Share this story
Close X
Switch to Desktop Site

In Paris, Olympic torch ignites protests

Amid numerous disruptions of the torch relay, IOC President Jacques Rogge called on China to quickly resolve unrest in Tibet.

Security: Protesters tried to mar world champion runner Stephane Diagana's kick-off leg of the relay Monday.

Christophe Ena/AP

About these ads

The Olympic torch made a tortured and much-interrupted journey through Paris on Monday, at various points hustled off the street, carried into a tunnel, transferred to a bus, and extinguished as French protesters staged the biggest China-bashing demonstration in Europe so far.

The detours along the 17-mile route were coordinated by the Paris-based group, Reporters without Borders, whose president, Robert Ménard, is leading a campaign to boycott the Summer Games in Beijing.

In this global capital of protests, his call has fallen on more than a few sympathetic ears in the halls of power.

The Olympic flame itself never actually went out, despite the best efforts of a group of Paris regional officials who tried to get close to it with a fire extinguisher. The Paris prefect's office said it was transferred "for technical reasons" to a small lamp in the hands of Chinese government guards and used to relight the torch as it was shifted out of the way of demonstrators.

But the last-minute cancellation of a planned ceremony and mayoral speech along the route suggested that the disruptions were more than technical.


Page 1 of 4

Follow Stories Like This
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.