Alternative torch tours tout political efforts
Darfur, Tibet, and Falun Gong are among the awareness campaigns.
As the official Olympic torch tour begins, various political activist groups around the globe have developed their own torch campaigns.
Tibetan exiles in India began a global torch relay on March 25 with a symbolic "Olympic" flame, organizers said. The exiles planned to highlight their people's plight under Chinese rule with the relay and stage their own version of the Olympics from May 15-25 in Dharmsala.
"We are doing this torch ... to also represent peace and brotherhood for the people of Darfur," said Jill Savitt, an organizer with Dream for Darfur.
The Dream for Darfur Olympic Torch Relay concluded its US tour on Dec. 10, 2007, in Washington D.C. The torch was also scheduled to visit genocide sites in Rwanda, Armenia, Bosnia, Germany, and Cambodia.
The human rights torch was lighted in Athens on Aug. 9, 2007, with a relay planned for 100 cities worldwide.
Organizers said the Human Rights Torch Relay seeks to end human rights abuses against the people of China, highlighting the persecution of Falun Gong.