Olympic torch relay news round-up
April 10, 2008 2:09 PM
A run-down of events on April 9 of the Olympic torch relay in San Francisco:
9:00 P.M. - PST Torch leaves SFO to the next destination
KTVU news reports the torch has left SFO around 9:00 p.m. heading to the next Olympic torch relay destination Buenos Aires, Argentina.
6:36 P.M. - PST Torchbearer removed from relay
Torchbearer Majora Carter, an environmental activist was removed from the relay during the Van Ness Avenue route of the torch relay.
"I was a torch bearer for five seconds or so. I tried to pull out the Tibetan flag, as a peaceful protest, and was taken from me by the Chinese security squad, and then San Francisco police pulled me back into the crowd."
"I was angry they didn't come this way through the Embarcadero, just furious that folks had taken the time to be there."
4:30 P.M. - PST Torch closing ceremonies to commence at SFO
Several news organizations are reporting that the torch relay's closing ceremonies will take place at San Francisco International Airport, and will then likely board a plane to its next destination.
4:15 P.M. - PST Torch spectators share Tibet experience
While visiting Tibet with her husband last October, Becky Nichols saw the horror in many Tibetans' eyes first-hand.
"They were scared to death," Nichols said.
Her husband, Allan, had visited Tibet before and even met with the Dalai Lama in 1978. This time, seeing the state of the country torn apart by the Chinese government brought him to tears.
"The Chinese dressed as monks in the Jokhang," the holiest temple in Tibet, Nichols said, in order to make sure no one mentioned the Dalai Lama by name.
"[The monks] don't know who to trust anymore," she said.
Sam Roberts, a resident of Millbrae, traveled around Asia with his wife for two months last year. While touring Tibet by car, he said they were required to hire a driver, who was Chinese, and a Tibetan tour guide.
"We couldn't park anywhere except Chinese [business] locations," Roberts said, or they would risk being vandalized.
"The Han Chinese are flooding Tibet...they're given perks to dilute the culture," he said. "It's cultural genocide."
"We are so blessed in this country, especially women," Nichols said. "We might not be the most perfect country, but on this earth, we are."
3:58 P.M. - PST Torch group drives by SF State
The torch group passed by SF State. Reports are saying that the torch is heading towards San Francisco International Airport. About 6 to 7 buses along with about two dozen of police officers on bikes, stopped traffic for several minutes on 19th Avenue.
3:30 P.M. - PST Torch relay over
Reports are now coming that the torch relay has ended. The Justin Herman Plaza closing ceremony was canceled. There are also reports that the closing ceremony has been relocated to a disclosed location.
2:10 P.M- PST Torch runners on Van Ness Avenue
The torch route has completely changed once again as torchbearers are on Van Ness Avenue. This is a complete 360 degree change as the route was scheduled along the San Francisco waterfront.
2:00 P.M. -PST Where is the torch?
The first torchbearer was given the torch at around 1:30 p.m., but has not been seen since after entering a building near Pier 48. Reports of the torch making its way on a boat is a possibility to avoid protesters along the Embarcadero.
1:17 P.M.- PST Opening ceremonies have started
Opening of the Olympic torch relay ceremony has started at McCovey Cove.
1:00 P.M. - PST Route has changed
Reports are coming in that the torch relay will not make it all the way to Pier 39. It will only head to Pier 29.
12:25 P.M.- PST Protesters vandalize Muni bus
SFPD are reporting that a group of protesters stopped a Muni bus and vandalized it at Bryant Street and Embarcadero. No arrests or injuries were made.
11:00 A.M. - PST Peaceful protest on Golden Gate Bridge
Several hundred people including monks and activists are walking in a peaceful protest on the Golden Gate Bridge. No reports of any problems.
10:45 A.M. - PST Arrests have been made
San Francisco police have begun arresting people at McCovey Cove. The number of those arrested is uncertain at this time.
10:35 A.M. - PST Protesters clash at McCovey Cove
Pro-Tibet and pro-China protesters have clashed at the Lefty O' Doul bridge at SBC Park near McCovey Cove. The San Francisco police had to break them up.
9:50 A.M. - PST Pro-China activists arrive early
Demonstrators who are pro-China arrived early this morning at McCovey Cove to organize for today's torch relay.
At Justin Herman Plaza, San Francisco Team Tibet organized there early morning where the closing ceremonies will be held.
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