Olympic Torch Snuffed – By Security!
PARIS – Security officials extinguished the Olympic torch for a second time on Monday amid heavy protests during the torch relay in Paris. Police escorted the flame onto a bus, apparently to move it away from protesters.
The flame was being carried out of a Paris traffic tunnel by an athlete in a wheelchair when it was stopped because protesters booed and began chanting “Tibet.”
Earlier the same day, the torch had been extinguished in London when police and protesters clashed. Thirty-seven people were arrested.
What had been billed by the organizers as an occasion to celebrate Olympic sporting ideals turned instead into a daylong contest between China’s supporters – many of them Chinese students and people of Chinese origin living in Britain – and groups and individuals who gathered to protest China’s recent crackdown in Tibet and its wider human rights record, including its constellation of labor camps. To get the torch safely to its destination, more than 2,000 police officers were deployed along the route.
I was at the Barnes and Nobel bookstore local to me this weekend. They had globes for sale. Tibet was not on the map.