Torch Changes Keep Protesters Off Balance

San Francisco's bait-and-switch approach keeps Olympic flame's tour mainly peaceful
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 9, 2008 4:24 PM CDT
A pro-Chinese spectator yells at protesters before the opening ceremonies of the Olympic Torch relay April 9, 2008 in San Francisco, Calif.   ((Simon Hayter/Getty Images))
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(Newser) – Throngs of pro- and anti-China demonstrators in San Francisco forced drastic changes in the Olympic torch's tour of the city, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Officials bused the flame and relay runners from the bayside opening ceremony miles across town; after heading west toward the Golden Gate Bridge, the convoy turned south and headed for the airport.

The new route remained mainly protest-free most of the way—to the chagrin of the president of the city's board of supervisors, who said Mayor Gavin Newsom "runs San Francisco the way the premier of China runs his country—secrecy, lies, misinformation, lack of transparency and manipulating the populace." The flame was set to depart for its next stop, Buenos Aires.