San Francisco in Fine Frenzy Over Torch

Security tightens as protesters hit streets for relay
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 9, 2008 4:54 AM CDT
Jiang Xiaoyu, left, executive vice president of the Beijing organizing committee holds the Olympic flame, shortly after arriving at San Francisco International airport, Tuesday, April 8, 2008.    (AP Photo/ Tony Avelar, Pool)
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(Newser) – The Olympic torch winds its way through San Francisco today and authorities are bracing for big trouble from protesters who have already hit the streets, AP reports. The torch was buffeted by protests in London and Paris, where the relay was cut short, and the worst may be yet to come as Left Coast pro-Tibet activists harry the flame. Officers will accompany the torch every second of its six-mile route through the city—which is likely to be changed at the last minute.

As officials readied ambulances and police wagons, some residents expressed dismay about potential trouble, while human rights groups prepared to seize the spotlight. "This is not about us battling the torchbearers," an activist said. "This is about the Chinese government using the torch for political purposes. We're going to use it right back."