Pro-Tibetan protesters succeeded in disrupting the Olympic torch relay in Paris, forcing officials to put the torch on a bus after a day of clashes that saw the flame extinguished three times. (Report : R. Thompsett)
It was billed by the Chinese authorities as “the harmonious journey,” but the
Three times in the course of its 28-kilometer route through the City of
After four hours of a chaotic journey through the streets of
Reporting from the Charléty Stadium, FRANCE 24's Lanah Kammourieh, following the relay, said the torch arrived “quite discreetly” at the stadium. “The torch arrived on a bus, and there were only some fireworks to signal that it had arrived at its final destination after a hectic day,” she said.
Following a pattern throughout the day, protesters at the stadium attempted to disrupt the proceedings, said Kammourieh. “One man tried to chain himself to the tramway right near the Charléty Stadium,” she said. “Other protesters attempted to unfurl a banner against the Beijing Games, but they were stopped by the police.”
City Hall ceremony cancelled
While scuffles marred the Olympic torch relay in London on Sunday, Kammourieh said
Altercations broke out shortly after the relay set off from the
A planned ceremony at the city’s grand City Hall before its arrival at the Charléty Stadium was cancelled at the request of the Chinese authorities organizing the relay, according to the office of the
"The Chinese officials decided they would not stop here because they were upset by Parisian citizens expressing their support for human rights. It is their responsibility," Paris Mayor Bernard Delanoë told reporters.
Adding to the mayhem, pro and anti-Chinese demonstrators faced off along the route. “Welcome to
But when a pro-Tibet demonstrator handed the group a flag with the Olympic rings represented by handcuffs, it was summarily torn by the pro-China protester.
‘Olympic values were a bit ridiculed today’
Monday’s mayhem was an embarrassment for French as well as Chinese officials organizing the relay.
In an interview with
Chinese authorities condemned the attempts to sabotage the relay as "vile," according to the AFP news service.
In a speech to the Association of National Olympic Committees in
Chinese media briefly mentions protests
While reports of the
Monday was the second day of protests during the 2008 Olympic torch relay. On Sunday, scuffles marred the Olympic torch relay in
Despite the security presence and the lessons from Sunday’s demonstrations in
The Olympic flame will now fly to its next stop,
The flame is due to return to
Date created : 2008-04-08