Cheers as Olympics Tibet protesters return home
Thursday 07 August 2008
Two campaigners arrested in China after staging a Free Tibet protest outside the country's showpiece Olympic Stadium were greeted by a chorus of cheers as they landed in Britain today.
Lucy Fairbrother, 23, and Iain Thom, 24, who unfurled a 140-square-foot banner reading "One World, One Dream, Free Tibet" during their protest, landed at London City Airport to be met by a posse of supporters, media members and family.
The pair who were ordered home after Mr Thom scaled a 120ft pylon with American Phil Bartell, boarded a flight back from Beijing via Frankfurt, Germany, last night.
Miss Fairbrother's mother, Linda, 58, a London-based broadcast journalist, waited for the pair at the airport flanked by campaign group Students for a Free Tibet (SFT).
Before greeting the pair, she said: "I cannot wait to put my arms around here and tell her I love her and I'm so proud of her.
"My worst fear was that Chinese authorities would make an example of her."
As they walked through arrivals the pair were embraced by supporters and their family before a Tibetan, named as only as Norbu, placed two traditional headscarves around their necks.
Reflecting on their ordeal, the pair insisted they had been treated well after being arrested - but claimed there would be more protests.
London-based Miss Fairbrother said: "We are only a very small part of this campaign and the ongoing struggle.
"We will carry on fighting and there will be more protests during the Olympic Games."
Mr Thom, from Edinburgh, said he managed to scale the pylon because climbing was his long-term hobby.
He said: "It was not difficult to get through the security as we had been planning this for four years.
"We were treated well - there was some tough questioning after our arrests but nothing in respect of the way Chinese citizens would have been treated."
And why are 'southern' ways of speaking spreading north?
Arsenal v Everton: Mikel Arteta happy for Everton but can't wait to get one over them in Premier League clash
Transfer news: Manchester United's ambitious transfer plans at risk from possible failure to qualify for Champions League
English clubs ditch Heineken Cup - confirming they will not take part in any ERC run competition in 2014-15
Brazil World Cup 2014 draw: England drawn with holders Spain in official Group Stage rehearsal
Manchester City sign the 'new Lionel Messi' Brahim Abdelkader, and in doing so put one over Barcelona
- 1 Cameron's freebie to apartheid South Africa
- 2 Is this the scariest advert ever? Japanese tyre commercial comes with its own disclaimer and health warning
- 3 A forgotten episode in Russian history leaves links with the Philippines
- 4 Australian ultra-nationalist politician Stephanie Banister in car crash immigration TV interview
- 5 Nelson Mandela: From 'terrorist' to tea with the Queen