Wednesday, October 26th, 2016

The French resistance


French protests disrupt the Olympic torch relay through Paris on the way to Beijing.

At the start of the relay, on the Eiffel Tower’s first floor, Green Party activist Sylvain Garel lunged for the first torchbearer, former hurdler Stephane Diagana, shouting “Freedom for the Chinese!” Security officials pulled Garel back.

“It is inadmissible that the games are taking place in the world’s biggest prison,” Garel said later.

The procession continued but a crowd of activists waving Tibetan flags soon interrupted it by confronting the torchbearer on a road along the Seine River. The demonstrators did not appear to get within reach of the torch, but its flame was put out by security officers and put on board a bus to continue part way along the route.

Less than an hour later, the flame was being carried out of a traffic tunnel by a woman athlete in a wheelchair when the procession was halted by activists who booed and chanted “Tibet.” Once again, the torch was temporarily extinguished and put on a bus.

The third time, security officials apparently interrupted the procession because they spotted demonstrators ahead. After the torch was put on a bus, protesters threw plastic bottles, cups and pieces of bread at the vehicle and at a male wheelchair-bound athlete.

The torch disappeared back inside the bus a fourth time shortly after a protester approached it with a fire extinguisher near the Louvre art museum. Police grabbed the demonstrator before he could start to spray.

The whole world is watching.

Update!If the torch relay is cancelled, does that mean the Olympics are cancelled?

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