London Erupts in Torch Protests

Activist grabs torch, 25 busted in street battles with cops
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Apr 6, 2008 7:55 AM CDT
Police restrain a Free Burma demonstrator as the 2008 Beijing Olympic torch pass in Whitehall, London, today.   (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
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(Newser) – Despite massive security, London erupted today in a series of protests along the route of the Olympic flame relay, and a "free Tibet" protester managed to grab the torch before police wrestled him to the ground, reports the Guardian. At least 25 protesters were busted as scores of police grappled with activists demonstrating against China's human rights abuses.

Two demonstrators tried to douse the flame with a fire extinguisher while others blocked runners throughout the 31-mile relay route. At the handoff to former Olympic champion Denise Lewis, outside Downing Street, some booed while others tried to leap barriers. Thousands of peaceful protesters also attended, some wrapped in Tibetan flags and carrying "Torch of Shame" and "China, Talk to Dalai Lama" signs.