Beijing Olympics


Protests Stop Olympic Torch Relay in Paris

April 07, 2008 01:16 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
At the request of Chinese officials and following protests along the route, the Paris leg of the Olympic torch relay came to an end Monday.

30-Second Summary

Earlier in the day, security officials were forced to put out the Olympic torch because of “technical concerns.” The torch was soon relit. But more problems followed.

The first segment of the Paris relay was disrupted when Sylvain Garel, a member of France’s Green Party, tried to seize the torch from former world champion 400-meter hurdler Stéphane Diagana. The pro-Tibet demonstrations forced officials to put the torch on a bus just after it passed the Eiffel Tower. A runner took up the torch again later, but only for a short time.

Protesters lay down on the road in front of the Olympic torch entourage, reported France 24.

The problems in Paris mirrored those experienced by Olympic organizers and runners on Sunday’s London leg, where the torch also traveled part of the route on a bus. One protester tried to seize the torch from television personality Konnie Huq as she ran through the British capital’s West End.

“I don't want there to be any incidents surrounding the torch, because that would be lack of respect for the values it represents,” said Bernard Laporte, France’s junior minister of sport.

Accusations that there is a conflict between human rights and the interests of companies looking to invest in China remain a sensitive topic. Drew Thompson, China studies director for the Nixon Institute, says that the country’s “different norms present a persistent challenge to all companies investing in China, during the Olympics and after.”

See Associated Press coverage

Headline Links: Olympic torch run disrupted, cancelled

Video: Paris Olympic torch run full of hurdles

Background: Protests disrupt London Olympic torch run

Historical Context: ‘If You Want to Know a Secret …’

Opinion & Analysis: ‘Will China’s Olympics be a Success?’

Reference: The 2008 Olympic torch itinerary

Related Topics: Previous 2008 torch stops


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