Sunday, April 06, 2008

CLASHES MAR OLYMPIC TORCH RELAY !

Ex-Blue Peter presenter Konnie Huq surrounded by security.
Torch grabbed

Thirty arrests have been made as clashes between pro-Tibet protesters and police marred the Olympic torch parade on its 31-mile London journey.
Protests over China's human rights record began soon after rower Sir Steve Redgrave started the parade at Wembley.
Demonstrators tried to snatch the torch from former Blue Peter host Konnie Huq.
And after an unpublicised change to the route, the Chinese ambassador carried the torch through Chinatown, amid fears her presence could be a flashpoint.

See a map of the torch relay route

A contingent of pro-China supporters also tried to make their voices heard, waving Chinese and Olympic flags and calling for "one China".
There were chaotic scenes as former Olympic pentathlon gold medallist Denise Lewis took the flame to Downing Street.
Police said about there were about 500 people in Whitehall and about 2,000 gathered near the British Museum.
Several small scuffles broke out as police tackled some of the protesters.
Gordon Brown greeted the torch outside Number 10 despite coming under pressure to boycott the parade and the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony.
Human rights
Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg said the prime minister's involvement was "wholly inappropriate" until China opened talks with the Dalai Lama.

Beijing Olympic torch relay spokesman Qu Yingpu told the BBC: "This is not the right time, the right platform, for any people to voice their political views.
"So we are very grateful and very thankful to the people in London, the police and the organisers, for their efforts trying to keep order."
Metropolitan Police Commander Jo Kaye said officers would do their best to ensure the relay completes its course around the capital.
"It's going to be a long day but the torch is on schedule and it's still safe and secure on its way and that's the job of the Metropolitan Police today to see that's the case and to see that the people who are watching and the people who are protesting lawfully come to no harm at all."
Police stepped in when protesters tried to snatch the torch from Ms Huq.
She told BBC News 24 she was "a bit bashed about" but not seriously hurt.
"I always said my taking part in the procession doesn't mean I condone China in any way," she added.
"I believe in the Olympic values, the Olympic ideals... it's just unfortunate that China has such a terrible track record when it comes to human rights and they are the host nation."
Those taking part in the relay include 10 Olympic champions, 18 schoolchildren and public figures such as news reader Sir Trevor McDonald and musician Vanessa Mae.
Double Olympic champion Dame Kelly Holmes will run the last stage of the route to complete the relay before lighting the Olympic cauldron in front of 5,000 spectators.
The flame will complete the London leg of its journey with a finale event at the O2 Arena headlined by the Sugababes. It will then leave for Paris.
The torch was lit in Olympia, Greece, last week and will go through 20 countries before being carried into the Beijing Games opening ceremony on 8 August.

LONDON TORCH RELAY 6 APRIL

1: Wembley 1030BST
2: Ladbroke Grove 1100
3: British Museum 1220
4: China Town 1230
5: Trafalgar Square 1250
6: Southbank Centre 1330
7: Somerset House 1415
8: St Paul's Cathedral 1430
9: Potter's Fields 1500
10: Whitechapel Road 1530
11: Stratford 1600
12: Canary Wharf 1700
13: North Greenwich 1800
Source: Mayor of London
bbc news report.

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