee and the organizers of the Beijing games are continuing with plans to carry the Olympic torch through Tibet. Right now in Tibet, there is no freedom of speech or movement and the entire nation is under martial law. International sources report that over a hundred Tibetans have been killed and hundreds more arrested or detained. As reports spread of arbitrary arrests, house-to-house raids, killings, and even beatings of schoolchildren, it is unthinkable that the IOC would continue to move forward with 'business as usual.' Allowing the torch to be carried through Tibet will greatly escalate tensions, giving the Chinese government an excuse to continue its violent crackdown, which will undoubtedly lead to more detentions and deaths.Allowing the torch through Tibet would indelibly tarnish not only the 2008 Olympics but the Olympic movement. The Olympic torch relay should be a celebration that unites people, not a propaganda exercise in which one people seeks to assert its dominance over another.
Tibetan people everywhere have made it clear that they do not want the Olympic torch to pass through their borders. The Chinese government's fervent desire to see the torch pass through Tibet is politically motivated, aimed at saving face despite the widespread protests, and asserting its sovereignty over Tibet. I urge you to place the needs of the Tibetan people and the values of the Olympic movement ahead of the Chinese authorities' desire to project an image of power and invincibility.
Please immediately appeal to the the IOC to withdraw the Tibetan Autonomous Region and the Tibetan provinces of Amdo and Kham - now annexed into China's Qinghai, Sichuan, Yunnan, and Gansu - from the Beijing Olympic Torch Relay route.
People, athletes and governments of conscience worldwide have responded with an outpouring of support for Tibetans inside Tibet. Please join us in saying "no torch through Tibet."
Visit the web address below to tell your friends about this. Tell-a-friend!