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Wednesday, 09 April 2008 01:02

Olympic Torch Relay A Bumpy Road

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slide16.jpgThe Olympic torch arrived for its only North American stop in San Francisco amid heavy security yesterday, a day after its visit to Paris descended into chaos and activists here scaled the Golden Gate Bridge to protest China’s human rights record. The torch’s global journey was supposed to highlight China’s growing economic and political power. But activists opposing China’s human rights policies and a recent crackdown on Tibet have been protesting along the torch’s 85,000-mile route since the start of the flame’s odyssey from Ancient Olympia in Greece to Beijing, host of the 2008 Summer Olympics.

slide18.jpgThe flame arrived in San Francisco shortly before 4 a.m. and was immediately put in a vehicle to be whisked away to a secret location. No protesters greeted the flame at the airport, but hours later hundreds gathered in United Nations Plaza, a pedestrian area near City Hall, to call on China to cease its heavy-handed rule of Tibet. Hundreds of Chinese students from Stanford University also planned to board buses for San Francisco early Wednesday to attend the torch relay to show their support. San Francisco officials said they were developing a plan that strikes a balance between protesters´ rights to express their views and the city’s ability to host a safe torch ceremony. San Francisco was chosen to host the relay in part because of its large Asian population. After San Francisco, the torch is scheduled to travel to Buenos Aires, Argentina, and then to a dozen other countries. It is scheduled to enter mainland China on May 4 for the host country’s portion of the relay.

Read 1758 times Last modified on Friday, 28 August 2009 02:05