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Torch Relay Marred By Protests

  • April 7th, 2008
  • Posted by Emma Cillekens

olympic-rings.gifFears for the Paris leg of the Olympic torch relay following violent pro-Tibetan protests in London.

The relay was marred by pro-Tibet protesters voicing their message on China’s human rights record and recent unrest in Tibet.

Hundreds of police officers lined the 31-mile route, flanking the torch-bearers in an effort to prevent the campaigners from further disrupting the event.

Thirty-seven arrests were made after several clashes between pro-Tibet protesters and police.

The torch’s route had to be changed on the day to avoid large numbers of protesters.

Beijing Olympic torch relay spokesman Qu Yingpu said the protests were uncalled for.

“This is not the right time, the right platform, for any people to voice their political views,” he said.

Tessa Jowell, Britain’s Olympics Minister took an opposing view saying she hoped the protests would encourage change in China.

It might “put pressure on the Chinese government to enter into dialogue with the Dalai Lama,” she said.

The Minister believes “that peaceful protests are part of democratic expression”.

The torch is to spend two days in Paris.

CNN. “Clashes Over Olympic Torch Route” (7.4.08)

CNN. “Clashes Over Olympic Torch Route” (7.4.08)CNN. “Angry protests as torch reaches London” (6.4.08)