Flame Arrives in San Francisco

Protesters absent amid heavy security; torch in hiding before tomorrow's city tour
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 8, 2008 3:26 PM CDT
Jiang Xiaoyu, left, executive vice president of the Beijing organizing committee, and an unidentified handler, right, holds the Olympic flame, shortly after arriving at San Francisco Airport.    (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The Olympic flame landed in San Francisco early this morning, accompanied by Chinese officials and protected by riot-ready security, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The 3:40am landing was followed by a round of photographs before a quick retreat to an undisclosed location, where the torch will await tomorrow's relay around the city.

Officials are bracing for protests during the 6-mile run, and mayor Gavin Newsom has said the route could change after the relay has begun. One runner has bowed out, but many remain hopeful demonstrations and the torch run can coexist. "I like to think in San Francisco we know how to do a protest," a city spokesman said.