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Protesters Disrupt Olympic Torch Ceremony in London

The Olympic torch is coming to North America this week, but not before making a hectic stop in London. Yesterday, 80 English athletes, celebrities, and other respected citizens relayed the torch — and the scene was chaotic. 2,000 police officers lined the snowy route populated with pro-Tibet protesters as well as flag waving China supporters.

At one point the police halted the procession, as a demonstrator attempted to grab the torch out of a torchbearer's hands. Protesters blocked its path and tried to put out its flame. In total police arrested 30 activists.

The relay of the Beijing Olympics torch is the longest torch tour in Olympic history. It began in Olympia, Greece and is expected to meet passionate protesters throughout its journey across five continents. It makes its only North American stop this Wednesday in San Francisco. Stay tuned for our eyewitness coverage!

Would you rather see an Olympics where the world attempts to get along? Or, is it a vital opportunity to call attention to China's very serious human rights violations? Do you think the protesters in London went too far by trying to extinguish the flame?


Join The Conversation
onabanana onabanana 9 years
Just a little insight: Ordinary Chinese citizens have really been offended by these actions. They really feel personally attacked. To the Chinese the Olympics isn't a government sponsored event, it is an opportunity for ordinary Chinese citizens to show the West that despite China's problems there has been much progress. In their eyes, they (the people and the country) has suffered from hundreds of years of humiliation by the hands of the West. So when people attach the torch bearers it's difficult for regular Chinese people to understand why. They see these protests as an extension of the humiliation and the West's desire to keep China down. For all our good intentions with these protests, we're losing the favorable opinions of regular people in China, who have suffered most under their government's oppressive regime. I recently got back from China and there is a serious riff in understanding between the West and China. Until both side try harder to understand each other progress on any issue will be difficult. I am all for the protests, if they're peaceful but attacking a torch bearer is over the line. The same goes for Chinese protests of the Dali Lama and monks. We don't tolerate violence from protesters regardless of the issue they're protesting. It also distorts their own message.
flutterpie flutterpie 9 years
i also have a problem with the current administrations "friendship" with china. instead of publicly denouncing china for its treatment of tibet, bush sent pelosi to meet with the dalai lama. during a mccain stump speech, he talked about making china our ally and eliminating russia from the g8. its so hypocritical that we pick and choose which human rights offenders to pay attention to.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
Fluterpie. I agree with you. The olympics in China is an affront to all those who believe in the equal treatment of all people. The problem you have is with the UN, not this aministration. It's the UN that has allowed this to happen, and the olympic commitee is the group that was bought out by China.
flutterpie flutterpie 9 years
nica-people who speak out aganist us dont disappear, we dont force women to have abortions for population control and we dont murder dissenters. normally, im all for peaceful protest but in this case the louder the better.the protestors are not trying to hurt those carrying the torch, they only thing they are trying to do is to blow thing out china was taken off the human rights watchdog list and the current administration is looking the other way when it comes to tibet. the idea that we are holding the olympics in bejing disgusts me, its almost like we are accepting china by saying "ohhh thats just who they are". i only wish i could be in san francisco to protest this atrocit but i will just have to settle by encouraging everyone i know to not watch the olympics and to not buy anything who is sponsoring them (this means mcdonalds!)
nicachica nicachica 9 years
i can see both sides of this debate. China has egregious human rights violations and frankly, should not be hosting the Olympics. They are a poor example of the spirit of the games. However, i don't agree with the protesters getting violent with the torch. the people running with the torch are not part of the Chinese ruling party and should not be treated as the criminals in this. i also have to wonder - did we have protests against us for the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta? The US doesn't exactly have the greatest international reputation but i'm guessing not since the whole world didn't hate us in 1996? I think if we were holding the Olympics in 2008, we would have a few protests on our hands too...
EkaterinaBallerina EkaterinaBallerina 9 years
I'm glad to see all the protesting in regard to China. If you want to blame anyone, blame the Olympic Committee. They should never have chosen Beijing or any other Chinese city. The Chinese have a notoriously ignorant record on human rights and their dealings in Darfur are beyond shady. The focus is on their human rights violations and not the athletes. Come August when the Olympics take place, it will still be on China's human rights record. It's not fair to the athletes at all, but a lot of people cannot support these Olympics after taking the human rights issue into consideration, myself included. But also think of it this way--with or without the world watching, the athletes will get the medals.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
Yes, we should rather see an Olympics where the world tries to get along. However, if one is Tibetan or any other society which the Chinese government has chosen to suppress you're not going to view the Olympics as an international block party where every one gets along. This Olympics is salt in their wounds, added insult to injury and the one available opportunity where the world’s eyes are focused in their direction for a prolonged period of time. This is a situation where passion will dictate terms not diplomacy. For the Tibetans this is kind of like having a foot pinning your head to the floor and everyone just expects to relax and enjoy the party. Unfortunately this is unfair to two parties, the athletes and the Tibetans and my sympathies and compation go out to both.
Jillz1128 Jillz1128 9 years
I feel bad for the people carrying the torch. They are innocent and getting attacked. It's not cool. Peacefully protest if you want to, but don't get violent!
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
I will pay richard gere to throw himself on the torch for tibet....big money, maybe some hamsters.
nyaradzom2001 nyaradzom2001 9 years
What a waste of time and energy, the torch will reach china and the Olympics will go on, they might have succeeded in embarrassing China but they have done nothing for the whose rights have been violated and will be wiolated today, tomorrow and for the coming four months.
Good for the protesters!
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