Tibet Protests Could Snuff Olympic Torch's UK Visit
April 6 stop in London will test police readiness, set tone for rest of tour
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 21, 2008 2:38 PM CDT
Protesters demonstrate against the Olympic Games in Beijing in front of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, Tuesday, March 18, 2008.    (AP Photo/Keystone, Dominic Favre)
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(Newser) – The Olympic torch will pass through London on April 6, meeting major protests over China's human-rights abuses in Tibet and other causes. The visit will test how disruptive political forces could be on the Summer Games—and how well British security forces are preparing for the 2012 London Olympics, the Times of London reports.

A security expert warns that trouble could affect Britain's plans for a torch relay in 2012. "It is reprehensible that anyone should use the torch for political ends," he said. Protests are planned elsewhere on the torch's 19-city international agenda, but the relay Beijing bills as "a journey of friendship, peace and harmony" could be cut short if London demonstrations turn violent.